Declaring Catholic Saints

Please correct me where (if) I am wrong on this:

  1. All children who are baptized and die before they are an age where they could have committed a sin are in heaven.

  2. The term “Saint” simply means someone who is in heaven.

Conclusion: Based on 1 and 2 above it should be correct to refer to such a child who passed as “Saint (insert name)”

Is this acceptable?

On a related note it would also seem to be the case that someone like Christoph Probst, (of the White Rose) who asked to be baptized right before he was executed would be a saint. Although I suppose here it is possible he may have had some evil thoughts between the time of his baptism and death.

Lower case “s” saint means anyone who is in heaven, and while baptized children who are obviously under the age of reason get a “pass,” nobody else does - and yet we will still pray for those children’s souls, since charity needs to be perfected in order to enter Heaven (which is done through purgation - think of all the disordered attachments children are born with). Upper case “S” Saint means someone who lived a life of heroic virtue held out as a dependable example to the universal Church for imitation in the moral and spiritual life. It is not appropriate then to refer to anyone but those whom the Church canonizes as “Saint” so and so.

We cannot know the ultimate fate of anyone except those the Church declares a saint. However, given the life of this man, his baptism on the day he was executed, I would say it’s a pretty good bet that he was saved. He may be in purgatory or in heaven. We cannot say for certain. However, any man willing to lay down his life against the horrors brought about by Hitler and the Nazis is very unlikely to have died with “evil thoughts” in his mind.

It is best if we concern ourselves with our own interior disposition rather than wondering about those of such noble persons as Christoph Probst, don’t you think? :wink:

Not quite correct. An adult who is baptised and dies before committing a mortal sin goes straight to Heaven.

I suppose I took that for granted - minus the qualification of “mortal sin,” which would not mean purgation but Hell (without perfect contrition of course). Venial sins get us landed in purgatory, inasmuch as they manifest disordered attachment to the world (having sullied charity). So a baptized adult who commits NO sin or perfectly satisfies for all of his sin goes straight to Heaven.

Actually the bigger problem with what I said is that children without sin need purgation. That was condemned in Exsurge Domine. Denzinger #743. It is merely an inclination to sin without any true spiritual attachment, so these children do indeed go straight to Heaven.

Shame on me.

Everyone thanks for posting. Based on what I read (especially e.c.s last point, then there is no question that baptized infants who die before the age they can sin are indeed Saints. The church perhaps does not even need to declare them as Saints for us to know this.

Nevertheless calling them a Saint (insert name) might be confusing because that is generally reserved for those who have been canonized or were considered saints before the canonization process was established. But in light of Church teaching it would be entirely accurate to call them saints.

Perhaps this has been mentioned, but we have a holy day to remember all such saints called “All Saints Day.” It is the commemoration of all those in heaven, declared, and especially those undeclared.

The process of having someone declared a saint is a lengthy one, and can be costly, too. Most families don’t have the resources or the money to have their loved one’s life examined for sainthood. Usually this is done by religious orders and dioceses for those they feel deserve this privilege.

Although we can’t know the names of all the saints in heaven now, we can be sure there are millions who intercede for us before God. I daily call on all the saints to pray for me and my loved ones. It’s a great practice, which recognizes their wonderful contribution to our salvation. :slight_smile:

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