All day, my FB feed has been filling up with this particular quote, attributed to Pope Francis, discussing World Youth Day:
We need saints without cassocks, without veils. We need saints with jeans and tennis shoes. We need saints that go to the movies, that listen to music, that hang out with friends.
We need saints who put God in first place, ahead of succeeding in any career. We need saints who look for time to pray every day and who know how to be in love with purity, chastity, and all good things. We need saints, Saints of the 21st century with a spirituality appropriate to our new time.
We need saints that have a commitment to helping the poor and to make the needed social change. We need saints to live in the world, to sanctify the world and to not be afraid of living in the world by their presence in it.
We need saints that drink Coca-Cola, that eat hot dogs, that surf the internet and that listen to their iPods. We need saints that love the Eucharist, that are not afraid or embarrassed to eat a pizza or drink a beer with their friends.
We need saints who love the movies, dance, sports, theater. We need saints that are open, sociable, normal, happy companions. We need saints who are in this world and who know how to enjoy the best in this world without being callous or mundane. We need saints.
I decided to do a search to see where he said that, and discovered this, on my old Beliefnet blog, in a comment from 2010:
WE NEED SAINTS
by Pope John Paul II
We need saints without veil or cassock.
We need saints who wear jeans and sneakers.
We need saints who go to the movies, listen to music and hang out with friends.
We need saints who put God in first place, but who let go of their power.
We need saints who have time everyday to pray and who know how to date in purity and chastity, or who consecrate their chastity.
We need modern saints, Saints of the 21st century with a spirituality that is part of our time.
We need saints committed to the poor and the necessary social changes.
We need saints who live in the world and who are sanctified in the world, who are not afraid to live in the world.
We need saints who drink Coke and eat hot dogs, who wear jeans, who are Internet-savvy, who listen to CDs.
We need saints who passionately love the Eucharist and who are not ashamed to drink a soda or eat pizza on weekends with friends.
We need saints who like movies, the theater, music, dance, sports.
We need saints who are social, open, normal, friendly, happy and who are good companions.
We need saints who are in the world and know how to taste the pure and nice things of the world but who aren’t of the world.
(Translated from the Portuguese language by Joseph W. Cunningham)(Attributed to Pope John Paul II)
I’d love someone to please point me to the origins of that Pope Francis quote. It’s great. But who first said it and when? Did he crib something from his predecessor and forget to mention it?
(This runs the risk of turning into another Prayer of Oscar Romero , which is always being attributed to the great Salvadoran priest, but which was actually written by an American bishop, Ken Untener. He, in turn, composed it for a homily delivered by Cardinal John Deardon. Romero never said it. It appears he never even knew about it.)
UPDATE: My blog neighbor Joanne McPortland found another version of the above sentiment here, from a blogpost from 2012. It claims to have been “inspired by John Paul II.”