Today’s Saint

Daily Journey with the Saints

March 22 | Talent

Saint Nicholas Owen

A.D. 1562–1606

You don’t need more talent. You have so many talents that you cannot even fully exercise one of them in this lifetime.

That’s why it is essential from time to time to turn to God and ask, “OK God, which talent do you want me to focus on at this time in my life?”

For Saint Nicholas Owen, even though he was a Jesuit trained to maximize his intellectual talents, the talent God was calling him to use was carpentry. And Nicholas used it to save lives.

Nicholas was a Jesuit lay brother during an intense time of persecution for Catholics in England. Known as “Little John,” he constructed hiding places for priests, known as "priest holes," in the homes of Catholic sympathizers. These ingeniously designed and well-concealed spaces were credited with saving countless lives during the hunt for Catholic clergy.

Nicholas may have expected to preach brilliant homilies as a Jesuit, or be sent to a far-off land as a missionary. But his job was to save lives right where he was. From age twenty-four to forty-four, he used his unique skill for building to stay up all night completing projects. At the end of his life, he gave himself up to distract the authorities from finding the hidden priests where he was living at the time. He was brutally tortured, but gave up no information, and died knowing he saved many lives.

God gave Saint Nicholas Owen all the talents he needed. And he has given you all the talents you need. We often say something along the lines of, “I wish I could do this” or “I’m the only one who can’t do that.” It’s helpful to leave that kind of self-talk behind. If you don't have a talent, you don't need it. If you needed it, God would have given it to you.

Focus on the talents you do have, and ask God which one he is asking you to use right now.


I have all the talent I need.

This reflection is brought to you from book title.

Patron Saint of: Illusionists and Escapologists

Feast Day: March 22

Feast Day Shared By: Saint Paul of Narbonne and Saint Leah

Canonized: Pope Paul VI

Canonized By: October 25, 1970

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