The Catholic Church's saints are living examples of the Gospel message.
Many of these saints were young people who showed a deep love for God and their neighbor.
Here are nine young saints who can inspire today's youth:
1) St. Maria Goretti (1890-1902)
Known as the patroness of rape victims, Maria Goretti was martyred at age 11. She preferred to die rather than lose her purity. She forgave her attacker before passing away.
2) St. Dominic Savio (1842-1857)
A student of St. John Bosco, Dominic Savio stood out for his piety and love of God from an early age. He died at the age of 14 and is known for his quote: "I'd rather die than sin".
3) St. Therese of Lisieux (1873-1897)
Known as "The Little Flower," Saint Therese of the Child Jesus entered Carmel at age 15 and lived there until her early death at age 24. She is famous for her "Little Way" of love and simplicity.
4) Bl. Pier Giorgio Frassati (1901-1925)
Nicknamed "the man of the eight beatitudes," Pier Giorgio was a young Italian passionate about mountaineering, the Eucharist, and charity for the poor. He died at age 24.
5) St. Francis of Assisi (1181-1226)
As a young man, Francis abandoned a life of comfort to live according to the Gospel. He is the founder of the Franciscan Order and is known for his humility and love of creation.
6) Bl. Chiara Badano (1971-1990)
Dying of cancer at the age of 18, Chiara stood out for her joy and dedication to God's will. She inspired many with her unshakable faith amid suffering.
7) St. Joan of Arc (1412-1431)
St. Joan of Arc, the young peasant woman who became a military leader and heroine in France, was martyred at age 19. She is known for her courage and deep faith.
8) Bl. Carlo Acutis (1991-2006)
Known as the patron saint of computer programmers and youth, Carlo used technology to evangelize. He developed a website cataloging all the Eucharistic miracles in the world. He died of leukemia at age 15.
9) St. Aloysius Gonzaga (1568-1591)
St. Aloysius Gonzaga renounced noble life to become a Jesuit. He is known for his purity and charity, dying at the age of 23 while caring for victims of an epidemic.
Despite their short lives, each of these young saints left an indelible mark on Church history that inspires youth today.
They demonstrate that holiness is not a matter of age but of the heart's willingness to follow Jesus.
Their examples remind us that we are all called to holiness.
In the words of St. John Paul II: "Do not be afraid to be saints."
Like these young saints, we are also called to lives of love, service, and holiness. May their stories inspire us to respond to that call with courage and joy.