Saint

A saint is a person who is recognized as having an exceptional degree of holiness or likeness or closeness to God. However, the use of the term "saint" depends on the context and denomination. In Roman Catholic, Eastern Orthodox, Anglican, Oriental Orthodox, and Lutheran doctrine, all of their faithful deceased in Heaven are considered to be saints, but some are considered worthy of greater honor or emulation;[1] official ecclesiastical recognition, and consequently veneration, is given to some saints through the process of canonization in the Catholic Church or glorification in the Eastern Orthodox Church.[2]

While the English word saint originated in Christianity, historians of religion now use the appellation "in a more general way to refer to the state of special holiness that many religions attribute to certain people", with the Jewish tzadik, the Islamic walī, the Hindu rishi or Sikh guru, and the Buddhist arhat or bodhisattva also being referred to as saints.[3] Depending on the religion, saints are recognized either by official ecclesiastical declaration, as in the Catholic faith, or by popular acclamation (see Folk saint).[4]

Saint Joseph's Catholic Church (Central City, Kentucky) - stained glass, St. Theresa of Ávila detail
St. Teresa of Ávila. In traditional Christian iconography, saints are often depicted with halos as a symbol of holiness.

General characteristics

The English word "saint" comes from the Latin "sanctus". The word translated in Greek is "ἅγιος" (hagios), which means "holy".[5] The word ἅγιος appears 229 times in the Greek New Testament, and its English translation 60 times in the corresponding text of the King James Version of the Bible.[6]

The word sanctus was originally a technical one in ancient Roman religion, but due to its "globalized" use in Christianity the modern word "saint" in English and its equivalent in Romance languages is now also used as a translation of comparable terms for persons "worthy of veneration for their holiness or sanctity" in other religions.

Many religions also use similar concepts (but different terminology) to venerate persons worthy of some honor.[3] Author John A. Coleman S.J. of the Graduate Theological Union, Berkeley, California wrote that saints across various cultures and religions have the following family resemblances:[7]

  1. exemplary model
  2. extraordinary teacher
  3. wonder worker or source of benevolent power
  4. intercessor
  5. a life often refusing material attachments or comforts
  6. possession of a special and revelatory relation to the holy.

The anthropologist Lawrence Babb in an article about Sathya Sai Baba asks the question "Who is a saint?", and responds by saying that in the symbolic infrastructure of some religions, there is the image of a certain extraordinary spiritual king's "miraculous powers", to whom frequently a certain moral presence is attributed. These saintly figures, he asserts, are "the focal points of spiritual force-fields". They exert "powerful attractive influence on followers but touch the inner lives of others in transforming ways as well".[8]

Christianity

Catholic Church

Cimabue Saint Francis Fragment
A portrait depicting Saint Francis of Assisi by the Italian artist Cimabue (1240–1302)

According to the Catholic Church, a "saint" is anyone in Heaven, whether recognized on Earth or not, who form the "great cloud of witnesses" (Hebrews 12:1).[9][10] These "may include our own mothers, grandmothers or other loved ones (cf. 2 Tim 1:5)" who may have not always lived perfect lives but "amid their faults and failings they kept moving forward and proved pleasing to the Lord".[9] The title "Saint" denotes a person who has been formally canonized, that is, officially and authoritatively declared a saint, by the Church as holder of the Keys of the Kingdom of Heaven, and is therefore believed to be in Heaven by the grace of God. There are many persons that the Church believes to be in Heaven who have not been formally canonized and who are otherwise titled "saints" because of the fame of their holiness.[11] Sometimes the word "saint" also denotes living Christians.[12]

In his book Saint of the Day, editor Leonard Foley, OFM says this: the "[Saints'] surrender to God's love was so generous an approach to the total surrender of Jesus that the Church recognizes them as heroes and heroines worthy to be held up for our inspiration. They remind us that the Church is holy, can never stop being holy and is called to show the holiness of God by living the life of Christ."[13]

The Catholic Church teaches that it does not "make" or "create" saints, but rather recognizes them. Proofs of heroicity required in the process of beatification will serve to illustrate in detail the general principles exposed above[14] upon proof of their "holiness" or likeness to God.

According to the Catechism of the Catholic Church Chapter 2, Article 1, 61, "The patriarchs, prophets, and certain other Old Testament figures have been and always will be honored as saints in all the church's liturgical traditions."

On 3 January 993, Pope John XV became the first pope to proclaim a person a "saint" from outside the diocese of Rome: on the petition of the German ruler, he had canonized Bishop Ulrich of Augsburg. Before that time, the popular "cults", or venerations, of saints had been local and spontaneous and were confirmed by the local bishop.[15] Pope John XVIII subsequently permitted a cult of five Polish martyrs.[15] Pope Benedict VIII later declared the Armenian hermit Symeon to be a saint, but it was not until the pontificate of Pope Innocent III that the Popes reserved to themselves the exclusive authority to canonize saints, so that local bishops needed the confirmation of the Pope.[15] Walter of Pontoise was the last person in Western Europe to be canonized by an authority other than the Pope: Hugh de Boves, the Archbishop of Rouen, canonized him in 1153.[16][17] Thenceforth a decree of Pope Alexander III in 1170 reserved the prerogative of canonization to the Pope, insofar as the Latin Church was concerned.[16]

One source claims that "there are over 10,000 named saints and beatified people from history, the Roman Martyrology and Orthodox sources, but no definitive head count".[18]

Alban Butler published Lives of the Saints in 1756, including a total of 1,486 saints. The latest revision of this book, edited by the Jesuit Herbert Thurston and the British author Donald Attwater, contains the lives of 2,565 saints.[19] Monsignor Robert Sarno, an official of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints of the Holy See, expressed that it is impossible to give an exact number of saints.[20]

The veneration of saints, in Latin cultus, or the "cult of the Saints", describes a particular popular devotion or entrustment of one's self to a particular saint or group of saints. Although the term "worship" is sometimes used, it is only used with the older English connotation of honoring or respecting (dulia) a person. According to the Church, Divine worship is in the strict sense reserved only to God (latria) and never to the Saints.[21] One is permitted to ask the Saints to intercede or pray to God for persons still on Earth,[22] just as one can ask someone on Earth to pray for him.

A saint may be designated as a patron saint of a particular cause, profession, or locale, or invoked as a protector against specific illnesses or disasters, sometimes by popular custom and sometimes by official declarations of the Church.[23] Saints are not believed to have power of their own, but only that granted by God. Relics of saints are respected, or "venerated", similar to the veneration of holy images and icons. The practice in past centuries of venerating relics of saints with the intention of obtaining healing from God through their intercession is taken from the early Church.[24] For example, an American deacon claimed in 2000 that Bl. John Henry Cardinal Newman interceded with God to cure him of a physical illness. The deacon, Jack Sullivan, asserted that after addressing Newman he was cured of spinal stenosis in a matter of hours. In 2009, a panel of theologians concluded that Sullivan's recovery was the result of his prayer to Newman. According to the Church, to be deemed a miracle, "a medical recovery must be instantaneous, not attributable to treatment, disappear for good."[25]

Once a person has been canonized, the deceased body of the saint is considered holy as a relic.[26] The remains of saints are called holy relics and are usually used in churches. Saints' personal belongings may also be used as relics.[26] Some of the saints have a special symbol by tradition, e.g., Saint Lawrence, deacon and martyr, is identified by a gridiron because he is believed to have been burned to death on one. This symbol is found, for instance, in the Canadian heraldry of the office responsible for the St. Lawrence Seaway.

Stages of canonization

Formal canonization is a lengthy process, often of many years or even centuries.[27] The first stage in this process is an investigation of the candidate's life by an expert. After this, the official report on the candidate is submitted to the bishop of the pertinent diocese and more study is undertaken. The information is then sent to the Congregation for the Causes of Saints of the Holy See for evaluation at the universal level of the Church.[28] If the application is approved the candidate may be granted the title "Venerable".[28] Further investigation may lead to the candidate's beatification with the title "Blessed",[28] which is elevation to the class of the Beati. Next, and at a minimum, proof of two important miracles obtained from God through the intercession of the candidate are required for formal canonization as a saint. These miracles must be posthumous.[28] Finally, after all of these procedures are complete, the Pope may canonize the candidate as a saint[28] for veneration by the universal Church.

Eastern Orthodoxy

In the Eastern Orthodox Church a saint is defined as anyone who is in Heaven, whether recognized here on earth, or not.[2] By this definition, Adam and Eve, Moses, the various prophets, except for the angels and archangels are all given the title of "Saint". Sainthood in the Orthodox Church does not necessarily reflect a moral model, but the communion with God: there are countless examples of people who lived in great sin and became saints by humility and repentance, such as Mary of Egypt, Moses the Ethiopian, and Dysmas, the repentant thief who was crucified. Therefore, a more complete Eastern Orthodox definition of what a saint is, has to do with the way that saints, through their humility and their love of humankind, saved inside them the entire Church, and loved all people.

Orthodox belief considers that God reveals saints through answered prayers and other miracles. Saints are usually recognized by a local community, often by people who directly knew them. As their popularity grows they are often then recognized by the entire church. The word "canonization" means that a Christian has been found worthy to have his name placed in the canon (official list) of saints of the Church. The formal process of recognition involves deliberation by a synod of bishops.[2] the Orthodox Church does not require the manifestation of miracles; what is required is evidence of a virtuous life.

If the ecclesiastical review is successful, this is followed by a service of Glorification in which the Saint is given a day on the church calendar to be celebrated by the entire church.[29] This does not, however, make the person a saint; the person already was a saint and the Church ultimately recognized it.

As a general rule only clergy will touch relics in order to move them or carry them in procession, however, in veneration the faithful will kiss the relic to show love and respect toward the saint. The altar in an Orthodox church usually contains relics of saints,[30] often of martyrs. Church interiors are covered with the Icons of saints. When an Orthodox Christian venerates an icons of a saint he is venerating the image of God which he sees in the saint.

Because the Church shows no true distinction between the living and the dead (the saints are considered to be alive in Heaven), saints are referred to as if they were still alive. Saints are venerated but not worshipped. They are believed to be able to intercede for salvation and help mankind either through direct communion with God, or by personal intervention.

In the Eastern Orthodox Church, the title Ὅσιος, Hosios (f. Ὁσία Hosia) is also used. This is a title attributed to saints who had lived a monastic or eremitic life, and it is equal to the more usual title of "Saint".

Oriental Orthodoxy

The Oriental Orthodox churches ‒ the Armenian Apostolic Church, the Coptic Orthodox Church of Alexandria, the Tewahedo Church, the Malankara Orthodox Syrian Church, and the Syriac Orthodox Church ‒ follow a canonization process unique to each church. The Coptic Orthodox Church of Alexandria, for example, has the requirement that at least 50 years must pass following a prospective saint's death before the Coptic Orthodox Church's pope can canonize the saint.

Anglicanism

In the Anglican Communion and the Continuing Anglican movement, the title of Saint refers to a person who has been elevated by popular opinion as a pious and holy person. The saints are seen as models of holiness to be imitated, and as a 'cloud of witnesses' that strengthen and encourage the believer during his or her spiritual journey (Hebrews 12:1). The saints are seen as elder brothers and sisters in Christ. Official Anglican creeds recognise the existence of the saints in heaven.

In high-church contexts, such as Anglo-Catholicism, a saint is generally one to whom has been attributed (and who has generally demonstrated) a high level of holiness and sanctity. In this use, a saint is therefore not merely a believer, but one who has been transformed by virtue. In Catholicism, a saint is a special sign of God's activity. The veneration of saints is sometimes misunderstood to be worship, in which case it is derisively termed "hagiolatry".

So far as invocation of the saints is concerned,[31] one of the Church of England's Articles of Religion "Of Purgatory" condemns "the Romish Doctrine concerning...(the) Invocation of Saints" as "a fond thing vainly invented, and grounded upon no warranty of Scripture, but rather repugnant to the Word of God". Anglo-Catholics in Anglican provinces using the Articles often make a distinction between a "Romish" and a "Patristic" doctrine concerning the invocation of saints, permitting the latter in accordance with Article XXII. Indeed, the theologian E.J. Bicknell, stated that the Anglican view acknowledges that the term "invocation may mean either of two things: the simple request to a saint for his prayers (intercession), 'ora pro nobis,' or a request for some particular benefit. In medieval times the saints had come to be regarded as themselves the authors of blessings. Such a view was condemned but the former was affirmed."[32]

Some Anglicans and Anglican churches, particularly Anglo-Catholics, personally ask prayers of the saints. However, such a practice is seldom found in any official Anglican liturgy. Unusual examples of it are found in The Korean Liturgy 1938, the liturgy of the Diocese of Guiana 1959 and The Melanesian English Prayer Book.

Anglicans believe that the only effective Mediator between the believer and God the Father, in terms of redemption and salvation, is God the Son, Jesus Christ. Historical Anglicanism has drawn a distinction between the intercession of the saints and the invocation of the saints. The former was generally accepted in Anglican doctrine, while the latter was generally rejected."[32] There are some, however, in Anglicanism, who do beseech the saints' intercession. Those who beseech the saints to intercede on their behalf make a distinction between "mediator" and "intercessor", and claim that asking for the prayers of the saints is no different in kind than asking for the prayers of living Christians. Anglican Catholics understand sainthood in a more Catholic or Orthodox way, often praying for intercessions from the saints and celebrating their feast days.

According to the Church of England, a saint is one who is sanctified, as it translates in the Authorised King James Version (1611) 2 Chronicles 6:41

Now therefore arise, O LORD God, into thy resting place, thou, and the ark of thy strength: let thy priests, O LORD God, be clothed with salvation, and let thy saints rejoice in goodness.

Lutheranism

AugsburgConfessionXXIOfTheWorshipoftheSaints
"Scripture does not teach calling on the saints or pleading for help from them. For it sets before us Christ alone as mediator, atoning sacrifice, high priest, and intercessor."—A.C. Article XXI.[33]

In the Lutheran Church, all Christians, whether in heaven or on earth, are regarded as saints. However, the church still recognizes and honors specific saints, including some of those recognized by the Catholic Church, but in a qualified way: according to the Augsburg Confession,[34] the term "saint" is used in the manner of the Catholic Church only insofar as to denote a person who received exceptional grace, was sustained by faith, and whose good works are to be an example to any Christian. Traditional Lutheran belief accounts that prayers to the saints are prohibited, as they are not mediators of redemption.[35][36] But, Lutherans do believe that saints pray for the Christian Church in general.[37] Philip Melanchthon, the author of the Apology of the Augsburg Confession, approved honoring the saints by saying they are honored in three ways:

1. By thanking God for examples of His mercy;
2. By using the saints as examples for strengthening our faith; and
3. By imitating their faith and other virtues.[38][39][40]

The Lutheran Churches also have liturgical calendars in which they honor individuals as saints.

The intercession of saints was criticized in the Augsburg Confession, Article XXI: Of the Worship of the Saints. This criticism was refuted by the Catholic side in the Confutatio Augustana,[41] which in turn was refuted by the Lutheran side in the Apology to the Augsburg Confession.[42]

Methodism

While Methodists as a whole do not practice the patronage or veneration of saints, they do honor and admire them. Methodists believe that all Christians are saints, but mainly use the term to refer to biblical people, Christian leaders, and martyrs of the faith. Many Methodist churches are named after saints, such as the Twelve Apostles, John Wesley, etc. Although, most are named after geographical locations associated with an early circuit or prominent location. Some Methodist congregations observe All Saints Day if they follow the liturgical calendar. Many encourage the study of saints, that is, the biography of holy people.

The 14th Article of Religion in the United Methodist Discipline states:

The Romish doctrine concerning purgatory, pardon, worshiping, and adoration, as well of images as of relics, and also invocation of saints, is a fond thing, vainly invented, and grounded upon no warrant of Scripture, but repugnant to the Word of God.

John Wesley, the theological father of world Methodism, did not practice or permit Catholic practices associated with the veneration of the Virgin Mary or prayers to saints.

Other Protestantism

In many Protestant churches, the word "saint" is used more generally to refer to anyone who is a Christian. This is similar in usage to Paul's numerous references in the New Testament of the Bible.[43] In this sense, anyone who is within the Body of Christ (i.e., a professing Christian) is a 'saint' because of their relationship with Christ Jesus. Many Protestants consider intercessory prayers to the saints to be idolatry as an application of divine worship that should be given only to God himself is being given to other believers, dead or alive.[44] Many Protestant sects also consider the practice to be similar to necromancy as the dead are believed to be awaiting resurrection, unable to do anything for the living saint.

Within some Protestant traditions, "saint" is also used to refer to any born-again Christian. Many emphasize the traditional New Testament meaning of the word, preferring to write "saint" to refer to any believer, in continuity with the doctrine of the priesthood of all believers.

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

The beliefs within The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Mormons) with regard to saints are similar but not quite the same as the Protestant tradition. In the New Testament, saints are all those who have entered into the Christian covenant of baptism. The qualification "latter-day" refers to the doctrine that members are living in the "latter days", before the Second Coming of Christ, and is used to distinguish the members of the church, which considers itself the restoration of the ancient Christian church.[45] Members are therefore often referred to as "Latter-day Saints" or "LDS", and among themselves as "saints".[46]

Other religions

The use of the term "saint" is not exclusive to Christianity. In many religions, there are people who have been recognized within their tradition as having fulfilled the highest aspirations of religious teaching. In English, the term saint is often used to translate this idea from many world religions. The Jewish hasid or tsaddiq, the Islamic Mu'min, the Zoroastrian fravashi, the Hindu rsi or guru, the Buddhist arahant or bodhisattva, the Daoist shengren, the Shinto kami and others have all been referred to as saints."[47]

African diaspora

Cuban Santería, Haitian Vodou, Trinidad Orisha-Shango, Brazilian Umbanda, Candomblé, and other similar syncretist religions adopted the Catholic saints, or at least the images of the saints, and applied their own spirits/deities to them. They are worshiped in churches (where they appear as saints) and in religious festivals, where they appear as the deities. The name santería was originally a pejorative term for those whose worship of saints deviated from Catholic norms.

Buddhism

Buddhists in both the Theravada and Mahayana traditions hold the Arhats in special esteem, as well as Bodhisattvas, other Buddhas, or eminent members of the Sangha. Tibetan Buddhists hold the tulkus (reincarnates of deceased eminent practitioners) as living saints on earth.

Hinduism

Hindu saints are those recognized by Hindus as showing a great degree of holiness and sanctity. Hinduism has a long tradition of stories and poetry about saints. There is no formal canonization process in Hinduism, but over time, many men and women have reached the status of saints among their followers and among Hindus in general (unlike in Christianity, Hinduism does not canonize people as saints after death, but they can be accepted as saints during their lifetime).[48] Hindu saints have often renounced the world, and are variously called gurus, sadhus, rishis, devarishis, rajarshis, saptarishis, brahmarshis, swamis, pundits, purohits, pujaris, acharyas, pravaras, yogis, yoginis, and other names.[49]

Some Hindu saints are given god-like status, being seen as incarnations of Vishnu, Shiva, Devi and other aspects of the Divine—this can happen during their lifetimes, or sometimes many years after their deaths. This explains another common name for Hindu saints: godmen.[50]

Islam

Islam has had a rich history of veneration of saints (often called wali, which literally means "Friend [of God]"),[51] which has declined in some parts of the Islamic world in the twentieth century due to the influence of the various streams of Salafism. In Sunni Islam, the veneration of saints became a very common form of devotion early on,[51] and saints came to be defined in the eighth-century as a group of "special people chosen by God and endowed with exceptional gifts, such as the ability to work miracles."[52] The classical Sunni scholars came to recognize and honor these individuals as venerable people who were both "loved by God and developed a close relationship of love to Him."[52] "Belief in the miracles of saints (karāmāt al-awliyāʾ) ... [became a] requirement in Sunni Islam [during the classical period],"[53] with even medieval critics of the ubiquitous practice of grave visitation like Ibn Taymiyyah emphatically declaring: "The miracles of saints are absolutely true and correct, and acknowledged by all Muslim scholars. The Quran has pointed to it in different places, and the sayings of the Prophet have mentioned it, and whoever denies the miraculous power of saints are innovators or following innovators."[54] The vast majority of saints venerated in the classical Sunni world were the Sufis, who were all Sunni mystics who belonged to one of the four orthodox legal schools of Sunni law.[55]

Veneration of saints eventually became one of the most widespread Sunni practices for more than a millennium, before it was opposed in the twentieth century by the Salafi movement, whose various streams regard it as "being both un-Islamic and backwards ... rather than the integral part of Islam which they were for over a millennium."[56] In a manner similar to the Protestant Reformation,[57] the specific traditional practices which Salafism has tried to curtail in both Sunni and Shia contexts include those of the veneration of saints, visiting their graves, seeking their intercession, and honoring their relics. As Christopher Taylor has remarked: "[Throughout Islamic history] a vital dimension of Islamic piety was the veneration of Muslim saints…. [due, however to] certain strains of thought within the Islamic tradition itself, particularly pronounced in the nineteenth and the twentieth centuries ... [some modern day] Muslims have either resisted acknowledging the existence of Muslim saints altogether or have viewed their presence and veneration as unacceptable deviations."[58]

Judaism

The term Tzadik ("righteous"), and its associated meanings, developed in rabbinic thought from its Talmudic contrast with Hasid ("pious"), to its exploration in ethical literature, and its esoteric spiritualisation in Kabbalah. In Hasidic Judaism, the institution of the Tzadik assumed central importance, combining former elite mysticism with social movement for the first time.

Sikhism

The concept of sant or bhagat is found in North Indian religious thought including Sikhism, most notably in the Sri Guru Granth Sahib. Figures such as Kabir, Ravidas, Namdev, and others are known as "Sants" or "Bhagats". The term Sant is applied in the Sikh and related communities to beings that have attained enlightenment through God realization and spiritual union with God via repeatedly reciting the name of God (Naam Japo). Countless names of God exist, in Sikhism, Naam (spiritual internalization of God's name) is commonly attained through the name of Waheguru, which translates to "Wondrous Guru".

Sikhs are encouraged to follow the congregation of a Sant (Sadh Sangat) or "The Company of the Holy". Sants grace the Sadh Sangat with knowledge of the Divine God, and how to take greater steps towards obtaining spiritual enlightenment through Naam. Sants are to be distinguished from "Guru" (such as Guru Nanak) who have compiled the path to God enlightenment in the Sri Guru Granth Sahib. Gurus are the physical incarnation of God upon Earth. Sikhism states however, that any beings that have become one with God are considered synonymous with God. As such, the fully realized Sant, Guru, and God are considered one.[59]

See also

References

Notes

  1. ^ Woodward, Kenneth L. (1996). Making Saints. Simon & Schuster. p. 16. ISBN 978-0-684-81530-5. Among other Christian churches, the Russian Orthodox retains a vigorous devotion to the saints, especially the early church fathers and martyrs. On rare occasions, new names (usually monks or bishops) are grafted onto their traditional list of saints.... Something like the cult continues among Anglicans and Lutherans, who maintain feast days and calendars of saints. But while the Anglicans have no mechanism for recognizing new saints, the Lutherans from time to time do informally recommend new names (Da Hammarskjold, Dietrick Bonhoeffer, and Pope John XXIII are recent additions) for thanksgiving and remembrance by the faithful. The saint, then, is a familiar figure in all world religions. But only the Roman Catholic Church has a formal, continuous, and highly rationalized process for 'making' saints.
  2. ^ a b c Bebis, George (n.d.). "The Lives of the Saints". Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America. Retrieved 7 May 2016.
  3. ^ a b Jones, Lindsay, ed. (2005). "Sainthood". Thomson Gale Encyclopedia of Religion (2nd ed.). Macmillan. p. 8033. Historians of religion have liberated the category of sainthood from its narrower Christian associations and have employed the term in a more general way to refer to the state of special holiness that many religions attribute to certain people. The Jewish hasid or tsaddiq, the Muslim waliy, the Zoroastrian fravashi, the Hindu rsi or guru, the Buddhist arahant or bodhisattva, the Daoist shengren, the Shinto kami and others have all been referred to as saints.
  4. ^ Ben-Ami, Issachar (1998). Saint Veneration Among the Jews in Morocco. Wayne State University Press. p. 13. ISBN 978-0-8143-2198-0. Retrieved 7 September 2012. Veneration of saints is a universal phenomenon. All monotheistic and polytheistic creeds contain something of its religious dimension ...
  5. ^ Canonization of Saint Herman of Alaska, 1970, Kodiak, Alaska, Orthodox Church in America
  6. ^ "What does the word 'saint' mean in the Bible?". Archived from the original on 29 July 2013. Retrieved 19 December 2012.
  7. ^ Coleman, John A. "Conclusion: After sainthood", in Hawley, John Stratton, ed. Saints and Virtues Berkeley: University of California Press, 1987. pp. 214–217. ISBN 0-520-06163-2
  8. ^ Babb, Lawrence A. "Sathya Sai Baba's Saintly Play", in Hawley, John Stratton, ed. Saints and Virtues. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1987. pp. 168–170. ISBN 0-520-06163-2.
  9. ^ a b "Gaudete et exsultate: Apostolic Exhortation on the call to holiness in today's world". Holy See. 19 March 2018. Retrieved 4 May 2018.
  10. ^ Kevin Cotter. "How Does Someone Become a Saint? A 5-Step Process". focusoncampus, CHURCH. Retrieved 23 September 2017.
  11. ^ What is a saint? Vatican Information Service, 29 July 1997
  12. ^ "Catechism of the Catholic Church (Second Edition)". Scborromeo.org. Retrieved 12 October 2013.
  13. ^ Saint of the Day, edited by Leonard Foley, OFM, (Cincinnati: St. Anthony Messenger Press, 2003), xvi. ISBN 0-86716-535-9
  14. ^ The Catechism of the Catholic Church Archived 12 August 2011 at the Wayback Machine, from the Knights of Columbus site
  15. ^ a b c Luscombe, David and Riley-Smith, Jonathan. 2004. New Cambridge Medieval History: c.1024–c.1198, Volume 5. p. 12.
  16. ^ a b William Smith, Samuel Cheetham, A Dictionary of Christian Antiquities (Murray, 1875), 283.
  17. ^ "Alexander III". Saint-mike.org. Retrieved 12 October 2013.
  18. ^ All About Saints, "FAQs: Saints and Angels", Catholic Online (USA)
  19. ^ "Religion: 2,565 Saints". Time. 6 August 1956. Retrieved 23 May 2010.
  20. ^ "Keeping Saints Alive". CBS News. 4 April 2010.
  21. ^ Scully, Teresita Do Catholics Worship Mary? on American Catholic.org
  22. ^ The Intercession of the Saints Archived 19 June 2009 at the Wayback Machine on Catholic.com
  23. ^ Patron Saints from Catholic Encyclopedia (1913) on Wikisource.org
  24. ^ Acts of the Apostles, 19: 11–2
  25. ^ Jenna Russell, "Marshfield man's prayer an answer in sainthood query", The Boston Globe, 28 April 2009, B1, 4.
  26. ^ a b Relics Catholic Encyclopedia on NewAdvent.org
  27. ^ Table of the Canonizations during the Pontificate of His Holiness John Paul II on Vatican.va
  28. ^ a b c d e "The Steps of Canonization". HowStuffWorks.
  29. ^ Frawley J The Glorification of the Saints in the Orthodox Church at Orthodox Church in America, Syosset, New York
  30. ^ Hopko T "The Orthodox Faith"
  31. ^ "Article XXII". Eskimo.com. Retrieved 12 October 2013.
  32. ^ a b Sokol, David F. (2001). The Anglican Prayer Life: Ceum Na Corach', the True Way. p. 14. ISBN 978-0-595-19171-0. In 1556 Article XXII in part read... "The Romish doctrine concerning...invocation of saints, is a fond thing vainly invented, and grounded upon no warranty of Scripture, but rather repugnant to the word of God." The term "doctrina Romanensium" or Romish doctrine was substituted for the "doctrina scholasticorum" of the doctrine of the school authors in 1563 to bring the condemnation up to date subsequent to the Council of Trent. As E.J. Bicknell writes, invocation may mean either of two things: the simple request to a saint for his prayers (intercession), 'ora pro nobis,' or a request for some particular benefit. In medieval times the saints had come to be regarded as themselves the authors of blessings. Such a view was condemned but the former was affirmed.
  33. ^ Augsburg Confession, Article 21, "Of the Worship of the Saints". trans. Kolb, R., Wengert, T., and Arand, C. Minneapolis: Fortress Press, 2000.
  34. ^ A Confession of Faith Presented in Augsburg by certain Princes and Cities to His Imperial Majesty Charles V in the Year 1530
  35. ^ Apology of the Augsburg Confession XXI 14–30
  36. ^ Smalcald Articles-II 25
  37. ^ Apology of the Augsburg Confession XXI 9
  38. ^ Apology of the Augsburg Confession XXI 4–7
  39. ^ "Lutheran Church – Missouri Synod – Christian Cyclopedia". lcms.org.
  40. ^ Augsburg Confession XXI 1
  41. ^ "1530 Roman Confutation". bookofconcord.org.
  42. ^ Apology to the Augsburg Confession, Article XXI : Of the Invocation of Saints
  43. ^ "Beloved of God, Called to Be Saints", New Testament Gospel Doctrine Teacher's Manual. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Salt Lake City, Utah. p. 150.
  44. ^ "The Sin of Idolatry and the Catholic Concept of Iconic Participation". Philvaz.com. Retrieved 25 December 2012.
  45. ^ Smith, Joseph Jr. "Pearl of Great Price".
  46. ^ M. Russell Ballard, "Faith, Family, Facts, and Fruits", Ensign, Nov 2007, 25–27
  47. ^ Lindsay Jones, ed. (2005). Thomson Gale Encyclopedia of Religion (in Tajik). Sainthood (Second ed.). Macmillan Reference USA. p. 8033.
  48. ^ Bhaskarananda, Swami (2002). The Essentials of Hinduism. Seattle: The Vedanta Society of Western Washington. p. 12. ISBN 978-1-884852-04-6.
  49. ^ Robin Rinehart (1 January 2004). Contemporary Hinduism: Ritual, Culture, and Practice. ABC-CLIO. pp. 87–90. ISBN 978-1-57607-905-8. Retrieved 3 June 2013.
  50. ^ Kenneth L. Woodward (10 July 2001). The Book of Miracles: The Meaning of the Miracle Stories in Christianity, Judaism, Buddhism, Hinduism and Islam. Simon & Schuster. p. 267. ISBN 978-0-7432-0029-5. Retrieved 3 June 2013.
  51. ^ a b See John Renard, Friends of God: Islamic Images of Piety, Commitment, and Servanthood (Berkeley: University of California Press, 2008); Idem., Tales of God Friends: Islamic Hagiography in Translation (Berkeley: University of California Press, 2009)
  52. ^ a b Radtke, B., "Saint", in: Encyclopaedia of the Qurʾān, General Editor: Jane Dammen McAuliffe, Georgetown University, Washington DC.
  53. ^ Jonathan A.C. Brown, "Faithful Dissenters: Sunni Skepticism about the Miracles of Saints," Journal of Sufi Studies 1 (2012), p. 123
  54. ^ Ibn Taymiyyah, Mukhtasar al-Fatawa al-Masriyya (al-Madani Publishing House, 1980), p. 603
  55. ^ John Renard, Friends of God: Islamic Images of Piety, Commitment, and Servanthood (Berkeley: University of California Press, 2008)
  56. ^ Juan Eduardo Campo, Encyclopedia of Islam (New York: Infobase Publishing, 2009), p. 600
  57. ^ See Jonathan A.C. Brown, Misquoting Muhammad (London: Oneworld Publications, 2015), p. 254
  58. ^ Christopher Taylor, In the Vicinity of the Righteous (Leiden: Brill, 1999), pp. 5–6
  59. ^ Khalsa, Sant Singh (2007). Sri Guru Granth Sahib: English Translation of Sri Guru Granth Sahib. Arizona: Hand Made Books (Mandeep Singh). pp. 12–263.

Bibliography

  • Beyer, Jürgen, et al., eds. Confessional sanctity (c. 1550 – c. 1800). Mainz: Philipp von Zabern, 2003.
  • Bruhn, Siglind. Saints in the Limelight: Representations of the Religious Quest on the Post-1945 Operatic Stage. Hillsdale, New York: Pendragon Press, 2003. ISBN 978-1-57647-096-1.
  • Cunningham, Lawrence S. The Meaning of Saints. San Francisco: Harper & Row, 1980.
  • Hawley, John Stratton, ed. Saints and Virtues. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1987. ISBN 0-520-06163-2.
  • Hein, David. "Saints: Holy, Not Tame". Sewanee Theological Review 49 (2006): 204–217.
  • Jean-Luc Deuffic (ed.), Reliques et sainteté dans l'espace médiéval [1]
  • O'Malley, Vincent J. Ordinary Suffering of Extraordinary Saints, 1999. ISBN 0-87973-893-6.
  • Perham, Michael. The Communion of Saints. London: Alcuin Club/SPCK, 1980.
  • Woodward, Kenneth L. Making Saints. New York: Simon & Schuster, 1996.

Further reading

  • Trigilio, John; Brighenti, Kenneth (2010). Saints for Dummies. p. 363. ISBN 978-0-470-53358-1.
  • Hebert, Alber (15 October 2004). Saints Who Raised the Dead: True Stories of 400 Resurrection Miracles. Illinois: TAN Books. ISBN 978-0-89555-798-8.
  • Gallick, Sarah: 50 Saints Everyone Should Know

External links

Augustine of Hippo

Saint Augustine of Hippo (; 13 November 354 – 28 August 430 AD) was a Roman African, early Christian theologian and philosopher from Numidia whose writings influenced the development of Western Christianity and Western philosophy. He was the bishop of Hippo Regius in north Africa and is viewed as one of the most important Church Fathers in Western Christianity for his writings in the Patristic Period. Among his most important works are The City of God, De doctrina Christiana and Confessions.

According to his contemporary Jerome, Augustine "established anew the ancient Faith". In his youth he was drawn to Manichaeism and later to neoplatonism. After his baptism and conversion to Christianity in 386, Augustine developed his own approach to philosophy and theology, accommodating a variety of methods and perspectives. Believing that the grace of Christ was indispensable to human freedom, he helped formulate the doctrine of original sin and made seminal contributions to the development of just war theory. When the Western Roman Empire began to disintegrate, Augustine imagined the Church as a spiritual City of God, distinct from the material Earthly City. His thoughts profoundly influenced the medieval worldview. The segment of the Church that adhered to the concept of the Trinity as defined by the Council of Nicaea and the Council of Constantinople closely identified with Augustine's On the Trinity.

Augustine is recognized as a saint in the Catholic Church, the Eastern Christian Church, and the Anglican Communion and as a preeminent Doctor of the Church. He is also the patron of the Augustinians. His memorial is celebrated on 28 August, the day of his death. Augustine is the patron saint of brewers, printers, theologians, the alleviation of sore eyes, and a number of cities and dioceses. Many Protestants, especially Calvinists and Lutherans, consider him to be one of the theological fathers of the Protestant Reformation due to his teachings on salvation and divine grace. Protestant Reformers generally, and Martin Luther in particular, held Augustine in preeminence among early Church Fathers. Luther himself was, from 1505 to 1521, a member of the Order of the Augustinian Eremites.

In the East, his teachings are more disputed, and were notably attacked by John Romanides. But other theologians and figures of the Eastern Orthodox Church have shown significant approbation of his writings, chiefly Georges Florovsky. The most controversial doctrine associated with him, the filioque, was rejected by the Orthodox Church. Other disputed teachings include his views on original sin, the doctrine of grace, and predestination. Nevertheless, though considered to be mistaken on some points, he is still considered a saint, and has even had influence on some Eastern Church Fathers, most notably Saint Gregory Palamas. In the Orthodox Church his feast day is celebrated on 15 June. Historian Diarmaid MacCulloch has written: "[Augustine's] impact on Western Christian thought can hardly be overstated; only his beloved example Paul of Tarsus, has been more influential, and Westerners have generally seen Paul through Augustine's eyes."

Francis of Assisi

Saint Francis of Assisi (Italian: San Francesco d'Assisi, Latin: Sanctus Franciscus Assisiensis), born Giovanni di Pietro di Bernardone, informally named as Francesco (1181/1182 – 3 October 1226), was an Italian Catholic friar, deacon and preacher. He founded the men's Order of Friars Minor, the women's Order of Saint Clare, the Third Order of Saint Francis and the Custody of the Holy Land. Francis is one of the most venerated religious figures in history.Pope Gregory IX canonized Francis on 16 July 1228. Along with Saint Catherine of Siena, he was designated Patron saint of Italy. He later became associated with patronage of animals and the natural environment, and it became customary for Catholic and Anglican churches to hold ceremonies blessing animals on his feast day of 4 October. He is often remembered as the patron saint of animals. In 1219, he went to Egypt in an attempt to convert the Sultan to put an end to the conflict of the Crusades. By this point, the Franciscan Order had grown to such an extent that its primitive organizational structure was no longer sufficient. He returned to Italy to organize the Order. Once his community was authorized by the Pope, he withdrew increasingly from external affairs. Francis is also known for his love of the Eucharist. In 1223, Francis arranged for the first Christmas live nativity scene. According to Christian tradition, in 1224 he received the stigmata during the apparition of Seraphic angels in a religious ecstasy, which would make him the second person in Christian tradition after St. Paul (Galatians 6:17) to bear the wounds of Christ's Passion. He died during the evening hours of 3 October 1226, while listening to a reading he had requested of Psalm 142 (141).

Knights Hospitaller

The Order of Knights of the Hospital of Saint John of Jerusalem (Latin: Ordo Fratrum Hospitalis Sancti Ioannis Hierosolymitani; Italian: Cavalieri dell'Ordine dell'Ospedale di San Giovanni di Gerusalemme), also known as the Order of Saint John, Order of Hospitallers, Knights Hospitaller, Knights Hospitalier or Hospitallers, was a medieval and early modern Catholic military order. It was headquartered in the Kingdom of Jerusalem, on the island of Rhodes, in Malta and St Petersburg.

The Hospitallers arose in the early 11th century, at the time of the great monastic reformation, as a group of individuals associated with an Amalfitan hospital in the Muristan district of Jerusalem, dedicated to John the Baptist and founded around 1023 by Gerard Thom to provide care for sick, poor or injured pilgrims coming to the Holy Land. Some scholars, however, consider that the Amalfitan order and hospital were different from Gerard Thom's order and its hospital.

After the conquest of Jerusalem in 1099 during the First Crusade, the organisation became a military religious order under its own Papal charter, charged with the care and defence of the Holy Land. Following the conquest of the Holy Land by Islamic forces, the knights operated from Rhodes, over which they were sovereign, and later from Malta, where they administered a vassal state under the Spanish viceroy of Sicily. The Hospitallers were the smallest group to briefly colonise parts of the Americas: they acquired four Caribbean islands in the mid-17th century, which they turned over to France in the 1660s.

The knights were weakened in the Protestant Reformation, when rich commanderies of the order in northern Germany and the Netherlands became Protestant and largely separated from the Roman Catholic main stem, remaining separate to this day, although ecumenical relations between the descendant chivalric orders are amicable. The order was disestablished in England, Denmark, as well as in some other parts of northern Europe, and it was further damaged by Napoleon's capture of Malta in 1798, following which it became dispersed throughout Europe.

Michael (archangel)

Michael (Hebrew pronunciation: [mixaˈʔel]; Hebrew: מִיכָאֵל‎, translit. Mîkhā'ēl, lit. 'Who is like God?'; Greek: Μιχαήλ, translit. Mikhaḗl; Latin: Michahel; Coptic: ⲙⲓⲭⲁⲏⲗ; Arabic: ميخائيل ، مِيكَالَ ، ميكائيل‎, translit. Mīkā'īl, Mīkāl or Mīkhā'īl, lit. 'Man Ka El? = من كإيل/كإله/كالله؟') is an archangel in Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. In Roman Catholic, Eastern Orthodox, Anglican, and Lutheran traditions, he is called "Saint Michael the Archangel" and "Saint Michael". In the Oriental Orthodox and Eastern Orthodox religions, he is called "Saint Michael the Taxiarch".Michael is mentioned three times in the Book of Daniel. The idea that Michael was the advocate of the Jews became so prevalent that, in spite of the rabbinical prohibition against appealing to angels as intermediaries between God and his people, Michael came to occupy a certain place in the Jewish liturgy.

In the New Testament Michael leads God's armies against Satan's forces in the Book of Revelation, where during the war in heaven he defeats Satan. In the Epistle of Jude Michael is specifically referred to as "the archangel Michael". Christian sanctuaries to Michael appeared in the 4th century, when he was first seen as a healing angel, and then over time as a protector and the leader of the army of God against the forces of evil.

Mother Teresa

Mary Teresa Bojaxhiu (born Anjezë Gonxhe Bojaxhiu, Albanian: [aˈɲɛzə ˈɡɔndʒɛ bɔjaˈdʒiu]; 26 August 1910 – 5 September 1997), commonly known as Mother Teresa and honoured in the Roman Catholic Church as Saint Teresa of Calcutta, was an Albanian-Indian Roman Catholic nun and missionary. She was born in Skopje (now the capital of North Macedonia), then part of the Kosovo Vilayet of the Ottoman Empire. After living in North Macedonia for eighteen years, she moved to Ireland and then to India, where she lived for most of her life.

In 1950, Teresa founded the Missionaries of Charity, a Roman Catholic religious congregation that had over 4,500 nuns and was active in 133 countries in 2012. The congregation manages homes for people who are dying of HIV/AIDS, leprosy and tuberculosis. It also runs soup kitchens, dispensaries, mobile clinics, children's and family counselling programmes, as well as orphanages and schools. Members take vows of chastity, poverty, and obedience, and also profess a fourth vow—to give "wholehearted free service to the poorest of the poor."Teresa received a number of honours, including the 1962 Ramon Magsaysay Peace Prize and 1979 Nobel Peace Prize. She was canonised (recognised by the church as a saint) on 4 September 2016, and the anniversary of her death (5 September) is her feast day.

A controversial figure during her life and after her death, Teresa was admired by many for her charitable work. She was praised and criticised for her opposition to abortion, and criticised for poor conditions in her houses for the dying. Her authorised biography was written by Navin Chawla and published in 1992, and she has been the subject of films and other books. On September 6, 2017, Teresa and St. Francis Xavier were named co-patrons of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Calcutta.

Order of St Michael and St George

The Most Distinguished Order of Saint Michael and Saint George is a British order of chivalry founded on 28 April 1818 by George, Prince Regent, later King George IV, while he was acting as regent for his father, King George III.

It is named in honour of two military saints, St Michael and St George.

The Order of St Michael and St George was originally awarded to those holding commands or high position in the Mediterranean territories acquired in the Napoleonic Wars, and was subsequently extended to holders of similar office or position in other territories of the British Empire. It is at present awarded to men and women who hold high office or who render extraordinary or important non-military service in a foreign country, and can also be conferred for important or loyal service in relation to foreign and Commonwealth affairs.

Paris Saint-Germain F.C.

Paris Saint-Germain Football Club (French pronunciation: ​[paʁi sɛ̃ ʒɛʁmɛ̃]), commonly referred to as Paris Saint-Germain, Paris SG, or simply PSG, is a French professional football club based in Paris. Founded in 1970, the club has traditionally worn red and blue kits. PSG has played its home matches in the 47,929-capacity Parc des Princes in the 16th arrondissement of Paris since 1974. The club plays in the highest tier of French football, Ligue 1.The Parisian club established itself as a major force in France, and one of the major forces of European football in the 2010s. PSG have won a total of 36 major trophies, making it the most successful French club in history by this measure. Paris SG is also the only club to have never been relegated from Ligue 1; the club with most consecutive seasons in the top-flight (they have played 45 seasons in Ligue 1 since 1974); one of only two French clubs to have won a major European title; and the most popular football club in France and one of the most widely supported teams in the world.Domestically, the Parisians have won seven Ligue 1 titles, a record twelve Coupe de France, a record eight Coupe de la Ligue, and a joint record eight Trophée des Champions titles. In European football, they have won one UEFA Cup Winners' Cup. The capital club has also won other minor official titles such as one Ligue 2 and one UEFA Intertoto Cup. PSG have a long-standing rivalry with Olympique de Marseille. The duo contest French football's most notorious match, known as Le Classique.The State of Qatar, through its shareholding organization Qatar Sports Investments (QSI), has been the club's owner since 2011. The takeover made Paris Saint-Germain the richest club in France and one of the wealthiest in the world. As of the 2017–18 season, PSG have the sixth-highest revenue in the footballing world with an annual turnover of €542m according to Deloitte, and are the world's eleventh most valuable football club, worth €825m according to Forbes.

Saint George

Saint George (Greek: Γεώργιος, Geṓrgios; Latin: Georgius; d. 23 April 303) was a soldier of Cappadocian Greek origins, member of the Praetorian Guard for Roman emperor Diocletian who was sentenced to death for refusing to recant his Christian faith. He became one of the most venerated saints and megalo-martyrs in Christianity, and was especially venerated as a military saint since the Crusaders.

In hagiography, as one of the Fourteen Holy Helpers and one of the most prominent military saints, he is immortalised in the legend of Saint George and the Dragon. His memorial, Saint George's Day, is traditionally celebrated on 23 April. (See under "Feast days" below for the use of the Julian calendar by the Eastern Orthodox Church.)

England, Ethiopia, Georgia and several other nation states, cities, universities, professions and organisations all claim Saint George as their patron.

Saint Helena

Saint Helena ( hə-LEE-nə) is a volcanic tropical island in the South Atlantic Ocean, 4,000 kilometres (2,500 mi) east of Rio de Janeiro and 1,950 kilometres (1,210 mi) west of the mouth of the Cunene River, which marks the border between Namibia and Angola in southwestern Africa. It is part of the British Overseas Territory of Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha. Saint Helena measures about 16 by 8 kilometres (10 by 5 mi) and has a population of 4,534 (2016 census). It was named after Saint Helena of Constantinople.

It is one of the most remote islands in the world, and was uninhabited when discovered by the Portuguese in 1502. It was an important stopover for ships sailing to Europe from Asia and South Africa for centuries. Napoleon was imprisoned there in exile by the British, as was Dinuzulu kaCetshwayo (for leading a Zulu army against British rule) and more than 5,000 Boers taken prisoner during the Second Boer War, including Piet Cronjé.Saint Helena is Britain's second-oldest overseas territory after Bermuda.

Saint Joseph

Joseph (Hebrew: יוֹסֵף‎, translit. Yosef; Greek: Ἰωσήφ, translit. Ioséph) is a figure in the Gospels who was married to Mary, Jesus' mother, and was Jesus' legal father. Joseph is venerated as Saint Joseph in the Catholic Church, Orthodox Church, Oriental Orthodox Church, Anglicanism, Lutheranism, and Methodism, and is also known as Joseph the carpenter. Some differing views are due to theological interpretations versus historical views.In both Catholic and Protestant traditions, Joseph is regarded as the patron saint of workers and is associated with various feast days. Pope Pius IX declared him to be both the patron and the protector of the Catholic Church, in addition to his patronages of the sick and of a happy death, due to the belief that he died in the presence of Jesus and Mary. In popular piety, Joseph is regarded as a model for fathers and has also become patron of various dioceses and places.

Several venerated images of Saint Joseph have been granted a canonical coronation by a Pope. In popular religious iconography he is associated with lilies or a spikenard. With the present-day growth of Mariology, the theological field of Josephology has also grown and since the 1950s centers for studying it have been formed.In the Apocrypha, Joseph was the father of James, Joses, Jude, Simon, and at least two daughters. According to Epiphanius and the apocryphal History of Joseph the Carpenter, these children were from a marriage which predated the one with Mary, a belief that is accepted by some select Christian denominations.

Saint Kitts and Nevis

Saint Kitts and Nevis ( (listen)), also known as the Federation of Saint Christopher and Nevis, is an island country in the West Indies. Located in the Leeward Islands chain of the Lesser Antilles, it is the smallest sovereign state in the Western Hemisphere, in both area and population. The country is a Commonwealth realm, with Elizabeth II as queen and head of state.

The capital city is Basseterre on the larger island of Saint Kitts. The smaller island of Nevis lies approximately 3 km (2 mi) southeast of Saint Kitts across a shallow channel called "The Narrows".

The British dependency of Anguilla was historically also a part of this union, which was then known collectively as Saint Christopher-Nevis-Anguilla. To the north-northwest lie the islands of Sint Eustatius, and Saba, Saint Barthélemy, Saint-Martin/Sint Maarten and Anguilla. To the east and northeast are Antigua and Barbuda, and to the southeast is the small uninhabited island of Redonda, and the island of Montserrat, which currently has an active volcano (see Soufrière Hills).

Saint Kitts and Nevis were among the first islands in the Caribbean to be settled by Europeans. Saint Kitts was home to the first British and French colonies in the Caribbean, and thus has also been titled "The Mother Colony of the West Indies".

Saint Lucia

Saint Lucia ( (listen); French: Sainte-Lucie) is a sovereign island country in the West Indies in the eastern Caribbean Sea on the boundary with the Atlantic Ocean. The island was previously called Iyonola, the name given to the island by the native Amerindians and later, Hewanorra, the name given by the native Caribs. Part of the Lesser Antilles, it is located north/northeast of the island of Saint Vincent, northwest of Barbados and south of Martinique. It covers a land area of 617 km2 (238 square miles) and reported a population of 165,595 in the 2010 census. Its capital is Castries.

The French were the island's first European settlers. They signed a treaty with the native Island Caribs in 1660. England took control of the island from 1663 to 1667. In ensuing years, it was at war with France fourteen times, and the rule of the island changed frequently (it was ruled seven times each by the French and British). In 1814, the British took definitive control of the island. Because it switched so often between British and French control, Saint Lucia was also known as the "Helen of the West Indies" after the Greek mythology "Helen of Troy".

Representative government came about in 1840 (universal suffrage was established in 1953). From 1958 to 1962, the island was a member of the West Indies Federation. On 22 February 1979, Saint Lucia became an independent state and a member of the Commonwealth of Nations. Saint Lucia is a mixed jurisdiction, meaning that it has a legal system based in part on both the civil law and English common law. The Civil Code of St. Lucia of 1867 was based on the Quebec Civil Code of 1866, as supplemented by English common law-style legislation. It is also a member of Organisation internationale de la Francophonie.

Saint Patrick's Day

Saint Patrick's Day, or the Feast of Saint Patrick (Irish: Lá Fhéile Pádraig, "the Day of the Festival of Patrick"), is a cultural and religious celebration held on 17 March, the traditional death date of Saint Patrick (c. AD 385–461), the foremost patron saint of Ireland.

Saint Patrick's Day was made an official Christian feast day in the early 17th century and is observed by the Catholic Church, the Anglican Communion (especially the Church of Ireland), the Eastern Orthodox Church, and the Lutheran Church. The day commemorates Saint Patrick and the arrival of Christianity in Ireland, and celebrates the heritage and culture of the Irish in general. Celebrations generally involve public parades and festivals, céilís, and the wearing of green attire or shamrocks. Christians who belong to liturgical denominations also attend church services and historically the Lenten restrictions on eating and drinking alcohol were lifted for the day, which has encouraged and propagated the holiday's tradition of alcohol consumption.Saint Patrick's Day is a public holiday in the Republic of Ireland, Northern Ireland, the Canadian province of Newfoundland and Labrador (for provincial government employees), and the British Overseas Territory of Montserrat. It is also widely celebrated by the Irish diaspora around the world, especially in the United Kingdom, Canada, United States, Brazil, Argentina, Australia and New Zealand. Saint Patrick's Day is celebrated in more countries than any other national festival. Modern celebrations have been greatly influenced by those of the Irish diaspora, particularly those that developed in North America. However, there has been criticism of Saint Patrick's Day celebrations for having become too commercialised and for fostering negative stereotypes of the Irish people.

Saint Petersburg

Saint Petersburg (Russian: Санкт-Петербу́рг, tr. Sankt-Peterburg, IPA: [ˈsankt pʲɪtʲɪrˈburk] (listen)) is Russia's second-largest city after Moscow, with 5 million inhabitants in 2012, part of the Saint Petersburg agglomeration with a population of 6.2 million (2015). An important Russian port on the Baltic Sea, it has a status of a federal subject (a federal city).

Situated on the Neva River, at the head of the Gulf of Finland on the Baltic Sea, it was founded by Tsar Peter the Great on 27 May [O.S. 16 May] 1703. During the periods 1713–1728 and 1732–1918, Saint Petersburg was the capital of Imperial Russia. In 1918, the central government bodies moved to Moscow, which is about 625 km (388 miles) to the south-east.

Saint Petersburg is often considered Russia's cultural capital. The Historic Centre of Saint Petersburg and Related Groups of Monuments constitute a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Saint Petersburg is home to the Hermitage, one of the largest art museums in the world. Many foreign consulates, international corporations, banks and businesses have offices in Saint Petersburg.

Saint Pierre and Miquelon

Saint Pierre and Miquelon, officially the Overseas Collectivity of Saint Pierre and Miquelon (French: Collectivité d'Outre-mer de Saint-Pierre-et-Miquelon; French pronunciation: ​[sɛ̃.pjɛʁ.e.mi.klɔ̃]), is a self-governing territorial overseas collectivity of France, situated in the northwestern Atlantic Ocean near the Canadian province of Newfoundland and Labrador. It is the only part of New France that remains under French control, with an area of 242 square kilometres (93 sq mi) and a population of 6,080 at the January 2011 census.The islands are situated in the Gulf of St. Lawrence near the entrance of Fortune Bay, which extends into the southwestern coast of Newfoundland, near the Grand Banks of Newfoundland. They are 3,819 kilometres (2,373 mi) from Brest, the nearest point in Metropolitan France, and 25 kilometres (16 mi) from the Burin Peninsula of Newfoundland.

Saint Vincent and the Grenadines

Saint Vincent and the Grenadines ( (listen)) is a country in the Lesser Antilles island arc, in the southern portion of the Windward Islands, which lies in the West Indies at the southern end of the eastern border of the Caribbean Sea where the latter meets the Atlantic Ocean. The sovereign state is also frequently known simply as Saint Vincent.

Its 389 km2 (150 sq mi) territory consists of the main island of Saint Vincent and the northern two-thirds of the Grenadines, which are a chain of 32 smaller islands including Saint Vincent. Some of The smaller chain of islands which as known as the Grenadine Islands includes those that are inhabited: Bequia, Mustique, Union Island, Canouan, Palm Island, Mayreau, Young Island and those that are uninhabited: Tobago cays (Includes Petit Rameau, Petit Bateau, Baradal, Petit Tabac and Jamesby), Petit Saint Vincent, Baliceaux, Bettowia, Quatre, Petite mustique, Savan and Petit Nevis. Most of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines lies within the Hurricane Alley.

To the north of Saint Vincent lies Saint Lucia and to the east is Barbados. Saint Vincent and the Grenadines is a densely populated country for its size (over 300 inhabitants/km2) with approximately 109,643 inhabitants.Kingstown is the capital and main port. Saint Vincent has a French and British colonial history, and is now part of the Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States, CARICOM, the Commonwealth of Nations, the Bolivarian Alliance for the Americas and the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC).

St. Louis

St. Louis () is an independent city and inland port in the U.S. state of Missouri. It is situated along the western bank of the Mississippi River, which marks Missouri's border with Illinois. The Missouri River merges with the Mississippi River just north of the city. These two rivers combined form the fourth longest river system in the world. The city had an estimated 2017 population of 308,626 and is the cultural and economic center of the St. Louis metropolitan area (home to nearly 3,000,000 people), which is the largest metropolitan area in Missouri, the second-largest in Illinois (after Chicago), and the 22nd-largest in the United States.

Before European settlement, the area was a regional center of Native American Mississippian culture. The city of St. Louis was founded in 1764 by French fur traders Pierre Laclède and Auguste Chouteau, and named after Louis IX of France. In 1764, following France's defeat in the Seven Years' War, the area was ceded to Spain and retroceded back to France in 1800. In 1803, the United States acquired the territory as part of the Louisiana Purchase. During the 19th century, St. Louis became a major port on the Mississippi River; at the time of the 1870 Census it was the fourth-largest city in the country. It separated from St. Louis County in 1877, becoming an independent city and limiting its own political boundaries. In 1904, it hosted the Louisiana Purchase Exposition and the Summer Olympics.

The economy of metropolitan St. Louis relies on service, manufacturing, trade, transportation of goods, and tourism. Its metro area is home to major corporations, including Anheuser-Busch, Express Scripts, Centene, Boeing Defense, Emerson, Energizer, Panera, Enterprise, Peabody Energy, Ameren, Post Holdings, Monsanto, Edward Jones, Go Jet, Purina and Sigma-Aldrich. Nine of the ten Fortune 500 companies based in Missouri are located within the St. Louis metropolitan area. This city has also become known for its growing medical, pharmaceutical, and research presence due to institutions such as Washington University in St. Louis and Barnes-Jewish Hospital. St. Louis has two professional sports teams: the St. Louis Cardinals of Major League Baseball and the St. Louis Blues of the National Hockey League. One of the city's iconic sights is the 630-foot (192 m) tall Gateway Arch in the downtown area.

St. Peter's Basilica

The Papal Basilica of St. Peter in the Vatican (Italian: Basilica Papale di San Pietro in Vaticano), or simply St. Peter's Basilica (Latin: Basilica Sancti Petri), is an Italian Renaissance church in Vatican City, the papal enclave within the city of Rome.

Designed principally by Donato Bramante, Michelangelo, Carlo Maderno and Gian Lorenzo Bernini, St. Peter's is the most renowned work of Renaissance architecture and the largest church in the world. While it is neither the mother church of the Catholic Church nor the cathedral of the Diocese of Rome, St. Peter's is regarded as one of the holiest Catholic shrines. It has been described as "holding a unique position in the Christian world" and as "the greatest of all churches of Christendom".Catholic tradition holds that the Basilica is the burial site of Saint Peter, chief among Jesus's Apostles and also the first Bishop of Rome. Saint Peter's tomb is supposedly directly below the high altar of the Basilica. For this reason, many Popes have been interred at St. Peter's since the Early Christian period, and there has been a church on this site since the time of the Roman emperor Constantine the Great. Construction of the present basilica, which would replace Old St. Peter's Basilica from the 4th century AD, began on 18 April 1506 and was completed on 18 November 1626.St. Peter's is famous as a place of pilgrimage and for its liturgical functions. The Pope presides at a number of liturgies throughout the year, drawing audiences of 15,000 to over 80,000 people, either within the Basilica or the adjoining St. Peter's Square. St. Peter's has many historical associations, with the Early Christian Church, the Papacy, the Protestant Reformation and Catholic Counter-reformation and numerous artists, especially Michelangelo. As a work of architecture, it is regarded as the greatest building of its age. St. Peter's is one of the four churches in the world that hold the rank of Major Basilica, all four of which are in Rome. Contrary to popular misconception, it is not a cathedral because it is not the seat of a bishop; the Cathedra of the Pope as Bishop of Rome is in the Archbasilica of St. John Lateran.

Valentine's Day

Valentine's Day, also called Saint Valentine's Day or the Feast of Saint Valentine, is celebrated annually on February 14. It originated as a Western Christian feast day honoring one or two early saints named Valentinus. Valentine's Day is recognized as a significant cultural, religious, and commercial celebration of romance and romantic love in many regions around the world, although it is not a public holiday in any country.

There are numerous martyrdom stories associated with various Valentines connected to February 14, including a written account of Saint Valentine of Rome's imprisonment for performing weddings for soldiers who were forbidden to marry and for ministering to Christians persecuted under the Roman Empire. According to legend, Saint Valentine restored sight to the blind daughter of his judge, and he wrote her a letter signed "Your Valentine" as a farewell before his execution.The Feast of Saint Valentine was established by Pope Gelasius I in AD 496 to be celebrated on February 14 in honour of the Christian martyr, Saint Valentine of Rome, who died on that date in AD 269. The day first became associated with romantic love within the circle of Geoffrey Chaucer in the 14th century, when the tradition of courtly love flourished. In 18th-century England, it grew into an occasion in which couples expressed their love for each other by presenting flowers, offering confectionery, and sending greeting cards (known as "valentines"). Valentine's Day symbols that are used today include the heart-shaped outline, doves, and the figure of the winged Cupid. Since the 19th century, handwritten valentines have given way to mass-produced greeting cards. In Europe, Saint Valentine's Keys are given to lovers "as a romantic symbol and an invitation to unlock the giver's heart", as well as to children to ward off epilepsy (called Saint Valentine's Malady).Saint Valentine's Day is an official feast day in the Anglican Communion and the Lutheran Church. Many parts of the Eastern Orthodox Church also celebrate Saint Valentine's Day on July 6 and July 30, the former date in honor of Roman presbyter Saint Valentine, and the latter date in honor of Hieromartyr Valentine, the Bishop of Interamna (modern Terni).

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