Saints have a 'glow' of light around them?


I have a question. I have heard that saintly people are said to have a certain literal physical ‘glow’ around their body. This is supposed to be a sign that they are holy.

If one doesn’t have a “glow”, does that mean they are not in a state of grace?


No, it does not. I never heard anything like that before.


No. I don’t know where you heard that, but I can think of several saints alive in my lifetime, and they had no glow. Nope.


I don’t understand these negative responses. I think that you are right, and that there is a reason that saints are usually depicted in art with a halo around their heads.


Yes, this phenomena has been recounted in the lives of many Saints. There is a book called “Mysteries, Marvels, Miracles of the Lives of the Saints” by Joan Carroll Cruz that has a whole chapter dedicated to the subject.


Not at all.

In actuality, a halo portrayed above someone’s image means they are a saint. Its a help to the viewer in identifying them in religious art.

A lack of a halo doesn’t mean a lack of grace at all. The convention isn’t universal, and sometime there are secular depictions of saints as well as pictures of them made before they died.


Spend enough time in prayer and consecration with God and you too will shine.

Exodus 34:29-35
The Shining Face of Moses
29 Moses came down from Mount Sinai. As he came down from the mountain with the two tablets of the covenant[a] in his hand, Moses did not know that the skin of his face shone because he had been talking with God. 30 When Aaron and all the Israelites saw Moses, the skin of his face was shining, and they were afraid to come near him.


Maybe that was a flashlight they were holding while walking home :stuck_out_tongue:


That means that all people without a glow are in mortal sin? In that case, everyone I have ever seen in my life is in mortal sin?! I do agree though that you can see in someone’s eyes that state of their soul.


Random piece of trivia: if you ever see someone depicted with a square halo, that means they were alive when the picture was made. Such as:

Think about other situations where people have “a glow” about them. People in love. Or a pregnant woman. Or things like that. If you look around a group of people, you can’t say, “Well, you’re not glowing like a firefly, so you’re not in love.” Or, “Well, the stick might say you’re pregnant, but you’re really not, because you look the same as ever.” So it’s not something that you necessarily see with your eyes, but occasionally, it can be a sense that someone gives off-- but since it’s not a physical thing, you can’t take a picture of it and say, “See, look at this.”

Once upon a time, I had a friend, and we were all outside in really hot weather. Like, 110*+ weather. And there was a lot of really strenuous stuff going on. So that friend was making sure the people who were under a strain from physical activity were taken care of-- did they have water, did they want a cool washcloth to keep from overheating, have a pickle, that sort of thing. Just ordinary nurturing stuff. And another friend said, “It was really cool to watch you help other people. I can tell you’re a Christian. You have this glow about you.” And the glow was the person’s love-of-God and love-of-neighbor in action. Physically, the friend was just another sweaty person in need of a shower on a really hot day, and her hair was sticking out, and she was a little pink from the sun— but the one friend was able to see the love behind her service, and understood it as an inner glow.

Occasionally, we can see a spiritual glow behind someone else. But it’s very rare, and it’s a favor from God. Not so that people can say, “Wow, so-and-so is so awesome!” but so that people can say, “Ahhh, I see.”


Lovely story!

I agree. I have known some saintly people and they do seem to have an internal glow. You can just see Jesus’ love shining in their eyes and through them as they serve.
Sometimes they have almost seemed luminous.

But yes, you can definitely see when someone is “glowing” in love or happiness, and that includes when the Spirit is freely flowing through them.


It is considered the anointing. In christian churchs.


Animals can sense this ‘glow’ also.


I’ve heard it of extraordinary saints, (I heard reading Blessed Anne Emmerich that Jesus had it) like mystics. But the average joe in a state of grace (in other words, the majority of people) do not and that’s not a bad thing either.


Oh, heavens to Mergatroyd! There is no such thing as a literal visible measurable recordable quantifiable verifiable glow or halo around a person!


Where did this thought come from?

Are we doomed because we do not bear the stigmata?

Bound for hell if we do not levitate in prayer?


Scrupulosity or OCD?

Just wondering.


Decades ago (1989 to be precise) when I was in a monastery trying my vocation (I didn’t have one), I received the extraordinary blessing to be at supper with the community and several guests, including St Teresa of Calcutta. She was visiting Denver, and then-Archbishop Stafford arranged for her and the two Sisters accompanying her to join us for supper in our enclosure (constitutional, not papal).

Anywho, being just a novice at the time, I didn’t get any one-on-one time with her, but I was there with the rest of the community to greet her when she and her Sisters got out of the van, and then walk with them into our make-shift refectory (the chapel was undergoing renovation, so the actual refectory was being used as our chapel at the time). She was a tiny little woman, short and slight of build. She was old. She was tired. And at dinner, when asked questions, she only spoke of Our Lord and His work through the Sisters. She was humble.

After supper, we made our way to the teeny tiny refectory-turned-chapel to pray Compline. By this point our 40 retreat guests had gotten word that Mother Teresa was in the monastery, and they crammed themselves into the refectory, and out into the hallway, and even outside the windows to see Mother Teresa and pray with her and with us. It was actually kind of humorous and sweet.

The nuns have assigned seats in the chapel, even in a refectory-turned-chapel, and being just a novice, my chair was behind the older nuns and our honored guests (Missionaries of Charity, the Archbishop, our chaplain). I ended up standing right behind St Teresa as we prayed Compline.

Because we were seated in chairs instead of our usual choir stalls, when we sat down to chant the Psalm, I could see the Saint’s sandaled feet over the top of my prayer book. I remember thinking how worn they looked – dry and cracked heels, just an old lady’s feet – and how much good they’d done in her lifetime, carrying the love of God to so many souls.

She had a beautiful spirit. Although it was clear she was exhausted, she quietly and passionately talked about the work she and the Sisters had done. She graciously met all who approached her. And being in her presence for that one evening is a blessing from God.

But she didn’t glow. Not at all. There was no light emanating from her tiny old frame.

In that, she emulated Our Lord Himself, about whom scripture says: “He had no majestic bearing to catch our eye, no beauty to draw us to him.” (Isaiah 53:2)

Some Saints, in some situations, may be given the extraordinary grace of exhibiting some outward sign. But those instances are so rare that they are spoken of purely as the exception to the rule. Most Saints never showed any such manifestations of their holiness in their lifetimes.


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