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Shanti
July 4th, 2008, 02:05 AM
I am so glad I have we have this forum.

The only views I ever got on Christianity has been from a fundie angle or nothing at all really.

I don't know really any freethinking nor well thought through Christians.

The Christians I know just repeat their priest babble that makes no sense or they just darn right have no clue as to what their beliefs are!!

So, can people help with sharing their beliefs and perspectives of what makes a saint a saint and not just a nobody?

Also....Is a saint a spirit?

Thank you. :)

Brightshores
July 4th, 2008, 10:43 AM
From what I understand, saints in the Catholic traditions are people who were noted for holiness during their life. After their deaths, if people pray to them and they perform "miracles," then the Vatican first beatifies them and then, eventually, canonizes them.

Saints are human beings who have died. People pray to them because the belief is that the saint can speak on their behalf to God, or "intercede" for them.

Not sure how this is different in the Orthodox traditions (obviously the Pope is not involved..)

The Protestants in general don't recognize saints, outside of a few biggies (the Virgin Mary, Sts. Peter, Paul, John, Matthew, Mark, & Luke, and maybe a few others).

TheGrandInquisitor
July 4th, 2008, 11:19 AM
I don't recognize saints as such at all.

LostSheep
July 4th, 2008, 11:35 AM
From what I understand, saints in the Catholic traditions are people who were noted for holiness during their life. After their deaths, if people pray to them and they perform "miracles," then the Vatican first beatifies them and then, eventually, canonizes them.

Saints are human beings who have died. People pray to them because the belief is that the saint can speak on their behalf to God, or "intercede" for them.

Not sure how this is different in the Orthodox traditions (obviously the Pope is not involved..)

The Protestants in general don't recognize saints, outside of a few biggies (the Virgin Mary, Sts. Peter, Paul, John, Matthew, Mark, & Luke, and maybe a few others).

Well, from the Catholic Encyclopedia, it seems as if you could become a saint back in the old days, in the first few centuries, just by living in a shack on a mountain. They gradually tightened up the qualifications so that some form of miracle, or at least, great deeds in the service of the Church, was expected of you, and now, I think, you have to go through various stages, where the Pope recognises your claim, you're beatified, and then you finally achieve sainthood.

For instance:

Saint Gregory of Girgenti

Memorial
23 November

Profile
Byzantine Christian. Bishop of Girgenti. Wrote a comment of the book of Ecclesiastes, which has survived.

And that appears to be his sole qualification.

Whereas
Blessed Miguel Agustin Pro
http://saints.sqpn.com/saintm16.htm

Died
martyred by firing squad in 1927

Beatified
25 September 1988 by Pope John Paul II

Canonized
pending

Agaliha
July 4th, 2008, 11:41 AM
Brightshores basically covered it all.

Here's some more info--



The word "saint" thus became more narrowly applied to such people, who were venerated after their deaths as saints, usually by the members of their local church or the Christians in the region where they lived, because they were familiar with their good deeds. Eventually, the Catholic Church created a process, called "canonization," through which such venerable people could be recognized as saints by all Christians everywhere.

Most of the saints whom we refer to by that title (for instance, St. Elizabeth Ann Seton) have gone through this process of canonization. Others, such as St. Peter and St. Paul, received the title through acclamation, or the universal recognition of their holiness.

Catholics believe that both types of saints (canonized and acclaimed) are already in Heaven, which is why one of the requirements for the canonization process is proof of miracles performed by the possible saint after his death. Canonized saints can be venerated anywhere and prayed to publicly, and their lives are held up to Christians still struggling here on earth as examples to be imitated.

http://catholicism.about.com/od/thesaints/f/What_Is_A_Saint.htmHere's the process of Canonization:

Canonization: Canonization is both a journey and a destination, and it certainly isn't quick. Here's the process, according to Pope John Paul II (last updated 1983):

1. The candidate must have been dead at least five years so that the investigation benefits from the emotional distance time can afford.
2. The bishop of the diocese where the candidate died is responsible for beginning the investigation. He convenes a tribunal to examine the facts of the candidate's life in detail. Witnesses both for and against formal sainthood are called to testify as character witnesses, in essence. The main criterion is whether this person has proven "heroic exercise of virtue." At the end of this stage, the candidate gains the title "Servant of God."
3. The diocese sends its findings to the Congregation for the Causes of Saints in Rome. A postulator functions like a defense attorney, summarizing the candidate's case and presenting it to a board of nine theologians for examination. If the majority of them vote in favor, the case passes next to the cardinals and bishops of the congregation. If the congregation judge favorably, their prefect (the head of the group) passes the case to the Pope. If the Pope approves, he authorizes the congregation to prepare a public declaration of the candidate's "heroic virtues."
4. Beatification is a first-level bonus. It means that, with parallel investigations and approvals, the candidate is shown to have performed a miracle. The candidate gets the title "Blessed."
5. Canonization is a double bonus. If the candidate can be shown to have interceded and performed a miracle after beatification, s/he gets bumped up to "Saint."
http://www.bustedhalo.com/faith_guides/whatmakes.htmWikipedia has a good overview of the concept in Catholicism and other Christian denominations: Saint - Wikipedia (http://rds.yahoo.com/_ylt=A0oGkiurQ25IHD4ATcBXNyoA;_ylu=X3oDMTBydHRjbmRzBHNlYwNzcgRwb3MDMwRjb2xvA3NrMQR2dGlkAw--/SIG=11ms0bjo8/EXP=1215272235/**http%3a//en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Saint)
Patron saint - Wikipedia (http://rds.yahoo.com/_ylt=A0oGkmrBQ25I9mYAyW9XNyoA;_ylu=X3oDMTByN2s4bDgzBHNlYwNzcgRwb3MDNARjb2xvA3NrMQR2dGlkAw--/SIG=11tqoaugg/EXP=1215272257/**http%3a//en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Patron_saint)

Patron saint:

In those denominations of Christianity that believe in the intercession of saints, the patron saint of a particular group of people is a saint who has special affinity for that group and its members. Prayers by such people are considered more likely to be answered by their patron saint. Some consider it a special devotion to God by displaying humility in asking a saint for intercession rather than expecting to be answered themselves, calling to mind Job 42:8, which implies God's favour to the virtuous.Also:
Why Do Roman Catholics Pray to Saints? (http://catholicism.about.com/od/thesaints/f/Pray_to_Saints.htm)
And "Patron Saints (http://en.wikisource.org/wiki/Catholic_Encyclopedia_%281913%29/Patron_Saints)". Catholic Encyclopedia.
List of saints and their patronages: http://saints.sqpn.com/indexsnt.htm

ETA:
People can get Patrons from many reasons:
Their birthday, saints have feast days throughout the calender
Their baptismal name "Christian name" give by your parents
Their confirmation name that they chose, from what I understand is usually after a saint
If they have a profession (St. Michael the Archangel is the patron of cops, for example)
Ones they're personally close to
Ones they call on for problems and things that are temporary (ie Saint Apollonia for toothaches, etc)
Etc

David19
July 4th, 2008, 02:33 PM
From what I understand, saints in the Catholic traditions are people who were noted for holiness during their life. After their deaths, if people pray to them and they perform "miracles," then the Vatican first beatifies them and then, eventually, canonizes them.

Saints are human beings who have died. People pray to them because the belief is that the saint can speak on their behalf to God, or "intercede" for them.

Not sure how this is different in the Orthodox traditions (obviously the Pope is not involved..)

The Protestants in general don't recognize saints, outside of a few biggies (the Virgin Mary, Sts. Peter, Paul, John, Matthew, Mark, & Luke, and maybe a few others).


Well, from the Catholic Encyclopedia, it seems as if you could become a saint back in the old days, in the first few centuries, just by living in a shack on a mountain. They gradually tightened up the qualifications so that some form of miracle, or at least, great deeds in the service of the Church, was expected of you, and now, I think, you have to go through various stages, where the Pope recognises your claim, you're beatified, and then you finally achieve sainthood.

For instance:


And that appears to be his sole qualification.

Whereas
Blessed Miguel Agustin Pro
http://saints.sqpn.com/saintm16.htm


Brightshores basically covered it all.

Here's some more info--

Here's the process of Canonization:
Wikipedia has a good overview of the concept in Catholicism and other Christian denominations: Saint - Wikipedia (http://rds.yahoo.com/_ylt=A0oGkiurQ25IHD4ATcBXNyoA;_ylu=X3oDMTBydHRjbmRzBHNlYwNzcgRwb3MDMwRjb2xvA3NrMQR2dGlkAw--/SIG=11ms0bjo8/EXP=1215272235/**http%3a//en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Saint)
Patron saint - Wikipedia (http://rds.yahoo.com/_ylt=A0oGkmrBQ25I9mYAyW9XNyoA;_ylu=X3oDMTByN2s4bDgzBHNlYwNzcgRwb3MDNARjb2xvA3NrMQR2dGlkAw--/SIG=11tqoaugg/EXP=1215272257/**http%3a//en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Patron_saint)

Patron saint:
Also:
Why Do Roman Catholics Pray to Saints? (http://catholicism.about.com/od/thesaints/f/Pray_to_Saints.htm)
And "Patron Saints (http://en.wikisource.org/wiki/Catholic_Encyclopedia_%281913%29/Patron_Saints)". Catholic Encyclopedia.
List of saints and their patronages: http://saints.sqpn.com/indexsnt.htm

ETA:
People can get Patrons from many reasons:
Their birthday, saints have feast days throughout the calender
Their baptismal name "Christian name" give by your parents
Their confirmation name that they chose, from what I understand is usually after a saint
If they have a profession (St. Michael the Archangel is the patron of cops, for example)
Ones they're personally close to
Ones they call on for problems and things that are temporary (ie Saint Apollonia for toothaches, etc)
Etc

I know I'm not the OP, but thanks for the really great info, on how people become Saints, I knew some of the answers (like, some (or all?) Saints have to perform some kind of miracle (healing, etc), etc, but I didn't know about what else they had to do.

I'm glad this forum came about, 'cause I'm really learning a lot :).

Shanti
July 6th, 2008, 07:04 PM
Wow thanks guys!!!
One more question... :)
I saw a lot about the pope declaring a saint a saint. Is it his final say or are there more involved.
I wonder because to be recognized with what I would think is a very important standing, sainthood that is, that the final decision wouldn't rest upon only one person.

GabrielWithoutWings
July 13th, 2008, 04:52 AM
Also keep in mind that Eastern Christianity doesn't use the Latin canonization process.

In Chalcedonian Orthodoxy, a persons saint hood is generally decided by the people of the local area noting a person's holiness and offering intercessory prayers before popular saint hood is declared which spreads to both hierarchs and lay people.

I'm not about Chalcedonian, but I'm fairly sure non-Chalcedonian Orthodoxy (Oriental Orthodoxy) will only recognize priests, monks, and bishops as saints. No lay people.

Philosophia
July 13th, 2008, 06:08 AM
This is how a person becomes a saint:


Here are the steps that must be followed in the process of canonization:

1. A local bishop investigates the candidate's life and writings for evidence of heroic virtue. The information uncovered by the bishop is sent to the Vatican.
2. A panel of theologians and the cardinals of the Congregation for Cause of Saints evaluate the candidate's life.
3. If the panel approves, the pope proclaims that the candidate is venerable, which means that the person is a role model of Catholic virtues.
4. The next step toward sainthood is beatification, which allows a person to be honored by a particular group or region. In order to beatify a candidate, it must be shown that the person is responsible for a posthumous miracle. Martyrs -- those who died for their religious cause -- can be beatified without evidence of a miracle. On Oct. 20, 2003, Mother Teresa was beatified. She is now known as Blessed Mother Teresa of Kolkata.
5. In order for the candidate to be considered a saint, there must be proof of a second posthumous miracle. If there is, the person is canonized.

From here (http://people.howstuffworks.com/question6191.htm).

cheddarsox
July 13th, 2008, 07:03 AM
In Catholicism, saints are people who the church has declared that are without a doubt in heaven, and thus very close to God.

In Catholic beliefs, nothing imperfect can enter heaven, so good people who are still "attached" to sin, or have some sin on their souls they need to atone for, go to purgatory after they die to suffer away their uncleanliness and be made perfect. No one really knows what goes on in purgatory, or how long the process may take for anyone (in human time).

It is assumed that most people who will eventually reach heaven will spend a good bit of time in purgatory first. Martyrs, those who willingly die for their faith are believed to pretty much automatically go to heaven because they gave the supreme sacrifice for their faith. But others...it can be hard to tell.

But if someone lived an especially "holy" life, then people suspect they may have gone straight to their eternal reward, especially if mystical things happened in their life, etc. And sometimes these mystical and miraculous things continue, or begin to happen after their death but associated with them.

The Church considers these as signs that the person has attained heaven, and is thus now very close to God. The process of canonization is one the Church uses to determine whether or not, that soul is now in heaven. There are specific criteria that must be met, and the person's life is closely investigated, and any miraculous events during or after are carefully looked over.

In the process, if the person is at least declared to be very holy, and very likely to be in heaven, they are called beatified, and then people are encouraged to "pray" to them, which means to ask their departed soul to intercede with God on a human's behalf. If the beatified soul is truly dwelling with God in heaven, then it is believed that their prayers to God, on earth bound souls behalf, will be more effective. (there is a passage in scripture about the power of prayers of the righteous) and thus more likely to be "answered".

I believe that three verified miracles, associated with prayer to the beatified are required before the Church will declare a person a saint..and recongnized as being in full communion with God in heaven.

Often when a holy person dies, people who have known them and been inspired by their lives will present their case to the Vatican and "campaign" on their behalf. They may have been a person in a convent or monestary that many did not know about, so the people who did know them will spread information on their lives, perhaps create a medal or distribute relics (pieces of their clothing, or something they touched in life) and cards with prayers on them, and try to get others to ask for intercession from the departed holy person, so that they can get the miraculous evidence that the soul is in heaven.

When my brother was blinded years ago in an accident, some groups who were working for the canonization of various holy people sent prayer cards and relics to him, and asked that if prayer to their particular person led to a healing how to contact them and what type of evidence they might need.

So, a saint, in Catholicism is one who the church has carefully investigated and has found sufficient evidence to say "that soul now dwells with God".

I am not sure when this modern canonization process came into effect, in the earlier days the process was not as formalized and stringent.

When I was a child the first "American" as in USA saint was canonized, the first saint to have been born on American soil. And since then a Native American has also been canonized (a convert to Catholicism).

In other Christian faith, the word "saint" is used in various ways. In some churches all the faithful are considered "saints" in others, just the departed, or just the members of their particular denomination.

But when people think of declared saints, with statues, and holy cards and devotions, etc...that is a person who the Catholic church has declared is safely in heaven.

Shanti
July 14th, 2008, 02:03 AM
Also keep in mind that Eastern Christianity doesn't use the Latin canonization process.

In Chalcedonian Orthodoxy, a persons saint hood is generally decided by the people of the local area noting a person's holiness and offering intercessory prayers before popular saint hood is declared which spreads to both hierarchs and lay people.

I'm not about Chalcedonian, but I'm fairly sure non-Chalcedonian Orthodoxy (Oriental Orthodoxy) will only recognize priests, monks, and bishops as saints. No lay people.
Wow I didnt even realize there was aint hood outside of catholicism.

Shows you I still have much to learn!!

Thank you for adding this info. :)

Shanti
July 14th, 2008, 02:06 AM
Thank you everyone for all the info thus far. I really am limited on my knowledge in this area.
I appreciate too, the time you have all taken to post.

I need to read this thread a few times I think because its more info than I expected.

Glad to learn from you all. :)