Do Orthodox accept all Catholic Saints as Saints and vice versa?


#1

I know there are some Catholic Saints that the Orthodox do not considered saints (ie St. Augustine is sometimes referred to as Blessed Augustine by the Orthodox b/c some of his writings contradict EO).

But how does an Orthodox know if a Catholic Saint or a Saint that you usually don’t hear about in Orthodoxy is considered a Saint by the Orthodox?

Fr. Ambrose, I know you took your name from St. Ambrose of Milan… growing up Serbian Orthodox, I never heard of St. Ambrose…I would immediately assume they were a Catholic Saint…

If anyone has an insight, please shed some light on this. Thank you much!!


#2

Offhand I can already think of many saints in the Catholic Church that would not be honoured in the Orthodox Church, and there are certainly Orthodox saints not venerated in the Catholic Church.


#3

The Orthodox do not accept many (if any) of the Roman Catholic saints who lived after 1054, the year generally associated with the “schism” between East and West. So, a saint in the West after this date, such as St. Ignatius of Loyola (16th century) is not regarded a saint by the Eastern Orthodox because he is considered by the East to have been a heretic/schismatic.

Many individuals before this date are considered saints although they are generally regarded by the opposition as nefariouis, if not heretical, individuals. St. Photius, for example, is highly revered in the Eastern Orthodox Churches. He is not, however, venerated by Roman Catholics (although he is by Eastern Catholics).

Interestingly, even amongst the Orthodox Churches there is disagreement in who is or is not a saint. St. Dioscorus (5th century), St. Severus of Antioch (6th century), to name just two non-Chalcedonian saints, are highly revered by the Oriental Orthodox, but not so by the Eastern Orthodox. The Oriental Orthodox, so far as I am aware, do not accept as saints many Roman or Byzantine saints who lived after 451. Certainly after the Arab conquests, most of the non-Chalcedonian Churches lost much of their formal contact with the Byzantine Empire and the West.


#4

I think it may be safe to say that most if not all Saints pre-schism are mutually honoured. It needs saying however that saints in the early church sometimes came about if he or she led a very holy expemplary and virtuous life. Most saints in the early church was a local affair. Saints can be honoured in local areas even though they may not be officially canonized. Here canonization differs from west to east although this was not the norm in earlier times. The Vatican now requires three documented miracles in order to start beatification which eventually leads sainthood. The east isnt quite as involved although canonization is still required.


#5

Originally Posted by StMarkEofE:

I think it may be safe to say that most if not all Saints pre-schism are mutually honoured. It needs saying however that saints in the early church sometimes came about if he or she led a very holy expemplary and virtuous life. Most saints in the early church was a local affair.

Between the Eastern Orthodox and the Roman Catholics, I’d say yes. Although, having attended Ruthenian church for a while, I notice that many of the saints are fairly new to me, especially those that are particular to the East. St. Mary of Egypt, St. Demetrios, etc. These saints may be regarded as saints in the West as well, but they are not given nearly as much attention.

I would only add (again) that many of the early saints (such as St. Leo) are rejected as saints by the non-Chalcedonian Orthodox.

The situation is rather complicated with the Roman Catholic Church, since she includes in her communion many Eastern Catholic Churches who bring with them the patrimony of the East, including times when these Eastern Churches were not in communion with Rome. So, the Roman Catholic Church with difficulty allows Eastern Catholics to venerate post-schism figures like St. Photius, St. Gregory Palamas. They also allow the Eastern Catholics to venerate individuals like St. Isaac of Nineveh who are possibly considered theologically suspect by Roman Catholics.


#6

I saw something about some agreement being reached or worked out on (St.) Dioscoros betweent the OO and EO Patriarchs of Alexandria. This is one of the issue not thought of usually discussing the reunion, but it must be done, healing the wound across time. There is precedence for this, St. Cyril had a large role in the deposing of St. Chrysostom, whom he called a Judas, etc. There are many examples of the like.


#7

Originally Posted by Isa Almisry:

I saw something about some agreement being reached or worked out on (St.) Dioscoros betweent the OO and EO Patriarchs of Alexandria. This is one of the issue not thought of usually discussing the reunion, but it must be done, healing the wound across time. There is precedence for this, St. Cyril had a large role in the deposing of St. Chrysostom, whom he called a Judas, etc. There are many examples of the like.

I have not heard of this. I would not be surprised if some agreement were indeed reached. From what I understand, (St.) Dioscurus (there are at least four different spellings of his name, I’ve discovered :slight_smile: ) was not deposed for the reason of being a heretic.


#8

But a lot of healing has taken place as well over the ages.


#9

Yes, and because of the local nature of the saints, many in the West fell in disuse. It might help to know that All Saints (and originally in the Latin Church too) is the Sunday after Pentacost as they are the fruits of the Holy Spirit. The Sunday after that is All Local Saints, where it is All Romanian Saints in Romania, All American Saints in America (I think we have a dozen or so now), etc. The Monday thereafter is when the Apostles Fast begins for SS Peter and Paul, imitated the fast the Apostles did after Pentacost before they hit the road in the saint making business. St. John Maximovich, when he first became a bishop in Western Europe, set about reviving the veneration of neglected Western Saints. The Western Rite Orthodox also is doing a brisk business in doing this.
St. Augustine is a saint, but not a favorite of many. St. Benedict is in high favor. I haven’t, however, ever heard of any Orthodox, except my priest (a special case) who refers to Jerome as a saint.
(my priest is a self confessed “recovering episcopalian” who is hard core Western, but not Western Rite (we do have another priest who is Western Rite, but serves as Eastern Rite in our parish). He says the hours in Latin, along with the silent prayers, and is a big fan of Jerome).


#10

Yes, and examples of St. John and St. Cyril are precedence and examples of it can be done, so we’re not as hopeless and permanently divided as we sometimes think.


#11

Yes, for one thing many EO do not know that the OO anathematized Eutyches, the real heretic. Dioscoros was more tolerant of second chances for Eutyches than the rest of the Church, which is what got him in trouble at Chalcedon.


#12

Originally Posted by Isa Almisry:

Yes, for one thing many EO do not know that the OO anathematized Eutyches, the real heretic. Dioscoros was more tolerant of second chances for Eutyches than the rest of the Church, which is what got him in trouble at Chalcedon.

Of course, there’s even talk now of whether or not Eutyches really was a heretic. Supposedly St. Leo called him more a fool than a heretic. Several of the books I’ve read on the subject mention Eutyches as somewhat unclear when he was under deposition. He probably took his fear of Nestorianism too far though.


#13

For Catholics at least…I think it’s acceptable to venerate Orthodox Saints privately, and in the case of a reunion they could be venerated publically even up to 1453 and the council of Florence.

There was a particularly bad episode in 1054, but the way the two churches dealt with each other proves that until Florence, really, they considered each other one Church.

After 1453, a certain arrangement would probably be reaced for later Orthodox saints whereby they may be “locally” venerated, semi-publically even at individual churches and eparchies, but not universally.

This is assuming that communion with the Pope is recognized as normative for Christian life.


#14

Or vice-versa! (I.e. when the Latin Church realizes the errors of its innovative ways and returns to its rightful place in the bosom of the one Orthodox Church, certain arrangements would probably be reached for later Roman Catholic saints whereby they may be “locally” venerated, semi-publically even at individual churches and eparchies, but not universally.) :smiley:


#15

However, I think the Orthodox Saints are already venerated more locally anyway. They don’t really have a concept of canonization by the unversal authority.

Their Saints are canonized and glorified by the local bishops, and venerated more locally.

When a Saint is venerated by people outside their native church, it is always at least semi-private, though some Saints (especially early ones) are popular or important enough to be practically universal, on practically all the individual calendars…but being accidentally venerated in each place locally, is technically different than being essentially venerated universally.

So I just dont think it should be that offensive or a change for the Orthodox Saints after 1453 to be venerated technically just locally on each Eastern calendar (according to the decision of that church), perhaps universal as a practical matter, but in a way not quite recognized as equivalent to universal papal canonization…but this shouldn’t be a problem or offensive, because the Orthodox* already* didn’t have the concept of universal papal canonization, so it shouldnt be an issue.

The public cults of a few Saints on both sides (like Photius) who were particularly associated with disunity…could be supressed and left to private veneration. But no one’s calendar would have to be touched or favorite saint given up. Though a universal date of Easter would be nice, perhaps using a third method (but NOT a fixed date, an idea I dont like and which isn’t traditional) based on the real moon in Jerusalem not the Roman charts, but potentially according to the biblical timing of it after the first new moon after the spring equinox (but not the Roman tabular equinox, but the true equinox as measured at Jerusalem).


#16

This is a bizarre question: but has there ever been a physically deformed saint? (elephant-man-like?) Any icons of the saint?


#17

Bazaare but interesting question! I can imagine saints missing limbs from say persecution and the like.


#18

Yes.

Margaret of Castello is very famous, in the Catholic Church, at least:

Born a blind, lame, deformed, hunchback midget. When she was six years old, her noble parents walled her up beside a chapel; she could not get out, but could attend Mass and receive the Sacraments. After 14 years of imprisonment, her parents took her to a shrine to pray for a cure. When none occurred, they abandoned her. She became a lay Dominican, and spent her life in prayer and charity. When she died, the townspeople thronged her funeral, and demanded she be buried in a tomb inside the church. The priest protested, but a crippled girl was miraculously cured at the funeral, and he consented.

catholic-forum.com/saints/saintm44.htm


#19

I can imagine saints missing limbs from say persecution and the like.

Yes, but they are technically amputees…probably not the same type of deformity as the poster was imagining.

And sometimes, rarely, their cut-off hand regrew or whatever. Chrystostom himself, for example.


#20

St John, yes, but I believe you’re thinking of St John Damascene.


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