In a little more than a week, the United States will mark the 241st anniversary of its independence.

Since our country’s founding, Christianity has had a strong influence on our national life. That influence was due in large part to the Christian faith that imbued every aspect of the lives of many of the first Americans.

Yet, as our nation has grown more secular, so have its Christians — and Catholics in particular. A renewal of Christian witnesses is needed greatly.

Fortunately, there are many models of sanctity to emulate from our very own land. God has raised up men, women and children who have lived the Beatitudes right here in America, people to whom we should look as models of Christ.

In this issue, we kick off a two-part series on “Sanctity in the USA,” telling some of the stories of the men and women who the Church is currently considering for entry into the ranks of the canonized.

Venerable Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen, who is profiled in the series, called holiness “divine truth” and said, “Sanctity becomes the response the heart makes to divine truth and its unlimited mercy to humanity.”

So as we celebrate Independence Day in the United States and honor those who rescued us from political and economic tyranny, we should also look to the examples of the saints as we celebrate, daily, our independence from the tyranny of sin and death through Christ.

God bless you!