Saints & Angels
How Does the Catholic Church Declare Someone a Saint?
Sts. Louis & Zelie Martin
St. Dominic Savio
St. Michael, Archangel
St. Therese of Lisieux
St. Teresa Benedicta
The Merry Beggars: Stories of the Saints
What is important to remember is not so much the process of becoming a saint as the fact that these men and women dedicated themselves to living as Christ would. Many have checkered pasts which changed because they were open to the Lord speaking to them and working through them. Some lived in solitude and prayer; some worked with the poor and disadvantaged; others were killed for their professed belief in Christ. All of them were everyday people! While we have many documented saints that we can look to for help and inspiration, there are just as many that have never had their causes for sainthood brought to the Holy See. Whether named or unnamed, these men and women have set forth and example for all of us. The process of canonization or naming a saint has changed slightly over the history of the church.
The church recognizes saints as patrons of specific needs, professions, events, and just about anything else you can think of. For example, St Isidore of Seville is the patron saint of the internet because he had such great knowledge and wisdom. There are patron saints for carpenters, doctors, music, the ill, the elderly & children. Learn about many saints here.
What is the communion of saints? The Catechism of the Catholic Church defines it this way. “We believe in the communion of all the faithful of Christ, those who are pilgrims on earth, the dead who are being purified, and the blessed in heaven, all together forming one Church; and we believe that in this communion, the merciful love of God and his saints is always [attentive] to our prayers. (CCC962)” By virtue of our Baptism, we are members of the communion of saints and called to be saints in our own lives. We are all members of the communion of saints.
As Catholics, we ask for the intercession of the saints. We do not pray TO the saints, but rather ask for their help in presenting our prayers to Jesus. Of course, we can go directly to Jesus, but that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t ask for others to pray us as well! Asking for the intercessions of the saints is asking for them to pray for and with us. The Litany of the Saints is one of the Church’s oldest litanies, dating back to the 4th Century. You will often hear the Litany sung during Easter Vigil and Confirmation.
Helping children learn about different saints in a memorable way can even occur with food. Click on the image below for a great website with various foods connected with feast days such as edible crayons for the feast of St Elizabeth Ann Seton and strawberry mint lemonade during May for our Lady.