I have a quick question. How was St Francis a confessor if he was never ordained a priest? He can’t hear confessions and grant absolution.
The title confessor doesn’t mean he heard confessions. It simply means “confessor of the faith.” It’s a title like “defender of the faith,” which lay people have been given for defending the faith. Francis confessed the faith in his life and teachings, hence the title was given to him.
A Confessor is a male saint who is not a martyr; he is one who “confessed” the faith but did not die for it.
St. Francis is a precise example of a Confessor.
In the Litany of our Blessed Mother it says:
Mary, Queen of Confessors…pray for us!
She deserves that title because by her life she confessed her faith in her Son perfectly.
Actually, no. It means she is the Queen of Confessors–priests. Sometimes the title confessor is an abbreviation for “confessor of the faith” and sometimes it isn’t. Abbreviations are common in Catholic-speak. It can be confusing for those who aren’t familiar with them.
Actually, given the context of the litany, Confessors does appear to refer more to the classification of saints, not priests. Note the placement:
Confessors here clearly points to saints who are not martyrs. And no, not because she’s the best confessor (she’s neither an angel nor patriarch), but rather because she is Queen over the Confessors (and angels, patriarchs, martyrs, etc.)
Okay, but priests have to come in there somewhere–after all they fit more than one category in the litany. The point is, confessors doesn’t always mean priests, but sometimes it does.
Just to give my humble opinion… He could hear a confession, but you are correct that he would not be able to grant absolution. In my own life I have been mistaken for both a Priest and /or a Deacon.:eek: In my naughty times I have offered to hear a confession but I always tell them I can not grant absolution. I will point out that when I pray over people after a rosary I have heard things that I did not want to hear, … but this help me to be able to pray more towards their needs. As is said above… some words have many different meanings.
If you’re talking about saints, yes. They would be classed under Martyrs or Confessors, depending on the manner of their death.
In the classifications of saints, Confessors can be clergy or laity. Saints such as St. Dominic would be St. Dominic, Priest and Confessor. St. John Nepomucene would be St. John Nepomucene, Priest and Martyr. St. Louis IX would be St. Louis, Confessor.