The Saints

True or False: Catholics Worship the Saints



The saints are exemplars of how to follow Christ. They come from every walk of life, every race and culture, every century. In their various experiences, challenges, and methods we find a wealth of inspiration for persevering in our faithfulness to Christ in our time, our place, and our station in life.

The saints are our advocates and intercessors, and they are also friends and mentors. When a Catholic "prays to" or "asks the intercession" of a saint, it's the same as asking your neighbor to pray for you; in both cases we are asking these other souls to pray with and for us and through Christ to the one true God. 



True or False: Scripture References Saints



In scripture, Paul addresses many of his letters to the various local communities under the title of saints (Romans, 1 and 2 Corinthians, Ephesians, etc.). The term saints was also applied to those whom Christians served (1 Corinthians). And in Romans 12:4-6, Paul introduces the concept that each of us participates by baptism in the Body of Christ - thereby introducing the concept we call the "Communion of Saints".

Paul is very clear that members of this common body had obligations to build up the community – these members were called saints. This is connected with the Jewish idea of being a holy nation, a covenanted people. The saints are those who have inherited the covenant.


The Early Church Distinguished

the Example of the Martyrs

As Christianity developed, the word saint came to be used more commonly to designate specific individuals who were held to be exemplars of the faith - often through their martyrdom. These people were commemorated or venerated to inspire other Christians in their efforts to remain faithful to Christ. 

Formalizing "Sainthood" (Canonization)

Since the 10th century, the Church has officially applied the standard of holiness of life to certain individuals who lived exemplary Christian lives. The Church does not "create" saints; she engages in a lengthy process of prayer and study that involves the calling forth of witnesses, verification of miracles and other holy actions, much research, and scrutiny.  In some cases, the Church can definitively recognize that the individual is in heaven - is a saint.

The Church does not - and cannot - recognize and formally declare as "saint" every person who is worthy of the title. After all, everyone in heaven is a saint. But God has chosen to reveal to us some of the individuals who are with Him in heaven... And what a gift and assurance that is!

Learn about the Church's Canonization Process.


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All of us 

must be saints 

in this world. 

Holiness is a duty 

for you and me. 

So let’s be saints 

and so give glory 

to the Father.

Bl. Mother Teresa of Calcutta


Learn about our patron saint, 
Saint Bartholomew