Who is a saint?
Most people use the word “saint” to refer to someone who is exceptionally good or “holy.” In the Catholic Church, however, a “saint” has a more specific meaning: someone who has led a life of “heroic virtue.”
This definition includes the four “cardinal” virtues: prudence, temperance, fortitude and justice; as well as the “theological ” virtues: faith, hope and charity. A saint displays these qualities in a consistent and exceptional way. A saint is a holy person who is known for his or her “heroic sanctity” and who is thought to be in heaven
God acts in mysterious ways. That truth is made particularly evident in the types of things he does with those who are especially close to him.
Here are a few saints who totally had superpowers:
1) St. Joseph of Cupertino: Flying
Called “the flying saint,” we’re not talking about a few stories claiming St. Joseph of Cupertino flew in private or just for a few people. We’re talking about him regularly flying in front of large groups of people.
Whether it was during Mass, Liturgy of the Hours, or just at the mention of the name of Jesus or a saint, Joseph would involuntarily go into ecstasy and start levitating. This apparently happened once during a public procession in front of the whole town, and once even during an audience for the pope.
His constant, uncontrollable levitating actually became a problem. His religious superiors deemed the phenomenon disruptive. At the end of his life, he was transferred to different monasteries and kept in cells by himself.
But he kept on levitating at the name of Jesus anyway…
2) Christina the Astonishing: Indestructibility
Though she is not an officially canonized saint in the Church, she was considered a saint in her own lifetime (12th and 13th centuries), and has some pretty interesting stories nonetheless, all of which display the fact that she was basically indestructible.
For starters, she appeared to die of a seizure in her early 20s. Her body was prepared for burial and a funeral was held, but in the middle of the funeral she got up, full of energy. She said she had had a supernatural experience of heaven, hell, and purgatory. She told her family and friends that the sole reason she had returned was to suffer for the relief of those in purgatory and for the conversion of sinners still on earth.
That’s when she started to do some pretty intense things.
First, she fasted and deprived herself of any bodily comforts pretty severely. But that wasn’t enough. She also would regularly throw herself into burning furnaces, but leave them without burns. In the dead of winter, she would go swimming in a nearby icy river, sometimes staying in the water for days or even weeks at a time. Sometimes, she would even allow herself to be sucked into a mill that was operating on the river, and would be whirled around by the mill wheel. She would also allow herself to be ravaged by dogs, or would go running through thorns. But through all of these things, she would always come away unscathed.
Despite all of these things, she lived to be 74 years old.
3) St. Catherine of Alexandria: Jedi Mind Trick
St. Catherine was a princess in Egypt in the 3rd century and received a good education. Though raised as a pagan, when she was a teenager she claimed that the Blessed Virgin Mary appeared to her, told her that she had been wed to Christ in a mystical marriage, and she was converted to the Christian faith.
Soon after, she got a personal audience with Roman Emperor Maxentius and tried to convince him to stop persecuting Christians. The emperor brought out his best philosophers and rhetoricians to debate Catherine – but, amazingly, she won their debate. Several of her interlocutors were so impressed, they converted to Christianity.
Furious, the emperor had her imprisoned. But her persuasiveness just continued in prison. Among those she met in prison and those who visited, 200 people were converted by her evangelism. When she refused to stop converting people to the Christian faith despite being tortured, the emperor tried to persuade her to stop by asking her to marry him. She refused, and he sentenced her to death. But when she touched the the spiked breaking wheel that was going to be used to kill her, it shattered spontaneously. Finally, the emperor ordered her to be beheaded, which successfully ended her life.
4) St. Vincent Ferrer: Bringing People Back from the Dead
St. Vincent Ferrer is most famous for his missionary work, preaching, and theology. But he also had a pretty amazing supernatural ability: he could bring people back from the dead. And he apparently did this on several occasions.
According to one story, Vincent entered a church with a corpse inside. In front of a number of witnesses, Vincent simply made the Sign of the Cross over the corpse, and the person came back to life.
In one particularly impressive story, Vincent happened upon a procession for a certain man to be executed by hanging for committing a grievous crime. Somehow, Vincent knew that the person was innocent, and he pleaded with the government officials, but to no use. Coincidentally, a corpse was being carried by on a stretcher. Vincent asked the corpse, “Is this man guilty? Answer me!” The dead man immediately came back to life, sat up, and said, “He is not!” The man then laid back down on the stretcher. When Vincent offered the man a reward for helping to vindicate the innocent man, the man said, “No, father, for I am assured of my salvation.” And so he died again right then.
5) St. Padre Pio: Superman
A famous saint who lived in the 20th century, St. Padre Pio had just about every superpower you can think of: there are claims that he could bi-locate (be in more than one place at a time), read people’s minds (usually in the confessional – he was a priest), levitate, and heal sick people.
In one story, a professional mathematician was confessing his sins to Pio in the confessional, though the fact that he did not tell Pio that he was a mathematician. When he was a bit vague on how many times he had committed a particular sin, Pio responded firmly: “You’re a mathematician, leave the confessional and comeback when you know how many times you did that.”
In 1950, Pio was once seen attending the funeral of a monk in Milwaukee, Wisconsin – but without ever having left his own monastery in Italy. Regarding his ability to bi-locate, one person reports that Pio once said, “I can do three thing at once: pray, confess, and go around the world.”
6) St Benedict :invulnerable to poison
Saint Benedict is a pretty important saint and is known for both his skills at speaking and his general holiness and purity of heart . Saint Benedict is known for surviving multiple attempts on his life by his enemies. According to the legends some monks decided to poison him. The first time they tried to poison his wine and the glass shattered into little pieces when he prayed over it. The next time around the monks decided to use food, since that can’t shatter so easily. However, their plans were ruined when a bird flew away with the bread they had laced with poison. St Benedict founded the most famous order of monks the Benedictines and placing a Saint Benedict medal over the doors of your house is said to keep evil spirits away.
7)St Boniface :Super Strength
According to his life-story, St Boniface arrived in Germany and saw the people worshipping a tree. He was angry at what he considered to be the worship of false idols and decided to destroy the tree. Supposedly with one blow of an axe the tree was cut down and the Germans who saw this believed in his message. Some people claim that to satisfy their attachment to trees, Boniface invented the Christmas tree and told them to use it was a symbol of forever life.
8)St Anthony Mary Claret: Prophecy
There have been many saints who have supposedly had the gift of prophecy. One of the more interesting legends is that of St Anthony Mary Claret. He asked a group of farmers to come to his mission; many explained they could not because they needed to tend to their fields. He told them that if they came their fields would yield more, and if they did not come their harvest would be completely ruined. According to the story, his prophecy did indeed came to past . There is also the prophecy of Saint Malachi, which has been mentioned in this place before. The prophecy about the Pope predicts that the last pope will reign at the start of the end of the world. According to those who pay attention to the prophecy, our current pope (Francis) is supposed to be the last. The prophecy of the popes is suspected by some to be a forgery and—as with all post-apostolic prophecy—Catholics can freely choose to believe or disbelieve.
9)St Theresa of Avila :Out of Body Experience
Many Catholic Saints through the ages have claimed to have something akin to an out of body experience. One of them, Saint Theresa of Avila claims that it felt like her soul was traveling to regions leaving her body . Other saints to report this phenomenon include St Pio of Pietrelcina and St Frances Xavier. Saint Theresa was said to gain this ability through long meditative states of prayer, eventually feeling as if she was going through a sort of afterlife and felt it took her much closer to God.
10)St Andrew the apostle :Invulnerability to Pain
The stories say that St Andrew the Apostle was eventually captured for preaching the message of Christianity and was affixed to an X shaped cross. His captors used this remarkably cruel means of execution because he seemed to feel no pain at all when they had previously tortured him. It is said that even though his execution was long and brutal, that he felt no pain whatsoever. Some legends also say that the specific type of cross was chosen because Andrew did not believe himself worthy to be killed using the same method Jesus had used for his sacrifice—the same reason St Peter chose to be crucified on a upside-down cross.
11)St Bernadette :Incorruptibility
Incorruptibility is when a corpse seems to not follow normal decomposition patterns and remains mostly fine. The skeptics argue that this is due to people secretly using embalming of different varieties, however, some cases are harder to explain and happened in cases where it seems decomposition should have actually been going faster. Some of the more famous cases include that of Saints Catherine of Genoa or Francis Xavier. The bodies of St Catherine of Laboure and St Bernadette are also said to be incorruptible, after being examined thoroughly it seems their bodies are pretty much in the same shape as they were when they died.
12)Padre Pio :Stigmata
This one is perhaps the most well known, but also incredibly controversial. There are many who say the claims of Stigmata are simply untrue. Others believe in the Stigmata, but argue over which cases are actually genuine and not faked. The most recent legend is that of Padre Pio, who is said to have received the stigmata, the same marks that would have been upon Jesus on the cross. Padre Pio (now St Pio of Pietrelcina) also allegedly had the ability to read the sins on a confessor’s soul and to bi-locate.