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My Favorite saints Print E-mail
By Pope Francis speaking with Eugenio Scalfari   
Thursday, 03 October 2013

Can I ask you, Your Holiness, which saints you feel closest to in your soul, those who have shaped your religious experience?

“St. Paul is the one who laid down the cornerstones of our religion and our creed. You cannot be a conscious Christian without St. Paul. He translated the teachings of Christ into a doctrinal structure that, even with the additions of a vast number of thinkers, theologians and pastors, has resisted and still exists after two thousand years. Then there are Augustine, Benedict and Thomas and Ignatius. Naturally Francis. Do I need to explain why?” . . .

Not Ignatius, from whose order you come?

“Ignatius, for understandable reasons, is the saint I know better than any other. He founded our Order. I'd like to remind you that Carlo Maria Martini also came from that order, someone who is very dear to me and also to you. Jesuits were and still are the leavening – not the only one but perhaps the most effective – of Catholicism: culture, teaching, missionary work, loyalty to the Pope. But Ignatius who founded the Society, was also a reformer and a mystic. Especially a mystic.”

And you think that mystics have been important for the Church?

“They have been fundamental. A religion without mystics is a philosophy.”

 
 
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