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Don Carriker wrote:

Hi, guys —

I am an 81-year-old Catholic. I've been on a roller coaster, spiritually, my entire adult life. For a while I ride high, keeping free from sin, then I plunge down into an abyss where I can't seem to keep from sinning.

My most common sin is against sexual purity — thoughts and actions.

  • Do you know of a canonized saint who struggled throughout his or her life but ended in God's grace and was ultimately canonized?

I'm not talking about saints like St. Augustine of Hippo or St. Ignatius of Loyola who lived wanton lives and then saw the light and lived the rest of their life in a holy manner.

I want a saint to pray to who lived the same kind of life I have lived.

Maybe there are none.


  { Do you know of a saint I can pray to who struggled with impurity not including those saints? }

Mike replied:

Hi Don,

Thanks for the question.

There are no canonized saints but many uncanonized saints.

Based on what you originally said, it sounds like having a good, spiritual life is important to you. This is good and commendable. The Church canonizes saints, like Augustine and Ignatius, as role models by which others that proceed them can be looked upon in order to strive toward that holiness.

I'm sure there are many, many of the faithful who have passed to their particular judgment and on to Heaven who have not been canonized saints. We will never know, on our currently earthly pilgrimage, who they are but we can generally ask them to pray for us, seeing they, like you (and everyone throughout history, for that matter), struggled with impurity.

If Christian charity calls you to it, you can also pray for other uncanonized saints who died with remaining self-love and are being purified in the Holy Hospital of Heaven, we call Purgatory. I've heard several theologians express the opinion that Purgatory is nothing less then the Burning Love of Jesus Himself. (Hebrews 12:29) I agree with this.

I have a web site totally dedicated to praying for the Holy Souls in Purgatory. I also give a good analogy of what Purgatory is along with the Church's teaching on this topic under the Purgatory Q & A tab.

My colleague Brian and I are trying to start regular Purgatory Prayer Programs across the United States. Take a look:

You can get your Free kit at:

My advice:

  • Do the best you can
  • try to get to Confession often (weekly or monthly), and
  • don't do dumb things like receive the Blessed Sacrament on Sunday if you have known unconfessed sins of the flesh.

It was Our Lord, Himself, who said:

The spirit is willing but the flesh is weak. (Matthew 26:41)

but He is also the author of our hearts and know the good effort we are putting in.

By the way, that's a cool e-mail address you have. If you are interested about Eutychius, here's some information. There are at least a couple different Eutychius'.

I hope this helps,


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