The Catholic Church has declared many saints and blesseds and some of the most impressive were the young. Sainthood is for people of any age. Here are some of them, all below the age of 25.

25. Bl. Laura Vicuña

Age 12 – (1891-1904)

Weakened by physical abuse by her mother’s boss, Laura died of pulmonary tuberculosis. On her deathbed, she offered her life for her mother’s salvation: “Mama, I offer my life for you.” More Info

The only known photo of Bl. Laura Vicuña (1900)
The only known photo of Bl. Laura Vicuña (1900)

24. Bl. Pier Giorgio Frassati

Age 24 – (1901-1925)

Pier Giorgio did not let his young age stop him from continuously helping the poor. He contracted polio and died on July 4, 1925. Many mourners attended his funeral, most of whom Pier Giorgio’s parents did not know. More Info

Bl. Pier Giorgio Frassati
Bl. Pier Giorgio Frassati

23. Bl. Chiara Badano

Age 18 – (1971-1990)

The young and popular Chiara suddenly had a rare form of bone cancer, osteogenic sarcoma. She refused morphine, instead wanting to offer up her sufferings for Jesus Christ. She maintained her joyful demeanor, keeping the other patients happy until her death. More Info

Bl. Chiara Badano
Bl. Chiara Badano

22. Bl. Isidore Bakanja

Age 19-24 – (c. 1887-1909)

Working for a colonist on a rubber plantation, the owner brutally beat Isidore for his Christian faith. He suffered agonizing pain from his wounds for 6 months. Isidore forgave the man: “Certainly I shall pray for him. When I am in heaven, I shall pray for him very much.” More Info

Bl. Isidore Bakanja
Bl. Isidore Bakanja

21. St. Gabriel of Our Lady of Sorrows

Age 23 – (1838-1862)

Gabriel lived a perfectly obedient life in the Passionist Order, with a particular devotion to Mary, Our Lady of Sorrows. Despite his tuberculosis, he remained joyful until his death. More Info

St. Gabriel of Our Lady of Sorrows
St. Gabriel of Our Lady of Sorrows

20. St. Stanislaus Kostka

Age 17 – (1550-1568)

Stanislaus sought to join the Society of Jesus (Jesuits) despite the physical abuses of his older brother. His Jesuit teacher said that “he was a model and mirror of religious perfection.” Wrapped up in prayer, he died from an unknown illness made worse by a high fever. More Info

St. Stanislaus of Kostka - Jubilee Museum (Columbus, Ohio)
St. Stanislaus of Kostka – Jubilee Museum (Columbus, Ohio)

19. St. John Berchmans

Age 22 – (1599-1621)

Despite the strong opposition from his father and teachers, John joined the Jesuits. He had a deep love for being an altar server at Mass and died early with Roman fever. More Info

St. John Berchmans by Boetius Adams Bolswert c. 1621
St. John Berchmans by Boetius Adams Bolswert c. 1621

18. St. Teresa of the Andes

Age 19 – (1900-1920)

Inspired by the biography of St. Thérèse of Lisieux and the call of God, Teresa became a Discalced Carmelite nun in Chile. Despite knowing she would die young from typhus, she lived her life with a complete love for God. More Info

St. Teresa of The Andes
St. Teresa of The Andes

17. St. Agatha of Sicily

Age ~20 – (c. 231- c.251)

A Roman noblewoman, Agatha made the unusual choice to be a consecrated virgin for the Lord. One of the men who wanted to marry her had her tortured until she gave in to his demands. She chose Christ instead. More Info

St. Agatha of Sicily by Alessandro Turchi (1578–1649)
St. Agatha of Sicily by Alessandro Turchi (1578–1649)

16. St. Clelia Barbieri

Age 23 – (1847-1870)

Clelia is the youngest founder of a religious community in the history of the Catholic Church. She founded the Congregation of the Sisters Minims of Our Lady of Sorrows at the age of 21. Today they continue to serve the poor in Italy, India, and Tanzania. More Info

St. Clelia Barbieri
St. Clelia Barbieri

15. St. Elizabeth of Hungary

Age 24 – (1207-1231)

Elizabeth was a princess with a great love for the Lord. Despite her status and wealth, she chose instead to serve the poor. She even built a hospital after her husband’s death where she could treat the sick herself. More Info

St Elizabeth of Hungary Spinning for the Poor by Marianne Stokes (1855–1927)
St Elizabeth of Hungary Spinning for the Poor by Marianne Stokes (1855–1927)

14. St. Lucy

Age 21 – (c. 283-304)

Lucy is one of the most widely revered virgin martyrs in the Early Church. She died during reign of the Emperor Diocletian, unwilling to renounce her Christian faith. More Info

St. Lucy by Cosimo Rosselli, Florence, c. 1470
St. Lucy by Cosimo Rosselli, Florence, c. 1470

13. St. Catherine of Alexandria

Age ~18 – (c. 287-c. 305)

Born of noble birth, St. Catherine was already a notable scholar in the sciences and Christianity by the age of 18. The Emperor Maximinus brought out his top men to debate her, but they could not defeat her. Some of them even converted to Christianity and were instantly martyred. The enraged emperor had Catherine beheaded. More Info

St. Catherine of Alexandria by Bernardino Luini (1485–1532)
St. Catherine of Alexandria by Bernardino Luini (1485–1532)

12. St. Pedro Calungsod

Age 17 – (1654-1672)

Pedro was a missionary in Guam, ministering to the Chamorro people. He was pierced by a spear, cut down by a cutlass, and flung into the sea. Pope Benedict XVI canonized him in 2012. More Info

St. Pedro Calungsod - Wikimedia Commons
St. Pedro Calungsod – Wikimedia Commons

11. St. Germaine Cousin

Age 22 – (1579-1601)

Germaine was born with a deformed hand and a form of tuberculosis called scrofula. To protect other children, her father had her live her life as a shepherdess, sleeping each night in a stable. The villagers and her own stepmother treated her with cruelty because of her deep love for God. More Info

St. Germaine Cousin by Alexandre Falguière (1831-1900)
St. Germaine Cousin by Alexandre Falguière (1831-1900) – Photo by: Didier Descouens

10. St. Aloysius Gonzaga

Age 23 – (1568-1591)

Aloysius was born right into the life of the aristocracy. He was next in line to inherit his father’s title as Marquis of Castiglione. After reading about Jesuit missionaries in India, he decided he wanted to join the Jesuits against his father’s wishes. At the age of 17, he renounced all of his noble roots to serve God. More Info

St. Aloysius Gonzaga by Carlo Francesco Nuvolone (1609-1702)
St. Aloysius Gonzaga by Carlo Francesco Nuvolone (1609-1702)

9. St. Dominic Savio

Age 14 – (1842-1857)

Dominic is the youngest canonized saint in the Catholic Church that was not a martyr. Rather, his pious life was enough. St. John Bosco both guided him and wrote his biography, describing his miracles and intense love for God. More Info

St. Dominic Savio
St. Dominic Savio

8. St. Perpetua

Age 22 – (c. 181-c. 203)

Living in the Roman Empire, Perpetua’s father pleaded with her to renounce her Christian faith. She refused and was both thrown into wild beasts and taken down by the sword. More Info

St. Perpetua (Church of Notre-Dame of Vierzon, France) - Photo by Gaetan Poix
St. Perpetua (Church of Notre-Dame of Vierzon, France) – Photo by Gaetan Poix

7. St. Philomena

Age 13 – (c. 291-c. 304)

The body of a woman named “Philomena” was found in 1802 in the Catacomb of Priscilla in Rome. According to visions by a nun, Philomena told her that she was a Greek princess who was martyred for her faith. Multiple miracles have been attributed to Philomena’s intercession. More Info

St. Philomena - Wikimedia Commons
St. Philomena – Wikimedia Commons

6. St. Dymphna

Age 14 – (7th century)

According to traditional narratives, Dymphna was the daughter of a petty king in Ireland in the 7th century. After the death of her mother, Dymphna’s father became mentally ill and desired to marry her. She fled to Belgium, but her father found and beheaded her. She is the patron saint of mental disorders. More Info

The beheading of Saint Dymphna by Godfried Maes (1649–1700)
The beheading of Saint Dymphna by Godfried Maes (1649–1700)

5. St. Kateri Tekakwitha

Age 24 – (c. 1656-1680)

Kateri was an Algonquin-Mohawk Native American who converted to Catholicism at the age of 19. Her tribe shunned her, but she was relentless in her love for Jesus for the rest of her life. She was canonized by Pope Benedict XVI in 2012. More Info

St. Kateri Tekakwitha
St. Kateri Tekakwitha

4. St. Maria Goretti

Age 11 – (1890-1902)

While Maria was alone, a teenage boy named Alessandro tried to seduce her. When she refused, he stabbed her 14 times. At the hospital, she forgave him before dying. Alessandro soon repented. More Info

St. Maria Goretti - by Giuseppe Brovelli-Soffredini (1929)
St. Maria Goretti – by Giuseppe Brovelli-Soffredini (1929)

3. St. Agnes of Rome

Age 12 or 13 – (c. 291-c. 304)

Since the fourth century, Agnes has been held at the highest honor of all the virgin martyrs. The specifics of her martyrdom are not known beyond myths and legends. The Church has celebrated her dedication to purity at such a young age, even to death. More Info

St. Agnes of Rome - Wikimedia Commons
St. Agnes of Rome – Wikimedia Commons

2. St. Joan of Arc

Age ~19 – (c. 1412-1431)

Joan, a peasant girl, received visions of St. Michael the Archangel, St. Margaret, and St. Catherine of Alexandria to rise up and help the French defeat the English in the Hundred Years’ War. After much convincing, her help led to an eventual French victory. She was captured and sentenced to death by a pro-English bishop. The Catholic Church negated the charges 25 years later. More Info

Joan of Arc's Death at the Stake - by Hermann Anton Stilke (1843)
Joan of Arc’s Death at the Stake – by Hermann Anton Stilke (1843)

1. St. Thérèse of Lisieux

Age 24 – (1873-1897)

Thérèse is one of the most popular saints in the history of the Catholic Church. She overcame many obstacles to become a Carmelite nun at the age of 15. She is famous for her “Little Way,” where one does everything out of great love. Thérèse describes herself as the “Little Flower” that sits back and lets Jesus love her. Her approach is simple and practical. In 1997, St. John Paul II gave her the title of “Doctor of the Church.” She is the youngest Doctor of the Church ever. More Info

St Thérèse of Lisieux
St Thérèse of Lisieux