How does one become a Saint?

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How does one become a Saint?

Post  THE ROCK on Wed 09 Jul 2008, 11:17 pm

I have difficulty in understanding the following question:

  • What exactly is a saint?
  • Why do Catholics have/believe in/worship saints?
  • How does one become a saint?

I am hoping that someone answers these questions.
God bless all
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Re: How does one become a Saint?

Post  planet_shakers on Wed 09 Jul 2008, 11:31 pm

Canonization, the process the Church uses to name a saint, has only been used since the tenth century. For hundreds of years, starting with the first martyrs of the early Church, saints were chosen by public acclaim. Though this was a more democratic way to recognize saints, some saints’ stories were distorted by legend and some supposed saints never existed. Gradually, the bishops and finally the Vatican took over authority for "approving" saints.

Beatification, requires evidence of one miracle (except in the case of martyrs). Since miracles are considered proof that the person is in heaven and can intercede for us, the miracle must take place after the candidate’s death and as a result of a specific petition to the candidate. When the pope proclaims the candidate beatified or "blessed," the person can be venerated by a particular region or group of people for whom the person holds special importance.

The title of saint tells us that the person lived a holy life, is in heaven, and is to be honored by the universal Church. Canonization does not "make" a person a saint; it recognizes what God has already done.

This is what I got from my research on the topic of saints.

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Worship and Sainthood

Post  Fenny West on Thu 10 Jul 2008, 2:13 am

· What exactly is a saint?

There are two interpretation of sainthood- the biblical and the religious. The biblical view is clearly evident from the scriptural references below.

A saint is anyone who has repented of his/her sins and is born again. In the Old Testament all the people of God represented by Israel were saints of God.

I n the New Testament believers were addressed as saints.

He will guard the feet of his saints, but the wicked will be silenced in darkness. "It is not by strength that one prevails; 1Sam2:9

"Now arise, O LORD God, and come to your resting place, you and the ark of your might. May your priests, O LORD God, be clothed with salvation, may your saints rejoice in your goodness.

2Chro 6:41

As for the saints who are in the land, they are the glorious ones in whom is all my delight.Ps16:3

Sing to the LORD, you saints of his; praise his holy name.Ps30:4

Love the LORD, all his saints! The LORD preserves the faithful, but the proud he pays back in full. Ps31:23

Fear the LORD, you his saints, for those who fear him lack nothing. Ps 34:9

I will praise you forever for what you have done; in your name I will hope, for your name is good. I will praise you in the presence of your saints. Ps52:9

He will speak against the Most High and oppress his saints and try to change the set times and the laws. The saints will be handed over to him for a time, times and half a time.

Then the sovereignty, power and greatness of the kingdoms under the whole heaven will be handed over to the saints, the people of the Most High. His kingdom will be an everlasting kingdom, and all rulers will worship and obey him.'

Daniel 7:18,21,22,25,27

"Lord," Ananias answered, "I have heard many reports about this man and all the harm he has done to your saints in Jerusalem. Aeneas and Dorcas ] As Peter traveled about the country, he went to visit the saints in Lydda.Acts9:23,32

And that is just what I did in Jerusalem. On the authority of the chief priests I put many of the saints in prison, and when they were put to death, I cast my vote against them.Acts26:10

To all in Rome who are loved by God and called to be saints: Grace and peace to you from God our Father and from the Lord Jesus Christ. Rom1:7

And he who searches our hearts knows the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for the saints in accordance with God's will. Rom.8:27

Now, however, I am on my way to Jerusalem in the service of the saints there. For Macedonia and Achaia were pleased to make a contribution for the poor among the saints in Jerusalem. Pray that I may be rescued from the unbelievers in Judea and that my service in Jerusalem may be acceptable to the saints there, Rom 15:25,26,31

ask you to receive her in the Lord in a way worthy of the saints and to give her any help she may need from you, for she has been a great help to many people, including me. Rom16:2

[ Lawsuits Among Believers ] If any of you has a dispute with another, dare he take it before the ungodly for judgment instead of before the saints? Do you not know that the saints will judge the world? And if you are to judge the world, are you not competent to judge trivial cases? 1Cor.6:1,2

Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God, and Timothy our brother, To the church of God in Corinth, together with all the saints throughout Achaia: 2Cor1:1

All the saints send their greetings.2Cor.13:13

Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God, To the saints in Ephesus, the faithful in Christ Jesus Thanksgiving and Prayer ] For this reason, ever since I heard about your faith in the Lord Jesus and your love for all the saints,: Eph1:15

And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the saints. Ephe 6:18

Paul and Timothy, servants of Christ Jesus, To all the saints in Christ Jesus at Philippi, together with the overseers and deacons:Phil.1:1

All the saints send you greetings, especially those who belong to Caesar's household Phil4:22

giving thanks to the Father, who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of the saints in the kingdom of light.Col1:12

the mystery that has been kept hidden for ages and generations, but is now disclosed to the saints. Col1:26

and is well known for her good deeds, such as bringing up children, showing hospitality, washing the feet of the saints, helping those in trouble and devoting herself to all kinds of good deeds.1Tim5:10

because I hear about your faith in the Lord Jesus and your love for all the saints. Your love has given me great joy and encouragement, because you, brother, have refreshed the hearts of the saints. Philemon 1:5,7

[ The sin and doom of Godless men ] Dear friends, although I was very eager to write to you about the salvation we share, I felt I had to write and urge you to contend for the faith that was once for all entrusted to the saints. Jude 1:3

And when he had taken it, the four living creatures and the twenty-four elders fell down before the Lamb. Each one had a harp and they were holding golden bowls full of incense, which are the prayers of the saints. Rev5:8

Another angel, who had a golden censer, came and stood at the altar. He was given much incense to offer, with the prayers of all the saints, on the golden altar before the throne. Rev. 8:3

The nations were angry; and your wrath has come. The time has come for judging the dead, and for rewarding your servants the prophets and your saints and those who reverence your name, both small and great— and for destroying those who destroy the earth."Rev.11:18

He was given power to make war against the saints and to conquer them. And he was given authority over every tribe, people, language and nation. If anyone is to go into captivity, into captivity he will go. If anyone is to be killed with the sword, with the sword he will be killed. This calls for patient endurance and faithfulness on the part of the saints. Rev.13:7,10

· Why do Catholics have/believe in/worship saints?

Worship belongs to God and God alone, hence worshipping saints is idolatry, a snare and an offence to God.

Then the LORD said to Moses, "Go to Pharaoh and say to him, 'This is what the LORD says: Let my people go, so that they may worship me. Ex8:1

And when you look up to the sky and see the sun, the moon and the stars—all the heavenly array—do not be enticed into bowing down to them and worshiping things the LORD your God has apportioned to all the nations under heaven. Deut.4:19,

You shall not bow down to them or worship them; for I, the LORD your God, am a jealous God, punishing the children for the sin of the fathers to the third and fourth generation of those who hate me,-5:9

They worshiped their idols, which became a snare to them.Ps106:36

The Lord says: "These people come near to me with their mouth and honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me. Their worship of me is made up only of rules taught by men.Isa29:13

But whoever sacrifices a bull is like one who kills a man, and whoever offers a lamb, like one who breaks a dog's neck; whoever makes a grain offering is like one who presents pig's blood, and whoever burns memorial incense, like one who worships an idol. They have chosen their own ways, and their souls delight in their abominations;Isa66:3

Satan would want to divert our worship away from God by deceiving us to worship possessions, people, saints or himself. He tempted Jesus but Jesus refused to bow to him. We too must resist any temptation to worship any other god and vehemently too.

"All this I will give you," he said, "if you will bow down and worship me." Jesus said to him, "Away from me, Satan! For it is written: 'Worship the Lord your God, and serve him only.' " Matt4:9,10

Clearly this is what god thinks of those who say they worship him and worship saints alongside: They worship me in vain; their teachings are but rules taught by men.' Mark7:7

We must worship the Lord in spirit and in truth.

Yet a time is coming and has now come when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for they are the kind of worshipers the Father seeks. God is spirit, and his worshipers must worship in spirit and in truth." John4:23,24

We must not worship created things- including men and women called saints.

They exchanged the truth of God for a lie, and worshiped and served created things rather than the Creator—who is forever praised. Amen. Rom1:25

Such regulations indeed have an appearance of wisdom, with their self-imposed worship, their false humility and their harsh treatment of the body, but they lack any value in restraining sensual indulgence. Col2:23

We must worship God acceptably

Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, let us be thankful, and so worship God acceptably with reverence and awe, Heb 12:28

Worshipping Saints is an indirect worship of the beast.

All inhabitants of the earth will worship the beast—all whose names have not been written in the book of life belonging to the Lamb that was slain from the creation of the world.

Who should we worship?

He said in a loud voice, "Fear God and give him glory, because the hour of his judgment has come. Worship him who made the heavens, the earth, the sea and the springs of water." Rev7:14

And the smoke of their torment rises for ever and ever. There is no rest day or night for those who worship the beast and his image, or for anyone who receives the mark of his name."Rev14:11

Even Angels know that worship belongs to God alone and refused being worshipped.

At this I fell at his feet to worship him. But he said to me, "Do not do it! I am a fellow servant with you and with your brothers who hold to the testimony of Jesus. Worship God! For the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy." Rev.19:10

I, John, am the one who heard and saw these things. And when I had heard and seen them, I fell down to worship at the feet of the angel who had been showing them to me. But he said to me, "Do not do it! I am a fellow servant with you and with your brothers the prophets and of all who keep the words of this book. Worship God!"Rev22:8,9

· How does one become a saint?

Acknowledge that you are a sinner

Believe that only Christ can save you

Confess your sins and accept Jesus as your Lord and Savior

9That if you confess with your mouth, "Jesus is Lord," and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. 10For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you confess and are saved.Rom10:9-10

Yet to all who received him, to tthem he gavethe authority to become children of God.

Last edited by Fenny West on Thu 10 Jul 2008, 10:45 pm; edited 1 time in total


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Re: How does one become a Saint?

Post  Waqar Daniel on Thu 10 Jul 2008, 1:56 pm

Thank you Fenny for a detailed answer. The word Saint comes from the Latin one that simply means Holy whether dead or aive. Now coming to your questions of:

Roman Catholic Process of selecting a Saint

Saints were once chosen by the democratic method of public acclaim, however, the people being chosen by this method were often elevated by legend and in some cases there are doubts they even existed. To tackle this problem the Vatican, and the Pope, took over choosing and naming Saints in the 10th Century. They did this via a process called cannonization. This process was further amended in 1983 by Pope John Paul II and now follows three main stages.

Stage I Veneration

The first stage begins after the death of the candidate. The candidate will be a Roman Catholic who was regarded as being particularly holy in life. A local Bishop will first examine their life, works and holy virtues for evidence of saintliness. If he feels them a likely candidate the findings will then be passed to a panel of theologians at the Vatican and then to a group of Cardinals called the Congregation for the Cause of Saints. After these three levels of scrutiny they will then finally be named "venerable" by the Pope, meaning that they are heroic in nature and have reached the first level of being sacred.

Stage II Beatification

The second stage is called "beatification" and is a stage necessary for non-martyrs only. A martyr in this sense of the word is someone who has been murdered or put to death in the name of their Christian faith. For this stage evidence is needed of one miracle which has happened after the candidate's death and as a result of a specific request to them. This is seen as proof that they can intercede for those on earth and act as their voice in heaven. "From our lips to God's ear" so to speak.

The candidate will then be proclaimed as "beatified" and so can be venerated by a region or group for whom the candidate's life holds special significance.

Stage III A Final Miracle

The third and final stage is for both martyrs and non-martyrs alike. For this stage one more miracle is required. The miracle must be done in the name of the candidate to Sainthood. The candidate is then canonized and officially named as a saint by the Pope.

Once a person becomes a saint their name is added to the catalogue of saints, they are invoked in public prayers, churches can be dedicated to their memory, Mass can be offered in their honour, feast days celebrate their memory, images of them may have a halo and their remains become holy relics which are publicly honoured.

Source: Catholic Encyclopedia

There is no mediator apart from Jesus and no name works apart from Jesus.
Whatsoever, ye shall ask in my name, that will I do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son (John 14:13)
God bless you all


Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the LORD Jesus Christ. (Philemon 1:3)

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