*Saints • Saints are those individuals who are recognized for their holiness and virtue on earth • During their life, saints prayed faithfully • We never worship saints—we do however call on them in heaven • They can then present their petitions for us at the throne of God
Apostles Creed I believe in God, the Father almighty, Creator of heaven and earth, and in Jesus Christ, his only Son, our Lord, who was conceived by the Holy Spirit, born of the Virgin Mary, suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died and was buried; he descended into hell; on the third day he rose again from the dead; he ascended into heaven, and is seated at the right hand of God the Father almighty; from there he will come to judge the living and the dead. I believe in the Holy Spirit, the holy catholic Church, the communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body, and life everlasting. Amen."
Communion of Saints • The communion of saints is made up of all men and women who have placed their hope in Christ, whether they have died or are still alive • There are saints, known and unknown • We are all united and members of the body of Christ
We can all help one another-we can call upon the saints but also our departed relatives and friends who we believe are already with God • Whenever an individual does good or suffers for Christ, all benefit • On the other hand, this unfortunately means that every sin harms the entire communion
How does one become a Saint in the Catholic Church: Canonization Process 1. Venerable: The process begins after the death of a Catholic whom people regard as holy. Often, the process starts many years after death The local bishop investigates the candidate's life Then a panel of theologians at the Vatican evaluates the candidate. After approval by the panel and cardinals of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints, the pope proclaims the candidate "venerable."
2. 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 with whom the person holds special importance.
3. Saint: Only after one more miracle will the pope canonize the saint (this includes martyrs as well). The title of saint tells us that the person lived a holy life, is in heaven, and is to be honoured by the universal Church. Canonization does not "make" a person a saint; it recognizes what God has already done.
*Praying with the Saints • We pray with saints, not to them. • Since saints led holy lives and are close to God in heaven, we feel that their prayers are particularly effective. Often we ask particular saints to pray for us if we feel they have a particular interest in our problem.
Patron Saints Patron saints are chosen as special protectors or guardians over areas of life. These areas can include occupations, illnesses, churches, countries, causes -- anything that is important to us. For example, Francis of Assisi loved nature and so he is patron of ecologists. Francis de Sales was a writer and so he is patron of journalists and writers. Clare of Assisi was named patron of television because one Christmas when she was too ill to leave her bed she saw and heard Christmas Mass -- even though it was taking place miles away.