Decannonization


#1

How would you explain the decannonization of a saint to a non-catholic?

Also, how would you explain Holy Water?

Thanks!


#2

Decanonization?

The person was probably referring to St. Christopher. In the late 1960s (I think) St. Christopher and some other saints were removed from the calendar of feasts. It was difficult to prove some of these saints even existed. But the Church never “decanonized” them, it just took away their feast days.

More later.

John


#3

[quote=seansmom]How would you explain the decannonization of a saint to a non-catholic?

Also, how would you explain Holy Water?

Thanks!
[/quote]

John beat me to the punch while I was typing this post… but I agree with him.

I’m not sure what you mean by “decanonization” of a saint. I’m no expert, but I have never heard of a saint losing his “sainthood”. I assume you might mean someone like St. Christopher, who some folks think is no longer a saint. He is still a saint, I think he just no longer has a formal feast day recognized by the Church (there are far more saints than there could ever be recognized feast days for). Maybe you could provide more detail on your question, or maybe somebody with more neurons than me has some other ideas.

As far as holy water goes, it is merely a sacramental (like scapulars, rosaries, prayer cards, statues, candles, etc.). Sacramentals are things that Catholics are free to use as a means of building their own personal piety and supporting them in the practice of their faith. They are often blessed by a priest to recognize the fact that the sacramental item is devoted to a “holy” purpose.

They are not the same as the seven Sacraments, which were instituted by Christ and convey God’s graces to those who are properly disposed to receive them.

The Church does not claim that a sacramental like holy water has any special power (after all, it is merely water and a bit of salt that is blessed by a priest). Catholics use it to bless themselves (and maybe other things) as a reminder of their baptism.

I think of sacramentals as reminders of my faith and my love for God - much like pictures and momentos are reminders of those I love in this world.

Nothing spooky or superstitious about it. If Catholics find sacramentals useful and enriching in their daily faith life they are free - and encouraged - to make use of them. If they don’t, that’s fine too.

I hope that helps.

Blessings.


#4

[quote=OhioBob]…St. Christopher, who some folks think is no longer a saint. He is still a saint, I think he just no longer has a formal feast day recognized by the Church (there are far more saints than there could ever be recognized feast days for).
[/quote]

I made a brief attempt to find a reference for this, because I am not certain if I am accurate.

But I believe every Saint has their own feast day. However, not every Saint is included in the Church calendar, as outlined in the Roman Beviary. The Roman Breviary lists all the prayers and scripture readings for the Roman church for each day of the year, not only including the Mass, but also the daily office, vespers, matins, etc. For example, Pope JPII has named over a hundred new Saints. With only 365 days in a year, the problem becomes obvious – not every Saint gets to be on the official calendar.

Some religious orders have their own breviary instead of the Roman one. Thus, their entire order could celebrate a specific day as a feast day for a Saint that is important to their order, when the rest of the Church is celebrating something else.

I think the normal decree for a Saint is stated something like:

“In honour of . . . we decree and define that Blessed N. is a Saint, and we inscribe his name in the catalogue of saints, and order that his memory by devoutly and piously celebrated yearly on the . . . day of . . . his feast.”


#5

The canonization process, as we now know it, is relatively new. Some ancient “saints” were venerated without much evidence of their existence. They weren’t “decanonized” because they were never canonized in the first place. As others have mentioned, if a person is a saint, he’s a saint, no matter what the Church says or whether he has a feast on the rota, but historically questionable saints were removed from the calendar. Many of them, like St. Christopher and St. Philomena, are still popular.

newadvent.org/cathen/02364b.htm


#6

The Church does not claim that a sacramental like holy water has any special power (after all, it is merely water and a bit of salt that is blessed by a priest). Catholics use it to bless themselves (and maybe other things) as a reminder of their baptism.

CCC paragraph 1667:

1667 "Holy Mother Church has, moreover, instituted sacramentals. These are sacred signs which bear a resemblance to the sacraments. They signify effects, particularly of a spiritual nature, which are obtained through the intercession of the Church. By them men are disposed to receive the chief effect of the sacraments, and various occasions in life are rendered holy."173


#7

Although I have a number of inherrited St Christopher medals, I really am not too bothered if his devotion is supresssed. There are still many parishes around the world called “St Christopher’s”, and they are still allowed to celebrate his feast on the local level (although I don’t know any who do).

What irks me is the way the church also took away St George. The Eastern church is still devoted to St George, and so am I (Anglicans as well, but they don’t count). I would stake my faith on the existence of St George due to this fact. Whether or not he slew a dragon is irrelevant.

I really think the church made a HUGE mistake here.


#8

Thats nice. It’s wrong for a Catholic to speak out agains tthe Church . He probably didn’t slay any dragons, but he probably did do great stuff.

Anyways, refrain from public criticism of the Church. It’s not good to criticize Christ’s body.

God bless and Mary protect,

Mikey


#9

[quote=MichaelFilo]Thats nice. It’s wrong for a Catholic to speak out agains tthe Church . He probably didn’t slay any dragons, but he probably did do great stuff.

Anyways, refrain from public criticism of the Church. It’s not good to criticize Christ’s body.

God bless and Mary protect,

Mikey
[/quote]

LOL. are you for real?


#10

St Christopher was never “decanonized”. Even if he had not existed in the dragon-slaying form, there HAVE been other St. Christophers, havent’ there? Read up and learn about them–it demonstrates the knowledge of your faith.

Others have spoken already of the fact that St. Christopher was dropped from the Church calender, so I won’t say more about that.

As for Holy Water, yes, it reminds us of our baptism…but it is a very powerful sacramental as well. Satan does not like Holy Water…read Fr. Aamoth’s book about exorcism. I will not say more as one really needs to educate oneself about this. Ignatious press carries the book and I recommend that every Catholic order it and read it.

Sacramentals are such for a reason, but how to explain to a non-Catholic? I don’t know. Always use the Catechism as you can’t go wrong that way, but if you have questions about the response in the Catechism, guaranteed that a non-Catholic will have more.


#11

[quote=JCPhoenix]St Christopher was never “decanonized”. Even if he had not existed in the dragon-slaying form, there HAVE been other St. Christophers, havent’ there? Read up and learn about them–it demonstrates the knowledge of your faith.

Others have spoken already of the fact that St. Christopher was dropped from the Church calender, so I won’t say more about that.

As for Holy Water, yes, it reminds us of our baptism…but it is a very powerful sacramental as well. Satan does not like Holy Water…read Fr. Aamoth’s book about exorcism. I will not say more as one really needs to educate oneself about this. Ignatious press carries the book and I recommend that every Catholic order it and read it.

Sacramentals are such for a reason, but how to explain to a non-Catholic? I don’t know. Always use the Catechism as you can’t go wrong that way, but if you have questions about the response in the Catechism, guaranteed that a non-Catholic will have more.
[/quote]

I don’t know if that post was directed to me or not, but I never said anything about “decanonization”. When you walk into a church and it has a statue or image of St Christopher with Jesus on his back, you pretty much know which St Christopher they intended to dedicate the church to.

And FYI, there are no stories about St Christopher and a dragon. It was St George and the dragon. To play back your own comments: Read up and learn about them–it demonstrates the knowledge of your faith.


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