Thursday October 29th 2020

What is a Saint?

What is a Saint?

According to St. Paul, a “saint” is a follower of Christ (Col 1:2). In that way, we are all saints. However, over the centuries, the word “saint” has come to mean a person who has lived a life of great charity and heroic virtue. In that way, we are not saints…unless, of course, you use the definition of Fr. Bernard Carges: “A saint is a sinner who keeps on trying.”

Veneration of Saints

Very early in Church history, certain individuals became identified as noteworthy of praise and honor. At first, these were the martyrs who gave their life in defense of their faith, but later these were extended to others whose lives touched many people. Since it is a common Christian pratice to ask others to pray for you, people felt that those that had died and had gone to heaven, and thus, were alive in Christ, would be the perfect people to ask to pray for you since they were close to God. Thus began the practice of calling on the saints for help, and giving them praise and honor. This is officially called invocations and veneration. This is to be differentiated from the praise, adoration and worship that is given to God. Only God is worthy of our adoration and worship.

Canonization of Saints

The Church believes that all of those who have died and gone to heaven are saints. Who goes to heaven is determined by God. The Gospels tell us that if you believe in Jesus, even if you die, you will have eternal life, but Jesus, also, tells us (Matthew 25:31-46) that many may claim to be Jesus’ followers, but if they do not help the least of God’s people, they will not inherit the kingdom.

In the early Church, many were proclaimed by the people to be saints. If these were martyrs, it was assumed that they were indeed with Christ in Heaven, but for those who died natural deaths, the possibility existed that they may not be in heaven, for no one knows the mind of God. Thus, the Church instituted the process of canonization.

First, the Church intensely examines the life of a perspective saint. Second, a sign that this person is in heaven is given when two documented miracles can be attributed to the intercession of this person by prayer. For instance, let us pretend that there is a possible saint named “Jenny”. “Jenny” lived a good life and died. Now, someone in desperate trouble calls on “Jenny” in prayer and asks her to intercede with God. If a miracle happens after this, and is documented as being unexplainable by natural means, then “Jenny” has a miracle attributed to her.

After canonization, the Church allows:

  1. public veneration of this saint (please note: veneration is NOT worship).
  2. the saint to be included in public prayers.
  3. churches to be named in the saint’s honor.
  4. the saint to be included in the Mass and Liturgy of the Hours.
  5. a day assigned to the saint on the liturgical calendar.
  6. pictorial representation of the saint.
  7. public veneration of the saint’s relics.

What are Relics?

Relics are either the bodies of the saints, parts of their bodies, or something used of touched by a saint. There are three kinds of relics:

  1. first-class – a part of a saint’s body.
  2. second-class – something used by the saint.
  3. third-class – an object touched to a first-class relic.

The veneration of relics comes from the tradition of the early church of celebrating Mass in the Roman Catacombs (underground tombs in Rome) where martyrs were buried and protected Roman Law from being disturbed. As a result of this practice, a first-class relic of a martyr id placed in the altar of a newly consecrated Church. Please check our Church History page for information about what relics we have in our Church.

What is an Incorruptable Saint?

Certain Saints, at the time of their death or many years later after they were exhumed, were found to be incorruptable. That is to say, their bodies did not decompose. In many cases this was before any embalming or mummification pratices were used in Europe, so there is no scientific explaination for this lack of decay. In incorrupt saint can appear almost as if alive or may look like a mummy with darked skin drawn tight, but the body retains a suppleness and has no signs of decay. Some recent research has shown that a few saints thought to be incorrupt, were actually preserved through some process, but this is a small percentage of those saints called incorrupt. Many incorrupt saints are on display in churches throughout Europe.

Some curious facts:

  • Some incorrupt saints have undergone decapitation or having their tongues or hands cut off after death. The part of the body removed is then displayed in one church while the rest of the body is displayed elsewhere (even this devout Deacon finds this pretty gruesome).
  • Not all saints incorrupt, and no one can figure out why those that are incorrupt have remained that way.
  • The Russian Communists hoping to capture the imagination of the religious serfs of Russia, preserved Lenin’s body and put it on display like an incorrupt saint. Unlike the incorrupt saints, 70 doctors and a lot of equipment and chemicals keep Lenin for decomposing

Patron Saints

A patron is a benefactor or protector. Since very early in Church history, there were some saints regarded as protectors and intercessors for persons, churches and dioceses and for the Church universal. The name taken in Baptism and Confirmation is frequently of a patron saint. Very early on, saints became associated with certain causes or professions and became the patrons of those causes and professions. They are called upon as asked to pray for us in these fields.

Some curious examples:

  • Patron Saint of Artists – St. Luke – even though Luke was a Doctor, he was believed to have painted the first icon. St. Luke is also the patron of Doctors (along with several other saints).
  • Patron Saint of Cooks – St. Lawrence – Lawrence was a Deacon who died as a martyr by being roasted alive on a large griddle by the Romans. It is said (and this is not a joke) that during his sufferings, Lawrence told his torturers: “Turn me over I am done on this side.”
  • Patron Saint of Dentists – St. Apollonia – her teeth were pulled out by her Roman torturers.
  • Patron Saint of Headache suffers – St. Teresa of Avila – she suffered from extreme migraines
  • Patron Saint of Paratroopers – St. Michael the Archangel – If I jump from a plane, I hope I have a pair of wings!
  • Patron Saint of Voting – St. Chadno kidding! St. Chad was appointed bishop of York by an English King. The king’s son appointed someone else. When the new Archbishop of Canterbury arrived in England, he accused Chad of being improperly selected as bishop. Chad humbly stepped down. The Archbisop was so impressed by Chad’s response, that he asked the king to make Chad bishop in another diocese.

To find out more about the saints, check out these books:
Lives of the Saints(2 volumes) by Rev. Hugo Hoever and published by Catholic Book Publishing Co.
Pocket Dictionary of Saints by John J. Delaney and published by Image Books.
Butler’s Lives of the Saints – there are many editions, but this is considered the definitive book on saints.

Written by Deacon George Kozak (6/02)Click here to see other of his posts

Reader Feedback

88 Responses to “What is a Saint?”

  1. I could not refrain from commenting. Exceptionally well written!|

  2. yeezys says:

    Spot on with this write-up, I actually assume this website needs way more consideration. I抣l most likely be once more to learn much more, thanks for that info.

  3. yeezy boost says:

    I抎 must examine with you here. Which isn’t something I often do! I get pleasure from reading a post that will make folks think. Also, thanks for permitting me to remark!

  4. Scotty Arana says:

    Hello what an amazine site to behold, thanks

  5. It is best to participate in a contest for the most effective blogs on the web. I will recommend this web site!

  6. What an amazin and awesome blog, I was just passing by and decided to stop by and say hi and to thank the owner of this blog for an awesome job.

  7. I am truly happy to read this website posts which contains plenty of useful data, thanks for providing such
    statistics.

  8. Death says:

    Thanks for finally talking about > What is a Saint?
    < Liked it!

  9. yeezys says:

    Can I simply say what a relief to search out someone who really is aware of what theyre speaking about on the internet. You definitely know how to carry an issue to light and make it important. More individuals must learn this and perceive this aspect of the story. I cant imagine youre not more well-liked since you positively have the gift.

  10. I was very pleased to seek out this web-site.I needed to thanks in your time for this wonderful learn!! I positively having fun with every little bit of it and I have you bookmarked to check out new stuff you weblog post.

  11. Jordan AJ 1 says:

    [url=https://www.yeezys.org.uk/][b]Yeezy[/b][/url]

    [url=https://www.yeezyadidas.de/][b]Adidas yeezy[/b][/url]

    [url=https://www.adidasyeezy.co/][b]Adidas yeezy[/b][/url]

    [url=https://www.yeezyshoess.com/][b]Yeezy Shoes[/b][/url]

    [url=https://www.adidasyeezyofficialwebsite.us/][b]Adidas Yeezy Official Website[/b][/url]

    [url=https://www.discountuggsoutlet.us/][b]Discount UGG Outlet[/b][/url]

    [url=https://www.uggoutlet.store/][b]UGG Outlet[/b][/url]

    [url=https://www.yeezy350.me.uk/][b]Yeezy 350[/b][/url]

    [url=https://www.adidasyeezy.me.uk/][b]Adidas Yeezy[/b][/url]

    [url=https://www.ugguk.org.uk/][b]UGG UK[/b][/url]

    [url=https://www.yeezy350.de/][b]Yeezy 350[/b][/url]

    [url=https://www.uggsoutlet.us/][b]UGGS Outlet[/b][/url]

    [url=https://www.timberlands.me.uk/][b]Timberland[/b][/url]

    [url=https://www.timberlandshoes.org.uk/][b]Timberland Shoes[/b][/url]

    [url=http://www.airmax97.us.com/][b]Air Max 97[/b][/url]

    [url=http://www.max270.us.com/][b]Nike Air Max 270[/b][/url]

    [url=http://www.supplyyeezy.us.com/][b]Yeezy Supply[/b][/url]

    [url=http://www.kobebryant-jersey.us/][b]Kobe Bryant Jersey[/b][/url]

    [url=http://www.kobebryantjerseysforsale.us/][b]Kobe Bryant Jerseys For Sale[/b][/url]

    [url=http://www.kobebryantjersey24.us/][b]Kobe Bryant Jersey 24[/b][/url]

    [url=http://www.kobebryantwebsiteofficial.us/][b]Kobe Bryant Website Official[/b][/url]

    [url=http://www.yeezy-shoe.us.com/][b]Yeezy[/b][/url]

    [url=http://www.yeezymafia.us.com/][b]Yeezy[/b][/url]

    [url=http://www.nikes.us.com/][b]Nike Shoes[/b][/url]

    [url=http://www.nikeshoes.us.org/][b]Nike Shoes[/b][/url]

    [url=http://www.nfl-jerseys.us.org/][b]NFL Jerseys[/b][/url]

    [url=http://www.yeezyboost350.us.com/][b]Yeezy Boost 350[/b][/url]

    [url=http://www.yeezy.com.co/][b]Yeezy Shoes[/b][/url]

    [url=http://www.nikeoutletstoreonlineshopping.us/][b]Nike Outlet[/b][/url]

    [url=http://www.yeezy380.us/][b]Yeezy 380[/b][/url]

    [url=http://www.yeezy380.us.com/][b]Yeezy 380[/b][/url]

    [url=http://www.nikefactory.us.com/][b]Nike Outlet[/b][/url]

    [url=http://www.humanraces.us.com/][b]Human Races[/b][/url]

    [url=http://www.humanracesshoes.us/][b]Human Race Shoes[/b][/url]

    [url=http://www.basketball-jerseys.us.com/][b]Basketball Jerseys[/b][/url]

    [url=http://www.jerseysbasketball.us/][b]Basketball Jerseys[/b][/url]

    [url=http://www.jerseys-nba.us/][b]Cheap NBA Jerseys[/b][/url]

    [url=http://www.nikes-shoes.us.com/][b]Nike Outlet[/b][/url]

    [url=http://www.yeezy-shoe.us.com/][b]Yeezy Shoes[/b][/url]

    [url=http://www.yeezymafia.us.com/][b]Yeezy Mafia[/b][/url]

    [url=http://www.yeezy350v2.us/][b]Yeezy 350 V2[/b][/url]

    [url=http://www.yeezysofficialsite.us/][b]Yeezys Official Site[/b][/url]

    [url=http://www.yeezyslides.us/][b]Yeezy sliders[/b][/url]

    [url=http://www.jerseys-nba.us.com/][b]NBA Jerseys[/b][/url]

    [url=http://www.jerseysnba.us.com/][b]NBA Jerseys[/b][/url]

    [url=http://www.airjordan-1.us/][b]Air Jordan 1[/b][/url]

    [url=http://www.airjordan1.us.com/][b]Air Jordan 1[/b][/url]

    [url=http://www.jordan-1.us.com/][b]Jordan 1[/b][/url]

    [url=http://www.jordan1s.us.com/][b]Jordan 1s[/b][/url]

    [url=http://www.jordan1s.us/][b]Jordan 1s[/b][/url]

    [url=http://www.retrojordan.us.com/][b]Jordan Retro[/b][/url]

    [url=http://www.jordanretro4.us.com/][b]Jordan Retro 4[/b][/url]

    [url=http://www.jordan4-retro.us/][b]Jordan 4 Retro[/b][/url]

    [url=http://www.jordansshoess.us.com/][b]Jordans Shoes[/b][/url]

    [url=http://www.jordan4s.us/][b]Jordan 4s[/b][/url]

    [url=http://www.diorjordan1.us/][b]Dior Jordan 1[/b][/url]

    [url=http://www.airjordan1mid.us/][b]Air Jordan 1 Mid[/b][/url]

    [url=http://www.jordan11concord.us/][b]Jordan 11 Concord[/b][/url]

    [url=http://www.jordan11retro.us/][b]Jordan 11 Retro[/b][/url]

    [url=http://www.jordan1low.us/][b]Jordan 1 Low[/b][/url]

    [url=http://www.jordan11s.us/][b]Jordan 11s[/b][/url]

    [url=http://www.jordanaj1.us/][b]Jordan AJ 1[/b][/url]

    [url=http://www.nbastores.us/][b]NBA Store[/b][/url]

    [url=http://www.nbaoutletstore.us/][b]NBA Store[/b][/url]

    [url=http://www.yeezystore.us.com/][b]Yeezy[/b][/url]

    [url=http://www.yeezyssneakers.us.com/][b]Yeezy Sneaker[/b][/url]

    [url=http://www.adidasyeezyofficialwebsite.com/][b]Adidas Yeezy Official Website[/b][/url]

    [url=http://www.adidasyeezyonlinestore.us/][b]Adidas Yeezy Online Store[/b][/url]

    [url=http://www.airmaxclearancesale.us/][b]Air Max Clearance Sale[/b][/url]

    [url=http://www.nflshopofficialonlinestore.com/][b]NFL Shop Official Online Store[/b][/url]

    [url=http://www.nikeuk.uk.com/][b]Nike UK[/b][/url]

    [url=http://www.yeezy.uk.com/][b]Yeezy[/b][/url]

    [url=http://www.yeezy350.uk.com/][b]Yeezy 350[/b][/url]

    [url=http://www.adidasyeezy.uk.com/][b]Adidas Yeezy[/b][/url]

  12. golden goose says:

    After I initially commented I clicked the -Notify me when new comments are added- checkbox and now each time a remark is added I get 4 emails with the same comment. Is there any means you possibly can take away me from that service? Thanks!

  13. jordan shoes says:

    There is noticeably a bundle to know about this. I assume you made sure good factors in options also.

  14. off white says:

    This site is known as a walk-by means of for all the information you wanted about this and didn抰 know who to ask. Glimpse here, and you抣l positively uncover it.

  15. kyrie 6 says:

    This site is mostly a stroll-via for the entire info you needed about this and didn抰 know who to ask. Glimpse right here, and also you抣l positively uncover it.

  16. kobe shoes says:

    When I originally commented I clicked the -Notify me when new feedback are added- checkbox and now each time a comment is added I get four emails with the same comment. Is there any approach you possibly can remove me from that service? Thanks!

  17. Spot on with this write-up, I truly think this website needs way more consideration. I抣l probably be once more to learn rather more, thanks for that info.

  18. birkin bag says:

    Would you be all for exchanging hyperlinks?

  19. I’m typically to running a blog and i actually recognize your content. The article has really peaks my interest. I am going to bookmark your web site and maintain checking for brand spanking new information.

  20. This actually answered my downside, thank you!

  21. balenciaga says:

    Good post. I learn something more difficult on totally different blogs everyday. It would at all times be stimulating to learn content material from different writers and observe slightly something from their store. I抎 favor to make use of some with the content material on my blog whether or not you don抰 mind. Natually I抣l offer you a link in your net blog. Thanks for sharing.

  22. You made some respectable points there. I seemed on the internet for the problem and found most people will go together with with your website.

  23. Incredible! This blog looks just like my old one! It’s on a totally different subject but it has pretty much the same page
    layout and design. Excellent choice of colors!

  24. My wife and i got absolutely delighted Edward could do his research by way of the ideas he obtained using your weblog. It is now and again perplexing just to continually be giving away key points a number of people might have been trying to sell. Therefore we fully grasp we need the website owner to be grateful to for that. The most important explanations you have made, the simple blog menu, the relationships your site help create – it’s got most excellent, and it’s really aiding our son in addition to us know that that theme is fun, which is highly important. Many thanks for the whole thing!

  25. I wish to get across my gratitude for your kind-heartedness supporting people who really want guidance on this question. Your real dedication to getting the message across had been especially useful and has usually helped others just like me to get to their pursuits. The useful advice indicates so much a person like me and extremely more to my office workers. Warm regards; from each one of us.

  26. golden goose says:

    I would like to express my thanks to this writer for rescuing me from such a trouble. As a result of surfing through the online world and coming across recommendations which are not beneficial, I thought my entire life was done. Being alive without the approaches to the difficulties you have sorted out all through your short article is a crucial case, as well as ones which may have adversely damaged my career if I had not noticed your blog post. Your personal knowledge and kindness in controlling all areas was invaluable. I’m not sure what I would’ve done if I hadn’t come across such a thing like this. I’m able to now relish my future. Thanks for your time very much for the professional and sensible guide. I won’t be reluctant to propose your blog to any person who would need direction on this topic.

  27. I intended to put you one little bit of observation to finally give thanks the moment again for those spectacular guidelines you have shared in this case. This is really surprisingly open-handed of people like you to present unhampered all many individuals might have advertised as an ebook to help make some cash for themselves, primarily given that you might well have tried it in case you decided. The secrets additionally worked as the fantastic way to realize that most people have similar interest much like my personal own to realize somewhat more related to this issue. Certainly there are many more pleasant instances up front for individuals who read carefully your site.

  28. An intriguing discussion is worth comment. I think that you ought to publish more about this subject,
    it may not be a taboo matter but usually people do not discuss such topics.
    To the next! Best wishes!!

  29. Tesha says:

    Hmm it looks like your site ate my first comment (it was super long) so I guess I’ll just sum it up what I wrote
    and say, I’m thoroughly enjoying your blog. I too am an aspiring blog writer but I’m still new to everything.

    Do you have any recommendations for newbie blog writers?
    I’d certainly appreciate it.

  30. Patricia says:

    There is definately a great deal to find out about
    this issue. I really like all of the points you made.

  31. My wife and i felt absolutely thankful Michael managed to round up his analysis from the ideas he gained through your web pages. It is now and again perplexing just to always be giving freely guides which most people might have been selling. And we fully understand we now have you to be grateful to for this. The type of illustrations you have made, the simple blog navigation, the friendships your site help to instill – it is everything sensational, and it’s assisting our son in addition to the family do think this content is interesting, which is certainly unbelievably essential. Many thanks for the whole lot!

  32. moncler sale says:

    I wish to convey my respect for your generosity in support of men and women that actually need help with in this question. Your personal commitment to passing the solution all over was remarkably valuable and have always empowered employees like me to get to their objectives. Your entire informative recommendations implies this much to me and even further to my fellow workers. Thanks a lot; from each one of us.

  33. goyard says:

    I enjoy you because of all your valuable effort on this site. My aunt really likes engaging in investigations and it is easy to understand why. I hear all of the powerful mode you make efficient tips and hints through your web blog and in addition invigorate participation from website visitors about this theme while my child is in fact studying a whole lot. Have fun with the remaining portion of the year. You’re the one performing a tremendous job.

  34. lebron shoes says:

    I have to convey my respect for your kindness for those people that really want guidance on the topic. Your special commitment to getting the message all around turned out to be rather insightful and has continually empowered girls like me to arrive at their endeavors. The useful tutorial signifies so much to me and far more to my colleagues. Thanks a lot; from all of us.

  35. I would like to express some appreciation to the writer just for rescuing me from this particular predicament. Because of searching through the world-wide-web and seeing strategies that were not pleasant, I was thinking my entire life was over. Existing minus the answers to the problems you’ve solved as a result of your entire posting is a critical case, as well as those which could have in a negative way damaged my career if I had not noticed the website. That expertise and kindness in touching all the pieces was crucial. I am not sure what I would have done if I had not come upon such a subject like this. I can also at this time look forward to my future. Thanks a lot so much for this reliable and result oriented help. I will not think twice to endorse the blog to anyone who needs to have counselling on this problem.

  36. air jordan says:

    Thank you for all of the work on this web site. My mother take interest in going through investigation and it’s really obvious why. We all notice all of the compelling means you create functional ideas by means of this website and boost participation from website visitors on that subject matter while our favorite girl is certainly becoming educated so much. Have fun with the remaining portion of the year. You are always doing a useful job.

  37. Thanks for every one of your labor on this website. My mum take interest in working on research and it is easy to understand why. Many of us know all relating to the lively mode you convey simple ideas through your website and therefore inspire response from others on this topic so our favorite simple princess is undoubtedly becoming educated a whole lot. Take advantage of the remaining portion of the new year. You are conducting a good job.

Leave a Reply