RCIA Student question about Saints

I’m going through RCIA and I have a question. Since the church has Saints and they had to go through a process of validation to become a Saint via the church. Making what happened to them a part of Catholic belief and our faith. Can I treat what was told to the Saints from God, Christ or Angels as dogma or a form of scripture?
Do we have a right to not believe what a Saint was told from God, Christ or Angels? It seems wrong NOT to believe in what the Saints were told because the Church has given them the “seal of approval”.

A example would be sister Faustina.

Or approved Marian apparitions.

Approved private revelation is worthy of belief, but it is not part of the deposit of the faith.

So yes, you have the right to reject them if you want to.

And you have the right to believe it happened, as well.

It’s not equal to Sacred Scripture or Sacred Tradition . But feel free to quote the approved stuff w/o hesitation.

Lenten ashes is correct. Not all private revelations are kosher, so to speak. Some of it is genuine and faithbuilding, while some of it is confusing or meant specifically for the original recipient. I can not give the same advice to all my children, they are all different and not at the same level of spiritual maturity.

No. A saint’s writings are certainly not dogma or scripture. Even if they had private revelations, those revelations are not binding on others. Christ was the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End. There is nothing to be added to the Deposit of Faith since the death of Christ’s Apostles.

It seems wrong NOT to believe in what the Saints were told because the Church has given them the “seal of approval”.

The Church teaches that a saint is in Heaven, not that they were infallible or inerrant when on earth.

The Saints are good examples of how to live the Catholic faith and we are welcome to accept their writings. However, we are not obligated to accept their writings the way we are with official Church doctrines. For example, St. Faustina had some pretty gruesome visions of hell. You are welcome to accept that as being your vision of Hell. You are also welcome to accept that perhaps God revealed Hell in that way to St. Faustina because it was important for her to see it in that way.


…you are speaking about two distinct things…

Dogma applies to what has been classified/deemed by the Church as a tenet of Faith (the Holy Trinity, Christ’s Divinity…) or codified by long-term Belief (Apostolic Teaching/Succession, Biblical Canon…); these are necessary for the Faith–that is, that the Church Teaches that for one to be in good-standing as a Catholic a person must be in agreement with the Church on matters of Faith.

I believe that what you are asking is: can the private revelations received by the Saints (which would include their Writings) be accepted/understood as dogma? This is kind of sketchy–while some of these revelations/Writings have been verified (as proceeding from the Saints) some are not… then there are the totality of the Writings… some of the early Church Writings were magnificent… but, since we are only human, some excellent Faithful allowed themselves to be swayed by their own personal understandings… sometimes we have had Writings that were declared not sound doctrine and even heretical…

A clear example of how error may stealthily slip in is Luther… a devote Catholic Monk who was quite concerned with keeping the Body of Christ on the straight and narrow… yet, eventually spearheaded a great revolt to which there seems no end as the Body of Christ continues to Suffer myriads of splintering as more and more “well intended” people seek to “turn back to the true church.”

So while it is good to get to know the Writings of the Saints (specially the Doctors of the Church) we must be careful not to exalt them above Sacred Tradition (Oral and Written Scriptures) and the Doctrine of the Church.

Since we are Called (by God) to One Baptism, One Body, One Faith, everything must reflect that Divine Unity!

Maran atha!


The Church considers the original Christian Revelation or deposit of faith from God to be the last public Revelation. That means for instance that Scripture can not be added to. In fact the Church weighs any private revelations against that original deposit of faith. If it contradicts it then that is how it knows that it is not an authentic revelation. Since God can not contradict himself, especially what he has already revealed.

So private revelations must be weighed against the original deposit of faith. (As well as looking at the fruits). The Church for instance can not make any official rule on Medjugore because the apparitions continue and more revelations come in. It has to wait until they have stopped and an assessment can be made. Thus, it is up to you to discern. Now, if something goes against the faith then the Church can make a warning against it.

Is there some private revelation that is troubling you? Perhaps that is a better question to ask. I know there is a lot of garbage and fear mongering on the Internet. Btw if you are going through RCIA or otherwise please read your Bible as well, especially the New Testament. Just a tip. God bless.

67 Throughout the ages, there have been so-called “private” revelations, some of which have been recognized by the authority of the Church. They do not belong, however, to the deposit of faith. It is not their role to improve or complete Christ’s definitive Revelation, but to help live more fully by it in a certain period of history. Guided by the Magisterium of the Church, the sensus fidelium knows how to discern and welcome in these revelations whatever constitutes an authentic call of Christ or his saints to the Church.


Note too that not all that is claimed about a saint even has been confirmed or accepted by the Church…

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