In modern time, many people exalted reason to the point of excluding faith; they relied on self rather than God. In the meanwhile God raised up saints who gave powerful examples of trustful reliance on God.
Culture of saints
St. John Bosco (1815-1888), St. Joseph Cottolengo (1786-1842), St. Luigi Guanella (1842-1915) and St. Louis Orione (1872-1940) were saints in northern Italy who founded religious congregations and helped numerous people with great reliance on Divine Providence.
Don Bosco would undertake mighty works with little or nothing in his purse. His contractors and suppliers, however, were perfectly sure that everything would be taken care of. One of them said, “Would that we were as certain of being paid by everyone as we are by Don Bosco. He may be slow but he never fails, for he has Divine Providence at his disposal. Don Bosco’s word is more than a banknote.”
From 1863 to 1868, Don Bosco built the magnificent Basilica of Mary. Help of Christians. When the foundation of the church was laid, Don Bosco only had eight pennies to pay the contractor. He said to him, “Don’t be alarmed, the Madonna will see to the payment of her church. I am just the instrument, the cashier.”
At the end the church was paid for to the last cent. Generous contributors paid for one sixth of the cost and the rest came from the small offerings of those who had received favors from Our Lady. Don Bosco said, “The whole church was put up by means of graces granted by Mary. Every stone, every ornament, represents one of her graces.”
St. Joseph Cottolengo was a friend of Don Bosco. St. Luigi Guanella stayed with Don Bosco for three years, and St. Louis Orione was a favorite student of Don Bosco. These saints, with charismatic reliance on Divine Providence, responded to the needs of the time, and founded religious institutes which still exist today.
Cottolengo convinced his religious that they would continue to do wonderful things if they responded promptly and trustfully to the impulses from above.
Guanella said, “Providence cared for all who trust.” He warned, “Lack of trust is an obstacle to Providence.”
Orione said, “Our policy is the great and divine charity which does good for all. Let our policy be that of the ‘Our Father.’”
St. Therese of Lisieux (1874-1897) is one of the most popular saints in modern time. She said, “Sanctity does not consist in this or that practice but in a disposition of heart which makes us humble and small in the arms of God”
St. Therese entered the Carmelite convent at fifteen and died at twenty-four. Her nine years in convent were spent in an ordinary way with household chores, sacristy works, and the training of novices. The life of St. Therese demonstrated that the heroism of love is possible in the most ordinary and humble situations of daily life. She said, “Miss no single opportunity of making some small sacrifice, here by a smiling look, there by a kindly word; always doing the smallest right and doing it all for love.”
She said, “Trust and trust alone should lead us to love.”
St. Faustina Kowalska (1905-1938) of Poland was an apostle of Divine Mercy. She entered the convent around twenty, and in the 1930’s received private revelations from Christ regarding devotion to Divine Mercy.
Like St. Therese, St. Faustina suffered in silence during her life time. Through her writings, Christ invited people to trust in the mercy of God. Christ said to her, “The graces of My mercy are drawn by means of one vessel only, and that is trust. The more a soul trusts, the more it will receive.”