This is just a curiosity for me, but I’ve wondered about it for a while (I am new to the Church, just beginning RCIA). I have read about and understand the process of canonization of individuals as saints. However, I am somewhat confused about the practice of calling angels “saints.” The Catechism, for example mentions St. Gabriel, St. Raphael, etc. Angels loyal to God are of course holy, but how can they be “saints” in the sense people can be when they are made holy through the redemtive work of Christ?
If I recall correctly “Saint” is simply from the Latin for “holy” and that to be in heaven and in the presence of God requires one to be holy
Therefore angels, since they too, by definition, are in the presence of God, are …saints
It is generally the practice of the Church not to comment on the fate of individual souls after death since that judgment is left to God HOWEVER there are certain individuals through their conspicuous action during their life and attributed miracles after their death whom the church believes to also have “made it” to the big time and thus they get the honorific “saint” as well
The on-line Catholic Encyclopedia’s definition of and commentary on Angels may be found at
As for why the Catholic Church regards angels as saints, it would be well for you read the
Catholic Encyclopedia’s article on The Communion of Saints, wherein the Catholic Doctrine
on this matter is thoroughly explained. In this explanation, it is noted that St. Thomas teaches
that the angels, though not redeemed, enter the communion of saints because they come under
Christ’s power and receive of His gratia capitis.**
Originally posted by Steve Andersen:**
It is generally the practice of the Church not to comment on the fate of individual souls after death since that judgment is left to God HOWEVER…
John Paul II’s has presided over the canonization of a whopping 476 saints, many of whom
are non-European. All other popes in the twentieth century canonized a total of 98 saints.
More on this at christianitytoday.com/history/newsletter/2003/oct24.html