The other day I saw a quote I really liked on the board in front of a church as I was passing by. However I don't remember it 100% and wanted to see the source of the quote.

Unfortunately I don't remember exactly which church it was (there are a few on this one street).

The quote was something like this:

"If you are doing what you should be doing, then you will light a fire to the world."

I think it might be a bible quote but I am not completely sure.

2 Answers 2


The quote comes from St Catherine of Siena (1347–1380), a third-order Dominican, theologian, and Doctor of the Church. According to the book Saint Catherine of Siena as Seen in her Letters, it is adapted from a quote in her Letter 386. This letter was written to her young friend Stefano Maconi. The original reads:

Se sarete quello che dovete essere, metterete fuoco in tutta Italia, non tanto costi.

That is,

If you are the kind of person whom you ought to be, you will set a fire in all Italy, and not only over there [i.e. where he is currently].

Pope St John Paul II adapted this in an address given in 2000, saying

If you are what you should be, you will set the whole world ablaze!

And Wikiquote attributes a similar adaptation to Church of England bishop Richard Chartres in 2011:

Be who God meant you to be and you will set the world on fire.

  • You had a space between the closing bracket and the opening parenthesis.
    – JBH
    Sep 26, 2018 at 16:59

It's not a Bible quote, but it does reflect a message from Jesus' Sermon on the Mount. Matthew 5:14-16.

Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid. Neither do men light a candle, and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick; and it giveth light unto all that are in the house. Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.

In other words, if you're doing what you should be doing, you will be a light to others — you'll light a fire to the world.

Or, in the immortal words of Charles Wright... It's not what you look like when you're doing what you're doing, It's what you're doing when you're doing what you Look like you're doing....

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