Saints in Anglicanism

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In a catholic[clarify] sense, the term "saint" refers to any spiritually saved person—however, since the 10th century, the title "Saint" is reserved for those who have been officially recognised by the Church for outstanding Christian service and conduct. In the days when the Church of England was in union with Rome, recognition was in the form of canonisation. Those martyrs and confessors given the title traditionally, prior to the establishment of the canonisation process or since the break with Rome, are generally still considered both "saints" and "Saints".[1] The title "Hero" is sometimes used as well, more often to refer to those Saints who have lived and died since the time of the Reformation.

The provinces of the Anglican Communion commemorate many of the same saints as those in the General Roman Calendar, often on the same days. In some cases, the Anglican Calendars have retained traditional feasts that the Roman Catholic Church has abolished or moved.

Early Christianity[edit]

Like the Roman Catholic Church, the Anglican Communion has special holy days in honour of Jesus Christ, the Blessed Virgin Mary and the Apostles. Many of the parishes churches in the Communion have the names Christ Church, and St. Mary the Virgin. The same can also be said for the four great patrons of Great Britain and Ireland, Saint George (England), Saint David (Wales), Saint Patrick (Ireland), and Saint Andrew (Scotland).

English saints[edit]

English and local saints are often emphasized, and there are differences between the provinces' calendars. King Charles I of England is the only person to have been treated as a new saint by some Anglicans following the English Reformation, after which he was referred to as a martyr and included briefly in a calendar of the Book of Common Prayer.[2] This canonisation is, however, considered neither universal nor official in the Anglican Communion worldwide, and many national Churches list him as a martyr and not a Saint, or as neither.

English martyrs[edit]

There are several persons commemorated in the modern Anglican calendars who were opposed to the Roman Catholic Church. Of particular note are John Wycliffe and William Tyndale, the last of whom King Henry VIII had executed by strangulation in Belgium for his Protestant views, for beginning the full translation of the Bible into English (a project which led to the Geneva Bible), and for writings against the Catholic Church.

The Oxford Martyrs, Thomas Cranmer, Nicholas Ridley, and Hugh Latimer, are also commemorated for the courage they showed in death, and for their belief in a free Church of England.

Ugandan martyrs[edit]

Main article: Martyrs of Uganda

In the 19th century, a group of Anglican and Roman Catholic converts were martyred together in Uganda. On 18 October 1964, Pope Paul VI canonised the 22 Ugandan martyrs who were Roman Catholics.

Modern notables[edit]

Anglican Churches also commemorate various famous (often post-Reformation) Christians. The West front of Westminster Abbey, for example, contains statues of 20th-century martyrs like Maximilian Kolbe, Martin Luther King, Jr., Oscar Romero, Dietrich Bonhoeffer and Lucian Tapiedi (one of the Anglican New Guinea Martyrs).

Some traditional Anglican saints[edit]

Examples of modern Anglican saints[edit]

The ninth Lambeth Conference held in 1958 clarified the commemoration of Saints and Heroes of the Christian Church in the Anglican Communion. Resolution 79 stated:

  • In the case of scriptural saints, care should be taken to commemorate men or women in terms which are in strict accord with the facts made known in Holy Scripture.
  • In the case of other names, the Calendar should be limited to those whose historical character and devotion are beyond doubt.
  • In the choice of new names economy should be observed and controversial names should not be inserted until they can be seen in the perspective of history.
  • The addition of a new name should normally result from a widespread desire expressed in the region concerned over a reasonable period of time.[3]

Modern Anglican saints[edit]

The following have been identified as heroes of the Christian Church in the Anglican Communion (post-reformation individuals commemorated in the Church of England Calendar,[4] excluding those primarily venerated by the Roman Catholic or Orthodox churches):

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ The Oxford Dictionary of the Christian Church by F. L. Cross (Editor), E. A. Livingstone (Editor) Oxford University Press, USA; 3 edition p.1444-1445 (March 13, 1997)
  2. ^ Major, Richard (2006). "Anglican heroics? Sermon for the feast of King Charles the martyr" (pdf). Rector, St Mary's Episcopal Church, Staten Island, New York. Archived from the original on 2008-05-29. Retrieved 2007-02-22. 
  3. ^ http://www.lambethconference.org/resolutions/1958/1958-79.cfm
  4. ^ The Archbishop's Council (13 Dec 2007). "Common Worship: Festivals". Church House Publishing. Retrieved 16 May 2012. 

Further reading[edit]