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St Teresa of Avila pictured with a halo as a symbol of holiness. In Christian iconography, saints may also be depicted with palm branches, wreaths& white lilies.

In religious belief, a saint is a person who is recognized as having an exceptional degree of holiness, likeness, or closeness to God. All of the faithful deceased in Heaven are considered to be saints in Christianity, however, the use of the term saint for a particular individual depends on the Christian denomination. In Catholic, Independent Catholic, Eastern Orthodox& Oriental Orthodox doctrine, and in certain Anglican, Lutheran& Methodist circles, some saints are considered worthy of greater honour or emulation. Official ecclesiastical recognition, and consequently a public cult of veneration, is conferred on some saints through the process of canonisation in the Catholic Church or glorification in the Eastern Orthodox Church.

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", referring to the Jewish tzadik, the Islamic walī, the Hindu rishi or Sikh guru, the Shintoist kami, and the Buddhist arhat or bodhisattva also as saints. Depending on the religion, saints are recognized either by official ecclesiastical declaration, as in the Catholic faith, or by popular acclamation (see folk saint). (Full article...)

Selected biography

A Serbian icon of Prince Jovan Vladimir, who was recognized as a saint shortly after his death
Saint Jovan Vladimir or John Vladimir (Serbian Cyrillic: Јован Владимир; died 22 May 1016) was ruler of Duklja, the most powerful Serbian principality of the time, from around 1000 to 1016. Duklja was conquered in around 1010 by the expansionist Tsar Samuel of Bulgaria, who took Jovan Vladimir prisoner. A medieval chronicle asserts that Samuel's daughter, Theodora Kosara, fell in love with Vladimir and begged her father for his hand. The tsar allowed the marriage and returned Duklja to Vladimir, who ruled as his vassal. He was acknowledged as a pious, just, and peaceful ruler. In 1016 Vladimir was beheaded in Prespa by order of Samuel's successor, Ivan Vladislav, and was buried there. He was soon recognized as a martyr and saint; his feast day is celebrated on 22 May. Kosara reburied him in Duklja, and in 1381 his relics were preserved in the Church of Saint Jovan Vladimir near Elbasan. Since 1995 the relics have been kept in the Orthodox cathedral of Tirana, Albania; on his feast day they are taken back to the church near Elbasan for a celebration. The cross Vladimir held when he was beheaded is traditionally under the care of the Andrović family from southeastern Montenegro. The cross is carried on the Feast of Pentecost in a procession to the summit of Mount Rumija. Jovan Vladimir is regarded as the first Serbian saint. He is fabled to have carried his severed head to his place of burial.

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Saint Aphrodisius

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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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