"Holiness is a gift offered to all for a happy life". Pope Francis
On the 1st of November, I invited my secondary school students at the Colegio "San Ignacio" Wilde, Buenos Aires, to celebrate the feast of all saints 'Holywins' (holiness wins), which aims to recover the meaning of this date, as opposed to the pagan celebration of Halloween.
In previous classes I invited them to reflect on: Being a saint... Me? and why not? emphasising that we are all called to holiness since saints are those people who have lived their lives so authentically that they have left a deep mark on this world. Some have stood out because of their humility, others because they were able to give their lives, others because they lived in extreme conditions with a lot of patience, and so on. They are not perfect people. The saints made mistakes, because they were people like you and me. You don't have to be perfect to be a saint, you simply have to be authentic and to be authentic is to be yourself and to choose the good, loving in the way of Jesus, without looking for other interests.
The task was to research the life, work and virtues that led to the sainthood of the saint they had been assigned. After that they had to come dressed up as their saint, to carry out a parade competition for All Saints' Day.
In order to be able to do the work I asked each one to research their personal saint's name and many were surprised because they did not know that their names represented a saint of the Church. And for those who did not have a saint's name, I gave them a different saint's name so that they could get to know him or her.
The competition consisted of them coming to the front, parading and telling their classmates about the life of the saint they had researched and what teaching he or she had left them. After sharing in the classroom, they went around the school in their costumes, visiting and sharing in other classrooms, greeting the directors and teachers and handing out cards with messages of hope to everyone.
Such was the joy and amazement of all the school staff that the pupils went from shyness to pride in the saint they were representing.
It was a very emotional morning for everyone as it was exciting to see how the students had taken ownership of the saint they had been given, passing on their stories with such enthusiasm. We ended the class with a reflection and sharing together.
Sister Lourdes Pera cm