How bad can you be and still become a saint? The short answer is: Pretty awful, thoroughly wicked, even. With Professor Thomas J. Craughwell, you'll meet an outlaw, an anti-pope, an embezzler, a con-artist, two fallen women, and two mass murderers who, for most of their lives, were as far as possible from sanctity and holiness.
Why do we consider such scoundrels as saints now? God mysteriously touched these sinners' hearts with His grace and they repented. The conversion process is never easy and it required these men and women to cultivate that most difficult of virtues - humility. Once they began to cooperate with God's grace and submit to His will, they were able to leave their wicked old lives behind and take the first steps toward becoming truly holy. Conversion is a life-long process that only begins with that initial recognition and rejection of sin.
Pope Benedict XVI, speaking on the Feast of the Conversion of St. Paul, said" we can escape the quick sands of pride and sin, lies and sadness, selfishness and false security, to find out and live the richness of Jesus' love if we allow ourselves to be continuously converted by the Lord Jesus."
Each lecture highlights the work of grace in the sinner's soul and the beginning of the process of conversion. In a very real sense, all men and women are like the saints covered in this course. We must all overcome sin and travel the road of continual conversion in order to attain holiness and reach Heaven. Humility, grace and conversion form the theme of this unique Catholic Course.
Thomas J. Craughwell is author of more than two dozen books. Among them are Saints Behaving Badly (Doubleday, 2006), Saints Preserved: An Encyclopedia of Relics (Image, 2011), and Stealing Lincoln's Body(Harvard University Press, 2007), which was adapted into a History Channel documentary. His articles have appeared in The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, Inside the Vatican, and Our Sunday Visitor. A popular speaker, Craughwell has lectured for Catholic Courses, and has appeared on EWTN, CNN, and Ave Maria radio to discuss saints, the canonization process, and Catholic history. He writes out of his home in Bethel, Connecticut.