Are all living Catholics on Earth saints?

  1. I was wondering if it would be correct to say that all Catholics on Earth are saints?

  2. Also I’d like to know if it would be correct to say that Catholics on Earth are “saints militant”, saints in heaven are “saints militant”, etc? Basically to use the word “saints” and “church” interchangeably there?
    Thanks everyone.

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No. I was told that we will be judged more harshly than others because we should have known better.




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I believe “saint” is a person in heaven, however, I would like to refer to myself as a “future saint.”

Those on Earth are part of the Church Militant, those in purgatory are the Church Penitent, and those in heave, the Church Triumphant.


Certainly no. Lots of nominal Catholics whose lives are indistinguishable from the lives of unbelievers, for example. God knows the hearts and only He knows who will join the communion of saints in Heaven.


Have you met me…

I have a lot to work on…


Correct. There is no heckin’ way that all Catholics on earth are saints. To be a saint is to put Lord Jesus Christ radically first in one’s life, even unto the point of sacrificing everything, even life itself. We are called to remove our every idolatrous attachment that stands between us and him. Many of us struggle to even clean out our excess possessions piled up in our closets, much less in our hearts, and so we turn away from him in sorrow, for we have many possessions.


Especially the ones from Fresno… 5:00 PM traffic on the 180… :rage:


Nah…just wannabes! Thats me anyhow.

A saint is anybody who is a resident of Heaven.

We begin our Heaven or hell here on Earth but things are transitory here and we can gain or lose grace very quickly.

The Church on Earth is also called the Church militant.


:laughing: LOL I live in the foresty 'burbs yonder Seattle now

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Are all Catholics on earth Saints? What do you think a saint is?

I"m asking this because a religion teacher supposedly told a religion class this. It’s possible I am getting a garbled message of what he said, and I think his statement is wrong, but I am wondering if there is another way to understand this, or if I am oversimplifying it in some way. I have a TON of respect for this teacher, and I am surprised that he would say something this obviously “off”.
So just looking for possible explanantions of a way this could be accurate.

Thanks everyone for the answers so far!
Also a priest who I respect very much used those terms “saints militant”, “saints triumphant” and “saints penitent” in a homily on All Saints Day, and I wondered if you could interchange saints with “church” completely in that context.

St Paul routinely addresses the people of the churches he writes to as saints:

to the church of God that is in Corinth, with all the holy ones throughout Achaia.
2 Cor 1:1

That usage counts people who have been sanctified by baptism without judging them to be sinners. This is a different usage from saint as a duly recognized person remembered by the church.


NOPE we are sinners on the road to Sainthood.

Catholic Encyclopedia

The communion of saints is the spiritual solidarity which binds together the faithful on earth, the souls in purgatory, and the saints in heaven in the organic unity of the same mystical body under Christ its head, and in a constant interchange of supernatural offices. The participants in that solidarity are called saints by reason of their destination and of their partaking of the fruits of the Redemption (1 Corinthians 1:2 — Greek Text). The damned are thus excluded from the communion of saints. The living, even if they do not belong to the body of the true Church, share in it according to the measure of their union with Christ and with the soul of the Church.

Sollier, J. (1908). The Communion of Saints. In The Catholic Encyclopedia. New York: Robert Appleton Company.
Ecclesiastical approbation. Nihil Obstat. Remy Lafort, Censor. Imprimatur. +John M. Farley, Archbishop of New York.


A correction is in order.

the Church Militant (Latin: Ecclesia militans), which consists of Christians on earth who struggle as soldiers of Christ against sin, the devil, and “the rulers of the world of this darkness, against the spirits of wickedness in the high places”

the Church Penitent (Latin: Ecclesia poenitens), also called the Church Suffering (Latin: Ecclesia dolens) or the Church Expectant (Latin: Ecclesia expectans), which in the theology of certain churches, especially that of the Catholic Church, consists of those Christians currently in Purgatory; and

the Church Triumphant (Latin: Ecclesia triumphans), which consists of those who have the beatific vision and are in Heaven.

THAT SAID, any who were born Catholic and/or label themselves Catholic yet are e.g, Gravely DisObedient to e.g.: God // Pertinent Catholic Teachings - obviously are Not Holy / Saintly


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Thank you Vico, that helps a lot. In fact, New Advent define “The Faithful”:

So, I guess the part that I have trouble understanding, is what about the people who call themselves Catholic, have been initiated into the rites of the Church, but don’t accept all the doctrine? (Not to mention any names! :slight_smile: )

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  1. Potentially.
  2. “Church” militant. Not all will be Saints, even though all are called and all have that possibility, through cooperation with God’s grace.
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