A saint is a person who has been canonized (declared a saint) by the Roman Catholic Church. This is normally considered to be an infallible decree of the Pope. While most saints are canonized, a number are recognized as saints despite not having been canonized. All of the Old Testament prophets fall into this category. Throughout history, many saints have become traditionally viewed as patrons of various illnesses, groups of people, and places. A saint has also been defined as a known or unknown person in heaven. For that reason, on November 1st every year we celebrate All Saints Day. It is possible that Sophie may indeed be an unknown saint.
Chris told me that Sophie would often bless him, her nurses, and other people that she loved with a sign of the cross, three times on their forehead. He recalled how each time she was admitted to the City of Hope Hospital, she requested to have a crucifix or a cross in her room. On one of the many times they went to the hospital to admit her, Sophie said to Chris,
“This room is not ready for me. There is no cross in this room.”
Chris went to the white slate board, the one the nurses write on,
and drew a cross for her to see. Sophie said, “Now it is ready!"
The white dry-erase board in Sophie’s hospital room, with the cross Chris added.
Most children at her tender age would have been understandably scared, needy, dependent and self-centered. But this dear child, “Little” Sophie, who, as her mother Maria had written for the poster, “Endured such terrible pain that she cried in her sleep”, would still end her evening prayers every night before going to bed by praying for “all the sick children in the world”.
Was she saintly? All one can say is that she was under the age of reason and never sinned, and by 5 years of age, she had received Baptism, First Holy Communion, Confirmation, and the Last Rites. All of these Sacraments were so very important to Sophie. One might say she was too young to appreciate Baptism. But Sophie came to realize that in order to receive the other sacraments she had to be baptized. In my humble opinion, it was remarkable how much this sweet child understood God and truly loved Jesus. As we explore her spiritual journey, you will see how much she wanted to carry Him in her heart.