Aren't We All Saints? Canonizing Saints Questioned...


#1

In your Saints page-
catholic.com/library/mary_saints.asp
you somehow didn’t defend one of the hardest practices for Protestants to accept, the canonization of Saints. This is because the Bible makes it clear we are all Saints, and there doesn’t appear to be any Early Church tradition of canonizing Saints-

Rom 1:7 To all that be in Rome, beloved of God, called [to be] saints: Grace to you and peace from God our Father, and the Lord Jesus Christ.
Rom 8:27 And he that searcheth the hearts knoweth what [is] the mind of the Spirit, because he maketh intercession for the saints according to [the will of] God.
Rom 15:25 But now I go unto Jerusalem to minister unto the saints.
1Cr 14:33 For God is not [the author] of confusion, but of peace, as in all churches of the saints.
Eph 1:1 Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ by the will of God, to the saints which are at Ephesus, and to the faithful in Christ Jesus:
Eph 5:3 But fornication, and all uncleanness, or covetousness, let it not be once named among you, as becometh saints;
Phl 1:1 Paul and Timotheus, the servants of Jesus Christ, to all the saints in Christ Jesus which are at Philippi, with the bishops and deacons:
Col 1:26 [Even] the mystery which hath been hid from ages and from generations, but now is made manifest to his saints:
1Th 3:13 To the end he may stablish your hearts unblameable in holiness before God, even our Father, at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ with all his saints.
Rev 14:12 Here is the patience of the saints: here [are] they that keep the commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus.

Those are just a few of MANY more verses that refer to Saints. Doesn’t that make it clear to you that we are all Saints? How can you Biblically and Historically defend the practice of canonizing Saints? The Early Church didn’t do this as far as I know. When did it begin? I would like the Apologists at Catholic.com to make write another article for the Saints section of their website that covers this topic.


#2

Dear Triple,

Certainly Scripture testifies to the fact that “saint” was a synonym for what we today call “Christians,” a name that was first used by the Church of Antioch. With the passing of time the word “saint” came to refer to Christians of such extraordinary holiness, that today many dictionaries don’t even refer to its’ earlier use. This is the way of language. But as to the existence of extraordinary holy people as opposed to people lacking in holiness, you will agree, Scripture has much to say.

The earliest saints, such as Mary and the apostles were considered to be extraordinarily holy by the overwhelming devotion of the Christian community. Besides the Catholic Church, many Protestant denominations acknowledge the sanctity of these people and name their churches after them, e.g., St. Luke’s Episcopal, St. Paul’s Lutheran, St. Mark’s United Methodist, etc.

The practice of canonization came later. For an historical explanation of this process, log on to: L:\Catholic Encyclopedia\cathen\02364b.htm.

Fr. Vincent Serpa, O.P.


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