Surprisingly, to be a saint one has to have heroic virtue. Nelson Mandela’s life displayed heroic virtue, so the Vatican should begin the process of canonizing him. Nelson Mandela had some tough times growing up (LA Times). Nelson Mandela started out always angry and suffered from depression after his father passed away. He agreed with his friends that he should be called a terrorist. He had to get away from negativity and move towards positivity so he changed his lifestyle (LA Times). In order for one to become a saint, one must undergo the steps of canonization. There are five steps to becoming a saint (BBC). The first step is to wait five years after the death of the proposed saint. The second step is for the bishop of the diocese to investigate his or her holiness. The third step is to show proof of a life of heroic virtue. The fourth and fifth steps are to verify miracles and begin canonization (BBC). The Vatican should begin the process of granting sainthood to Nelson Mandela since he has been dead for five years and is a holy person. He should also become a saint because he lived a life of heroic virtue. It is not fair if he does not become canonized.
Nelson Mandela was born on July 18, 1918 (Biography.com). He was a political leader and the president of South Africa. He was a leader of the anti-apartheid movement. The apartheid movement was about segregation and discrimination in South Africa (Biography.com). Nelson Mandela was a Methodist and Christian. Nelson Mandela was divorced two times and married three times having six children (Biography.com). Nelson Mandela attended the University College of Fort Hare, which is a prestigious school for blacks in South Africa. He had a high education in learning and was one of the top students in his class. (Biography.com). When his father passed away from lung cancer, Nelson Mandela had a hard time with depression. He struggled with mental health and because of that became crazy. He got help and was able to put his life on track becoming president. He went to prison for 27 years after he went to Robben Island to sabotage, and overthrow the South African government in order to end apartheid. His time in prison gave him time to think back on what he did to achieve change in the world (Biography.com). After Nelson Mandela got out of jail, he used his thoughts from prison and won the Nobel Peace Prize for ending apartheid in South Africa. He then became the first black president in South Africa to fight for equality. Eventually, Nelson Mandela retired from politics, when his health started to decline. Nelson Mandela died on December 5, 2013, from a lung infection (Biography.com).
Nelson Mandela should be a saint because he gained equality and justice in South Africa by ending apartheid. Nelson Mandela saw inequality in South Africa that he wanted to change. He knew that there needed to be an end to it. There would not be a change if anybody did not speak up (Britannica). So, Nelson Mandela spoke up for what he believed in. Fighting for equality displays heroic virtue by standing up and leading a movement that involves equality. Heroic virtue is an important quality in a saint and Nelson Mandela shows heroic virtue when “Mandela led the ANC in negotiations with de Klerk to end apartheid and bring about a peaceful transition to non-racial democracy in South Africa”(Britannica). Nelson Mandela wanted to bring peace into the world, which made him win the Nobel Peace Prize. Nelson Mandela knew that inequality could not happen much longer. It was time for South Africa to bring a non-racial democracy instead of a racial democracy. Nelson Mandela wanted democracy to show love instead of violence. Nelson Mandela stood up to his country which makes his actions a heroic virtue and worthy of becoming a saint.
Another reason why Nelson Mandela should be a saint is that he was inspired by Martin Luther King’s ways, and he followed them. Martin Luther King Jr. and Nelson Mandela never met before (Chelsea House). However, Martin Luther King Jr. and Nelson Mandela are similar in many ways. Martin Luther King Jr. and Nelson Mandela had similar struggles in life, which made Nelson Mandela feel connected to him. They both had to fight through segregation and discrimination in their homelands. They both followed their father’s footsteps by creating change in their countries. Even though they came from different countries, they went through similar problems. They had to face discrimination and segregation. They both gave speeches about how they felt about their countries and tried to bring change. Nelson Mandela and Martin Luther King Jr. brought similar change, “Just as Martin Luther King Jr. had attempted to desegregate St. Augustine on its 400th anniversary, Nelson Mandela and others had started their movement in 1952”(Chelsea House). By looking at Martin Luther King Jr’s ways, he was inspired to be a leader of the movement. This shows that Nelson Mandela is a virtuous person because he brought equality to his country making him the perfect person to be a saint.
Finally, Nelson Mandela should be a saint because he teaches others to have love in their heart and one should not judge another just because of the color of their skin. He is trying to make a point that the color of one’s skin doesn’t define that person. In his autobiography, he says that ‘No one is born hating another person because of the color of his skin, or his background, or his religion. People must learn to hate, and if they can learn to hate, they can be taught to love, for love comes more naturally to the human heart than its opposite” (LA Times). This was a problem that Nelson Mandela noticed, and he knew that this needed to be fixed. Nelson Mandela taught people how to love one another, and treat people with respect. He taught people right from wrong because he had similar struggles when he was growing up.
On the other hand, Nelson Mandela should not be a saint because he went to jail for 27 years after overthrowing the Rivonia Trial (Britannica). The Rivonia Trial was a trial that changed South Africa after Nelson Mandela tried to end apartheid (Famous Trials). Britannica says that, “In October 1963 the imprisoned Mandela and several other men were tried for sabotage, treason, and violent conspiracy in the infamous Rivonia Trial, named after a fashionable suburb of Johannesburg where raiding police had discovered quantities of arms and equipment at the headquarters of the underground Umkhonto we Sizwe” (Britannica). Knowing that he went to jail, society would assume that he was not a good person. One must not go to jail to be a saint. Nelson Mandela and his followers could have led an organization to end apartheid instead of going to jail for sabotaging the Rivonia Trial. Going to jail will get one more in trouble than to lead an organization.
In conclusion, Nelson Mandela should be a saint because he followed all of the qualifications to be a saint. It is clear that he should have been canonized five years ago because of what he did to resolve inequality. He faced many struggles that helped him grow as a better person. He taught himself that he can not change the world if he can not change himself. He was the one who changed himself because of him going to jail and learning from his mistakes. His heroic virtue shows that he saw inequality happening and knew that he could not let it continue to happen. He should also be a saint because he showed how one can turn hatred into love. He knew that being always angry would not help create change, but to bring more negativity in the world. Positivity will be the only way to end violence and negativity. By Nelson Mandela going to jail, that helped him to see that he needs to start with himself before worrying about anything else. Another heroic virtue is that he learned from his struggles, and grew to be the best leader that he could be. Despite him going to jail for many years, that does not mean that he doesn’t qualify to be a saint. Lots of people go to jail and then end up being famous. Just because someone went to jail doesn’t mean that they are a bad person. They learn from their mistakes and move on with their lives. Society just looks at the outside of the person, and the negative actions that they did. It is more in the inside that matters. There are some positive aspects to that person. Nelson Mandela did the same thing by going to jail and then helped change the world. When he was in jail, he did not let that stop him from becoming a leader of the anti-apartheid movement. He continued to create change in his country. Even though he had a tough time growing up, he didn’t let that stop him. With being a saint, one must also show love and learn from their mistakes. Without him, inequality would have still happened and nobody would have stood up for it to stop.
He should have been canonized a long time ago because of what he did for his country. He may have gone to jail, but he still loved his country no matter what. One can have a little hate but they also must be taught to love. He wants to let society know that obstacles will always be in the way, but one must overcome that obstacle and move on. If someone sees a problem in their country that has been going on for quite a while, then they should go and end it. Nelson Mandela told everyone, “You have to change yourself before you can change others” (LA Times).