In a special way, we remember the men and women in heaven following the Solemnity of All Saints on November 1. Catholic students in the Archdiocese of Washington drew pictures of their favorite saints and wrote about how they inspire them to live lives of holiness.

St. Therese of Lisieux by Hayleigh Estrella, fourth grade, St. Columba School, Oxon Hill, Maryland

Leena Gonzales, third grade, St. Columba School, wrote, “I like St. Dennis because (according to legend, after he was martyred) he held his head six miles (while) preaching about God.”

AJ Capati, St. Columba School, wrote, “Pope Pius X / St. Pius X inspires me to be my best at all times. He inspires me to work my hardest even when it comes to my smallest task, also to go all out whenever I get the chance.”

Leila Gonzales of St. Columba School, wrote, “St. Lorenzo Ruiz inspires me to be holy because even in the toughest times, he never gave up. He died with a strong faith in God, and that’s what kept him going.”

Hayden Estrella, a seventh grader at St. Columba School, wrote, “Mother Teresa of Calcutta inspires me to help others just like how she helped the people in Calcutta. She dedicated her life to care for those in need. She taught us to love and help others.”

Jayden Nash, a sixth grader at St. Pius X Regional School in Bowie, Maryland, wrote, “St. Alexander was born in the second century A.D. and died in 251 A.D. St. Alexander inspires me because he did such great things in his life. One thing he did was become a third century bishop. A second thing he did was build a library in Jerusalem. The main reason I’m inspired by St. Alexander is because he went to jail for his religious beliefs, and he kept the beliefs through that experience. St. Alexander’s feast day is on March the 18th. He died during the persecution of Emperor Decius.”

Antonio Cabellon, a sixth grader at St. Pius X Regional School, wrote, “St. Antonio inspires me not only because he has a really nice name, but because he did everything he could to help people. St. Antonio lost his father when he was young like me, and only had his mother to raise him. He became a doctor, and then later he got holy orders (and became a priest). Then he devoted his life to charity and mercy. He was so dedicated to helping people; he went to Milan to create a good project. That is why I look up to St. Antonio Maria Zaccaria.”

Bianca Fitzgerald, an eighth grader at St. Columba School, wrote, “St. Joan of Arc inspires me to be holy by giving me the courage to help people. Whether that person is a stranger or a loved one. St. Joan influences my life by showing me that you should always love your neighbor no matter what.”

Gabriella Guadagno, an eighth grader at St. Columba School, wrote, “Saint Gertrude inspires me because she prays for not only the living but for all souls in purgatory that are waiting to go to heaven. This encourages me to think of every soul including the dead. Usually when people pray, they only acknowledge everyone on earth...”

Julia Palor, an eighth grader at St. Columba School, wrote, “St. Maria Goretti influences me by showing that I have the strength in me to forgive others. She died when she was only nine years old and forgave her murderer, who then converted to Christianity. She inspires me to be holy and pray to God whenever I need to forgive someone.”

Gabriela Manzano, an eighth grader at St. Pius X Regional School, Bowie, wrote, “For my saint I picked St. Dymphna, the patron saint of mental health illness and anxiety. I admire her because as a student I am faced with a lot of stress, especially as an 8th grader. I often pray to her to ask to give me the strength to continue and not shut down whenever I feel like I can’t do something. She has helped me get through some of my rough days. This is why I picked St. Dymphna.”

Gabrielle Oben, a seventh grader at St. Pius X Regional School, Bowie, wrote, “Saint Anthony is an influence on my life. I learned in 1st grade that whenever I lose something important, praying to Saint Anthony will help me find whatever I lost. So whenever I lose anything, the first thing I usually do is pray to this saint. Most of the time I end up finding what I have lost, and it is incredible how saints can do this to help us humans as long as you have faith.”

Madison Bridges, a seventh grader at St. Pius X Regional School, Bowie, wrote, “Mother Mary Lange is the saint that I look up to. She was born in Cuba, and later became an immigrant of Haiti. She and two other women founded the Oblate Sisters of Providence in Baltimore, 1829. It was the first religious congregation for black women. These women dedicated themselves and their lives to helping orphaned children and giving Black children proper education knowing  that they were taking a large risk, because Maryland was still a slave state. Mother Mary Lange also started Baltimore’s very important St. Francis Academy.  It still exists today and mainly educates Hispanic and Black children. She is my role model because she knowingly risked her life for other people and children in times of need. She put others before herself even when she could have lost her life. She is a good example for me because I want to be like her. I want to put others before myself more and more. When I think about her and what she did, it makes me think about how I can be like her and become a better person physically and emotionally.”

St. Joan of Arc by Maggie Estorninos, 2nd grade, St. Columba School  

Lianna Theresa Gonzales, a fifth grader at St. Columba School, wrote, “I am named after St. Therese of the Child Jesus.  She inspires me because her story of becoming a nun when she was really young teaches me how to love God even more!”

Camille Urcia, an eighth grader at St. Columba School, wrote, “Saint Patrick inspires me to become more holy because he helped convert others to Christianity." 

Sofia Cuadra, an eighth grader at St. John the Evangelist School in Clinton, Maryland, wrote, “A saint that inspires me to be holy and influences me is St. Kateri Tekakwitha. She inspires me and influences me because I've read and heard of all the good things she has done, such as seeking God for help when she needed it the most. She also never gives up on anything she does, like when she had scars on her face from smallpox, but that did not stop her from praying and loving God. She really does amaze me. Kateri is the best saint that I could ever imagine." 

Maryanne Bruno from Blessed Sacrament School in Washington, D.C., wrote, “Joan of Arc shows that even if you are at the lowest of the lows, you can still rise to the top! She led the French army in 1429. Joan suddenly passed away on May 30, 1431. She is definitely one of the people I look up to. And we get to celebrate her once a year on May 16. She makes me feel like I can accomplish anything that I put my mind to. Joan of Arc was and still is a hero to all, including me." 

Cormac Johnson, a fifth grader at Blessed Sacrament School, wrote,“I admire Saint Paul because he inspires me to be holy. What stood out to me was that he changed, and he was an apostle. He was named Saul and was of a different religion. He also reported Christians and arrested them, but then Jesus struck Saint Paul blind (and called him to follow Jesus). Saint Paul influences me to be a better Catholic. These are the reasons that made me choose Saint Paul." 

Sunhee Han wrote, “Known for her great generosity, Saint Teresa became a nun and helped those who were suffering, sick and in need. She's a role model and her charity and works represent the works of mercy. I hope I can lend out my time and energy for those in need and be a role model for children of our faith." 

Additional writing submissions: 

Aundre Dudley, a fifth grader at St. Mary's School, Bryantown, Maryland, wrote,
“St. Michael inspires me to be holy... He has fought to defend God, I want to do that too. He also has four duties -- to combat Satan, to escort the faithful to heaven at the hour of death, to be a champion of Christians and the Church itself, (and) to call men from life on Earth to their heavenly judgment. I really want to be like St. Michael." 

Gigi Stetko, a fifth grader at St. Mary’s School, Bryantown, Maryland, wrote, “The saint I really think inspires me is Saint Daniel. He is the patron saint of strength and courage. When I am feeling down or bored, I am reminded by him to go on and encouraged to be smart with my decisions, and to ask others to do the same. Saint Daniel was a good role model for others, and I'm sure some people look up to him and love what he did. He inspires so many people including me."