Tuesday, November 1, 2016

Catholicism Explained - Veneration of Saints

Well, I felt really bad that I missed yet another Catholicism Explained post last Sunday...but then I realized that since today is the Feast of All Saints, it's the perfect day to talk about veneration!

If you're just dropping by, this is Catholicism Explained, the part of the blog where Lucy Agnes comes out and explains....never mind, that Veggie Tales reference isn't working.

Our previous topics have included:

And today we'll be discussing veneration of saints.


Veneration basically means "honor." Google defines it as "great respect; reverence." Catholics venerate saints because, as those who are closest to God, they deserve a great deal of respect, admiration, and love. 

As with the honor we give Mary, the honor we give the saints is very different from the worship we give God. In fact, it isn't very different from the honor we give lots of other people. 

George Washington, the first President under the Constitution as drafted in 1787 [Previous Presidents served under the Articles of Confederation and prior to that under the Articles of Association]:
George Washington
Americans, for example, love George Washington. And that's as it should be. We owe a debt to him, as to all our Founding Fathers, for starting the country we know and love today. There would be something wrong if we didn't give him a certain place of honor - a certain veneration.

The same could go for any noble or admirable figure in history.

Always forgive yourself, learn from your past and achieve a brighter & better future. The ones who linger in sorrow lose sight of hope.:
Mahatma Ghandi

Abraham Lincoln by Alexander Gardner on 8 November 1863 (Library of Congress):
Abraham Lincoln

Churchill making his famous "V for victory" sign in 1943.:
Winston Churchill

Aristotle, philosopher, teacher of Alexander the Great, (384-332 BCE). Roman marble copy of a Greek bronze.  Museo Nazionale Romano, Rome, Italy:
Aristotle

We also venerate people in positions of authority, such as our parents.

A Simpler Time...Stanley, Jeanette, Dean and Debbie. 1960 Gifts for Dad - Ruby Lane www.rubylane.com @rubylanecom antiques vintage collectibles mens fashion jewelry:

In the Bible, great veneration is shown to the Patriarchs, Prophets, and other heroes of the Bible. The Jews revered these holy men and women, and this was right and fitting.

About 4,000 years ago Abraham, the patriarch of Judaism migrated from Iraq to Canaan along the Fertile Crescent. The name Judaism derives from 'Judah' one of the patriarch Jacob's 12 sons, Israel is another name. descendants of 10 of Jacob's sons, plus two of his grandsons made the 12 tribes of Hebrews who emigrated from Egypt according to Exodus. Ten of the tribes were lost after they were conquered and forced to migrate to Assyria in 721 BC.:

Veneration, then, is a natural human thing, allowed by and pleasing to God. There's nothing wrong with showing honor to honorable people, nor is there anything wrong with praising them in word and art and looking to them for inspiration.

If we show honor to great statesmen, military heroes, inventors, and authors, then why shouldn't we show honor to holy people? After all, doing God's will is a much more important and admirable thing than merely doing something splendid. 

Catholics honor saints in much the same way that we honor anyone else: by praising them, whether through artwork or words, and by looking to them as role models. 

(There's no better role model than someone who lived and died for God!)

I. Can't. Help. Myself. His Love oozes out of every pore when I stay in tune with His Spirit. :D ♡♡♡♡♡♡:

Of course, Catholics' veneration of saints is different from our veneration of secular heroes in some rather significant ways. We don't pray to George Washington, for example. 

That topic is worth discussing, but it'll need it's own post.

That's why next week's Catholicism Explained will be all about praying to saints!

Sorry once again for my tardiness, dear readers. (I'm disgusted with myself sometimes, really I am.) So, what do you think? Questions? Comments? Concerns? Suggestions? Let us chatter away in the comments!

And Happy All Saints' Day to my Catholic friends! (Or should I say All Saints' Night at this point?) Who are some of your favorite saints? Feel free to tell us a little bit about them! I'm particularly fond of St. Lucy, St. Agnes, St. Germain, and St. Augustine myself. :)


4 comments:

  1. Cool post yet again! :D And as for saints.... I need to research... I'm being confirmed in the spring and still haven't made a decision as to a Confirmation name.... :P Although, I have Sts Cecelia, Clotilde, Bl. Giselle, and about a bajillion other cool ones in line for research. :)

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    1. Ohh, a Confirmation name! I had such a hard time with that. :P Cecelia and Clotilde are buddies of mine! (I once had a chicken named Clotilda...) I don't believe I've ever heard of Bl. Giselle. Congratulations on your impending Confirmation, Isi!

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  2. Ah, perfectly timed! (Your post, that is- not this comment)
    There is something in this theme that I can relate to. Lately I’ve been celebrating both Reformation Day and All Saint’s Day after my own style- purposeful study. It’s been amazing, reading about the men and women of the past (and present) who love God. It’s such an important thing to know our history, and I can find so much encouragement and life lessons in these stories (some sadness, too. But that’s inevitable, and still useful.)

    You know, it will be the International Day of Prayer for the Persecuted Church soon. On the 6th, I think. I say it’s fitting. After All Saint’s Day, where we remember the saints of the past, it’s good that we remember the saints of today. Remembrance Day/Veteran’s Day fits in here too. Again, it’s a time of meaningful remembrance.

    A non-Catholic is fine with honouring a saint in this way. Just the other day I was talking with a friend of mine, a wonderful Christian lady and kindred spirit. She was telling me about a special event that a church would put on for All Saints Day. She said there were multiple venues, each with a person in costume who would talk about the life of the saint they were acting as. Kids would go from venue to venue, learning about each saint and afterwards getting some candy. I loved the idea of teaching children (and adults) about previous men and women of God, and I’d like to have a similar production in my community.

    “There's nothing wrong with showing honor to honorable people, nor is there anything wrong with praising them in word and art and looking to them for inspiration.” No, there isn’t. In fact, we have to do that, ‘lest we forget’. And you’re right when you say this is natural for people to do. There’s more I can say on this, but I think that’s for another time. For now, happy belated All Saint’s Day, (and while I’m at it, I also wish you an early happy and meaningful Veteran’s Day.)


    (I you’d like to see what I’ve been reading, here are my references: I’ve been haunting this website recently: http://www.christianitytoday.com/history/people/, going through the biographies. I’ve also pulled out my much loved old high-school textbook, The Mystery of History Volume III by Linda Lacour Hobar. Ms. Hobar heart for God really shows through her refreshingly personable writing. It’s more like a letter from a friend than a textbook.)

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    1. Oh, Blue! This comment makes me so happy. :) It's always delightful to find similarities in the beliefs of Catholics and Protestants! *jumps up and down with joy*

      Oh, is the 6th the International Day of Prayer for the Persecuted Church? I don't think I knew that. Thanks for mentioning it! There really are a lot of days of remembrance at this time of the year, aren't there? Catholics celebrated All Souls' Day on November 2, when we pray for all the faithful who have died. All of November is dedicated to the faithful departed in the Catholic calendar. :)

      That's such a cool event the church put on! It sounds like the All Saints' Day parties we have - kids dress up as saints and, depending on the party, give a little presentation about their saint's life. It's really fun and neat. :)

      Happy belated All Saints' Day! And thanks so much for that link - I'll be sure to check it out!

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