Protestant Saints

How do protestant denominations, that recognize Saints, determine that those people are in fact Saints?

For Anglicanism, these Wikipedia articles may give you insight:

Saints in Anglicanism

Calendar of saints (Church of England)

Calendar of saints (Episcopal Church)

Good question because some Protestant churches are named after saints.

All who are in Heaven are Saints correct

in the RC Church those in Purgatory are not Saints but will be when they enter Heaven ( whenever that is)

so in the RC Church to declare a person a Saint is to imply that the Catholic Church IS ABSOLUTELY SURE THAT THEY ARE IN HEAVEN - the Pope is the ultimate authority on this issue

In the Episcopal Church the concept of Purgatory as a valid state is not held-we do not have a central authority to proclaim a particular person a saint-

All who die faithful to Christ and whose sins have been forgiven are able to enter Heaven and therefore are Saints -our Grandparents for example are saints

Our Church recognizes people of exemplary faith and virtue such as the Martys of Uganda or Archibishop Cranmer ( couldn’t leave him out) and uses the term saints

A couple of quotes from the Lutheran Confessions:

Article VII: Of the Church.

1] Also they teach that one holy Church is to continue forever. The Church is the congregation of saints, in which the Gospel is rightly taught and the Sacraments are rightly administered.


Our Confession approves honors to the saints. For here a threefold honor is to be approved. The first is thanksgiving. For we ought to give thanks to God because He has shown examples of mercy; because He has shown that He wishes to save men; because He has given teachers or other gifts to the Church. And these gifts, as they are the greatest, should be amplified, and the saints themselves should be praised, who have faithfully used these gifts, just as Christ praises faithful business-men, 5] Matt. 25:21, 23. The second service is the strengthening of our faith; when we see the denial forgiven Peter, we also are encouraged to believe the more that grace 6] truly superabounds over sin, Rom. 5:20. The third honor is the imitation, first, of faith, then of the other virtues, which every one should imitate according to his calling. 7] These true honors the adversaries do not require. They dispute only concerning invocation, which, even though it would have no danger, nevertheless is not necessary.

8] Besides, we also grant that the angels pray for us. For there is a testimony in Zech. 1:12, where an angel prays: O Lord of hosts, how long wilt Thou not have mercy on 9] Jerusalem? Although concerning the saints we concede that, just as, when alive, they pray for the Church universal in general, so in heaven they pray for the Church in general, albeit no testimony concerning the praying of the dead is extant in the Scriptures, except the dream taken from the Second Book of Maccabees, 15:14.

And this site has an interesting take on it.


Most of the folks we determine to be saints and name our churches after are biblical personages, St. Andrew, St. John, St. Peter. These are folks that scripture recognizes as great saints. We are fine to go with consensus on the matter for other saints such as St. Augustine, St. John Chrysostom, etc. And we also recognize folks who may not have the consensus of the church but we still recognize to be great and influential believers like Martin Luther, John Calvin, even folks like CS Lewis and Dietrich Bonhoeffer.

I’ve seen Episcopal churches named after saints. How does your church determine that said person is a saint. By the way you explained it, there could be a St. Granny Jones Episcopal Church, because Granny Jones was a faithful Episcopalian.

Why does your church recognize some Catholic Saints and not others, why the picking and choosing? Who determines which saints to recognize? Is there a vote or do members decide on their own? Could you recognize a saint and someone in the next pew not recognize said saint?

Because some Catholic saints were simply way to Roman Catholic for our taste. We don’t pay much attention to them. And why should our tradition be required to recognize folks that are part of a different tradition? Are RCs mandated to recognize EO saints?

Who determines which saints to recognize? Is there a vote or do members decide on their own?

Congregations are certainly free to name their congregation whatever they want. In terms of private devotions, we are free to honor and remember whatever saints we choose.

Could you recognize a saint and someone in the next pew not recognize said saint?

I don’t understand the question. A saint is a believer. Are asking what happens when one person recognizes that another person is a believer and the other doesn’t?

I just didn’t understand why one catholic saint could be recognized and another not. And who decides that one is good enough but another is not.
You said something about recognizing St. Augustine as a saint. In your faith, could you recognize him and another member not? How does the canonization process work for y’all?

St. Augustine is a saint according to many traditions not just the Roman one, the RC denomination doesn’t own him. We can certainly disagree on who is a great saint or not. We have freedom to disagree with each other on issues such as these. And we don’t have a canonization process.

Once someone responds to an altar call, their name is added to the church roll.

Once saved, always saved.


I mean, he was Catholic, the Church canonized him, and denominations who don’t believe in the Church’s authority just decide that he is a ok person to look up to?
It just doesn’t make sense to me. If a Protestant denomination decided to declare Joe Blow a Saint, well I wouldn’t think too much of their authority in such matters. I don’t understand why some protestants believe in the Catholic Church’s authority in this matter, either.

Hmmm wonder what happens when they move? Another altar call? Lol

I don’t consider the RCs authority at all in the matter. I hold Augustine to be a saint in spite of the RC denominations self proclaimed authority, not because of it.

I would be interested in actually seeing an Anglican/Episcopalian who the Anglican Communion has declared a saint and actually call the person St. Whats HIs Name etc. and also which parish is named after that saint.

Also if there is one who within the Anglican Communion has the authority to decide who is one of their saints who is it?

At least so far I have never seen any Anglican who has been declared a saint by the Anglican Communion. I do believe that there are some people who the church feels where very saintly.

In my former Anglo Catholic parish we accepted every Catholic saint and also every Marian dogma.

It is difficult to understand that Anglicans/Episcopalians have no definite set of beliefs, it is up to the priest or just layperson what they believe. I am sure that suits may people in today’s culture.

Yours in the Hearts of Jesus and Mary


In terms of Pre-Reformation Catholic saints, I believe churches such as the Anglican and Lutheran Churches receive the greater tradition of the Church. Remember, these churches did not reject all of the Tradition of the church, they simply rejected what they felt had strayed out of biblical grounds.

Just as they continued to hold to the ecumenical creeds (not because the ecumenical councils were considered infallible but because the creeds they produced align with Scripture), they also continued to recognize the Pre-Reformation Saints of the Western church.

'Bout a year or so ago, Symphorian posted a good look at the subject, which was a considerable improvement over something I had posted, 2+ years prior to that.

It’s post 22 in the thread, and several following posts expand on the subject…


I wonder how he came to your attention or why anyone bothered to preserve his writings at all through those dark centuries. :wink:

Thanks GKC for the reference. I read the post and if a particular denomination or church wants to name a person as a saint because many people have a great devotion to them, and this is done without a complete examination and certain guidelines of what does constitute a saint, then one might name Obama as a saint, as he had many who adored him and still do.

At least that is my opinion. We humans are pretty naïve when it comes to human nature and who a person really is, at least that has been my experience. I much prefer the fact that until very recently Mother Teresa, and the two Popes, the Church waited sometimes over 100 years to make a decision. Maybe in the early Church it was more obvious when one was martyred that they were considered saints.


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