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  #1  
Old Jul 12, '04, 8:31 pm
Hudsonite Hudsonite is offline
Junior Member
 
Join Date: May 20, 2004
Posts: 125
Religion: Catholic
Default Is Saint Christopher no longer a saint?

In our last church bulletin there was an article on St. Christopher that I find in part hard to swallow. Can you tell me if this is true?
All these years of having a St. Christopher medal in my car to find out the the Church doesn't even recognize him!
(Bulletin)
The Church began honoring saints by the year 100 AD. The practice grew from the long standing Jewish practice of honoring prophets and holy people with shrines. ... Canonization has only been used since the 10th century. Prior to that saints were chosen by public acclaim. With that process, some saints stories were distorted by legend and some never existed. In 1969 the Church reviewed all the saints on its calendar to see if there was historical evidence of each saints existence. After discovering that there was little proof that many saints including some very popular ones ever lived, some were dropped from the calendar of feast days. Among those who were dropped is Saint Christopher, patron saint of travels. There are several legends about him....but he was determined to be based on legend and was taken off the universal calendar.

Last edited by Peggy Frye; Jul 13, '04 at 8:32 am.
  #2  
Old Jul 13, '04, 2:08 pm
Peggy Frye Peggy Frye is offline
Catholic Answers Apologist
 
Join Date: May 4, 2004
Posts: 396
Default Re: Is Saint Christopher no longer a saint?

Once completed, the act of canonization is irrevocable. In some cases a person has been popularly "canonized" without official solemnization by the Church . . . yet any act short of solemn canonization by the Roman pontiff is not an infallible declaration of sanctity. Should circumstances demand, the Church may limit the public cult of such a person popularly "canonized" (vol. 3, 55-56, 59, 61). http://www.ewtn.com/library/ANSWERS/CACANONI.HTM

The removal of saints from the liturgical calendar is explained in the Second Vatican Council’s 1963 document Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy:

111. Lest the feasts of the saints should take precedence over the feasts which commemorate the very mysteries of salvation, many of them should be left to be celebrated by a particular Church or nation or family of religious; only those should be extended to the universal Church which commemorate saints who are truly of universal importance.

Then in 1969, the motu proprio of Paul VI for the reform of the Liturgical calendar for says,

“With the passage of centuries, it must be admitted, the faithful have become accustomed to many special religious devotions that the principal mysteries of the redemption have lost their proper place. This was due partly to the increased number of vigils, holydays, and octaves, partly to the gradual overlapping of various seasons in the liturgical year.

The purpose of the reordering of the liturgical year and of the norms accomplishing its reform, therefore, is that through faith, hope, and love the faithful may share more deeply in "the whole mystery of Christ as it unfolds throughout the year."

With the passage of centuries, it must be admitted, the faithful have become accustomed to many special religious devotions that the principal mysteries of the redemption have lost their proper place. This was due partly to the increased number of vigils, holydays, and octaves, partly to the gradual overlapping of various seasons in the liturgical year.

Undeniably, however, over the course of the centuries more feasts of the saints were introduced than was necessary; therefore the Council pointed out: "Lest the feasts of the saints take precedence over the feasts commemorating the very mysteries of salvation, many of them should be left to be celebrated by a particular Church or nation or religious family; those only should be extended to the universal Church that commemorate saints of truly universal significance."

To put these decrees of the Council into effect, the names of some saints have been deleted from the General Calendar and permission was granted to restore the memorials and veneration of other saints in those areas with which they have been traditionally associated. The removal of certain lesser-known saints from the Roman Calendar has allowed the addition of the names of martyrs from regions where the Gospel spread later in history. In consequence, the single catalogue displays in equal dignity as representatives of all peoples those who either shed their blood for Christ or were outstanding in the heroic virtues. “
http://www.catholicculture.org/docs/...fm?recnum=5934

The bottom line is this: St. Christopher (and others) remains a saint and is still deserving of our love and devotion. It also means you can keep the St. Christopher medal in your car.

Further reading:
General Norms for the Liturgical Year and the Calendar:
http://catholicculture.org/docs/doc_...fm?recnum=5932

Last edited by Fr. Vincent Serpa; Oct 13, '07 at 1:10 pm.
 

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