Portal:Saints

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THE SAINTS PORTAL

Showcased saint-related content

Isidore of Seville, unofficial patron saint of the Internet.

A saint (from the Latin sanctus) in Christianity is a human being who has answered the call to holiness. The term is used differently by various denominations. In high-church contexts, such as Roman Catholicism or 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 simply a believer, but one who has been unusually transformed. On the other hand, many denominations, notably in Protestantism, emphasise the traditional New Testament meaning of the word, preferring to write saint (lower case) to refer to any believer, in continuity with the doctrine of the priesthood of all believers. Several denominations venerate the dead saints, while others vehemently reject this. Some make a distinction between a "Romish" and a "Patristic" doctrine concerning the invocation of saints, permitting the latter.

The use of the term saint is not exclusive to Christianity. In most religious cultures, there are people who have been recognised within that culture 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.

Selected picture

Leonardo da Vinci - Virgin and Child with Ss Anne and John the Baptist.jpg
Credit: Leonard da Vinci

The Madonna and Child is one of the central icons of Christianity. The formula "Mother of God" (Theotokos) was adopted officially by the Christian Church at the Council of Ephesus, 431.

Did you know...

Alexander of Bergamo

  • ...that Alexander of Bergamo is thought to have survived the decimation of the Theban Legion for their conversion to Christianity only to be individually beheaded later for the same reason?
  • ...that Anne-Marie Javouhey, the founder and abbess of a new religious order, was one of the first women to establish missions in Africa?
  • ...how to tell which of the two possible Saint Catherines is shown marrying Jesus in a painting of the Mystic marriage of Saint Catherine?

Selected saint days

Selected biography

Augustine of Canterbury
Saint Augustine of Canterbury (died 26 May 604) was a Benedictine monk who became the first Archbishop of Canterbury in 598. He is considered the "Apostle to the English", and a founder of the English Church. Augustine was the prior of a monastery in Rome when Pope Gregory the Great chose him in 595 to lead a mission to Britain to convert the pagan King Æthelberht of Kent to Christianity. Æthelberht allowed the missionaries to preach freely and converted to Christianity, giving the missionaries land to found a monastery outside the city walls. Augustine was consecrated bishop of the English, and converted many of the king's subjects, including thousands during a mass baptism on Christmas Day in 597. Pope Gregory sent more missionaries in 601, along with encouraging letters and gifts for the churches, although attempts to persuade the native Celtic bishops to submit to Augustine's authority failed. Roman Catholic bishops were established at London and Rochester in 604, and a school was founded to train Anglo-Saxon priests and missionaries. Augustine arranged the consecration of his successor, Laurence of Canterbury. Augustine died in 604 and was soon revered as a saint. The authority of the Roman Catholic Church over the Church of England remained in place for ten centuries, until the latter broke away in the 16th century during the English Reformation.

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The Saints Wikiproject aims primarily at standardizing the articles about people venerated by some Christians as saints or the blessed and ensuring quality articles. If there is an interest in including saints from religions other than Christianity, please propose those changes on our talk page.

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