Saints


#1

What is the history behind the church declaring certain individuals Saints.?

When did this practice start?

What is the criteria?

Why did the church decided to canonize or promote sainthood to select individuals?

thanks for your reply’s

BIC

LAUS DEO


#2

What measuring stick is used?

BIC

LAUS DEO


#3

Is this Biblical? Or man’s invention?

BIC

LAUS DEO


#4

The word “saint,” as you use it here, refers to those whose lives have been recognized by the Church as having marked them as assuredly being in Heaven. It is certainly scriptural that there are “saints” in heaven, since that is where the blessed go when they leave this life. In the New Testament, the word is applied both to the living and to those who have “fallen asleep.”

The practice of acknowledging that our brethren had assuredly been received into heaven developed in apostolic times. In the Acts, Chapter 7, the martyrdom of Stephen gives a view of what the Apostolic Church understood to be a certainty of having been received in heaven:

55] But he [Stephen], full of the Holy Spirit, gazed into heaven and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing at the right hand of God;
56] and he said, “Behold, I see the heavens opened, and the Son of man standing at the right hand of God.” . . .
58] Then they cast him out of the city and stoned him; . . .
59] And as they were stoning Stephen, he prayed, "Lord Jesus, receive my spirit."
60] And he knelt down and cried with a loud voice, “Lord, do not hold this sin against them.” And when he had said this, he fell asleep.

The martyrs were recognized as saints by the second century. The martyrdom of Polycarp (A.D. 155) remains one of the most moving and beautiful accounts in all of Christian literature. The commemoration of the anniversary of his martyrdom began immediately:

“We have at last gathered his bones, which are dearer to us than priceless gems and purer than gold, and laid them to rest where it was befitting they should lie. And if it be possible for us to assemble again, may God grant us to celebrate the birthday of his martyrdom with gladness, thus to recall the memory of those who fought in the glorious combat, and to teach and strengthen by his example, those who shall come after us.”

Criteria for sainthood are given by God himself via the commandments, the beatitudes, and the pattern of Jesus’ life. It was universally held by the apostolic and sub-apostolic Church that martyrdom for the faith assured salvation – although the Church reserved the right of approving such honor, even for martyrs (who were called vindicati), before a saint could be publicly recognized. Not until the 4th century were non-martyrs recognized as worthy of veneration.

Between the 7th and 12th centuries saints were recognized locally in churches and councils, with papal recognition gradually becoming more important in the interest of certainty and of preventing abuses. It was not until 1634 that the right of canonizaton was reserved exclusively to the Holy See.

Today the process is cautious, lengthy and complex. It should be noted that the Church does not “create” saints. God does. The Church merely recognizes them.

So, yes, saints are biblical, since the Bible tells us that the goal of our life is to be with God in eternity, and that is where we know the canonized saints are.


#5

Mercygate

Thanks for taking the time to reply this thread, I knew it could be a lenghty response.

Are all the Saints/saints only of the catholic faith?

Do you have a link that lists the saints recognized by the church?

There seems to be a Jewish tone to your thread i.e. (gathering of the bones) How much of the church IS based on jewish traditions, If any

BIC

LAUS DEO


#6

[quote=BIC]Mercygate

Thanks for taking the time to reply this thread, I knew it could be a lenghty response.

Are all the Saints/saints only of the catholic faith?

Do you have a link that lists the saints recognized by the church?

There seems to be a Jewish tone to your thread i.e. (gathering of the bones) How much of the church IS based on jewish traditions, If any

BIC

LAUS DEO
[/quote]

Hm. The Orthodox and Episcopalians recognize and venerate saints, although they don’t go through the same canonization process. Maybe that’s not what you meant. Are you asking whether the Church would canonize a non-Catholic? .Actually, we refer to the OT Patriarchs and Prophets as saints. But the Church would not canonize a non-Catholic because even a very holy non-Catholic would not have been governed by the disciplines of the Church which are requisite to the Catholic process. That isn’t to say that non-Catholics are NOT in heaven, only that the Church hasn’t the authority to state it as a certainty for any single person. (I am personally convinced that Dietrich Bonhoeffer is right up there havin’ tea with Maximilian Kolbe, however.)

Jewish? Well in the year 155 A.D. the Church was still Jewish in almost every way. That would be reasonable. Pope Pius the XI said that Christians are all spiritual Semites.

How much in the Church is based on Jewish traditions? EVERYTHING! The Mass is both sacrificial (as in the fulfillment of temple worship) and a Passover meal. The Boss was a Jewish carpenter! Although much devotional practice has arisen over time from other sources, we can never NOT be Jewish.


#7

Beatification and Canonization from the Catholic Encylcopedia has probably all the answers you would want.

newadvent.org/cathen/02364b.htm

Patron Saint Index

catholic-forum.com/saints/indexsnt.htm


#8

I’ve recommended this little book to several people. It is small, packed full of information, and easy to read.

Any Friend of God’s is a Friend of Mine by Patrick Madrid


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