The Eastern Orthodox Church is home to many saints, and many believe that these people are especially close to the heart. Their relics are alive and their intercessions are sought for any need. However, these saints are not recognized as saints according to the Roman Martyrology.
Saints of the Eastern Orthodox Church
Sainthood is an honor bestowed upon the faithful by Orthodox Christians. It is a recognition that is based on the “sanctification” of the person’s life. According to the doctrine of the Orthodox Church, every Christian who has been baptized in the name of the Holy Trinity is a saint. Sainthood is a gift bestowed upon the faithful by God, and the Christian community honors and venerates the saints by reading their lives and witnessing their miracles.
In the early centuries, sainthood was practiced by local bishops, but eventually popes took over and officially declared people as saints. A formal process was created, involving the examination of candidates proposed by different religious groups. A few early Christian saints became famous for their scholarship and writings. A few were even recognized as fathers of the church.
Their relics are alive
The question of how many orthodox saints have relics that are still alive has been debated by Christians and atheists for centuries. Some have tried to deny the authenticity of relics by exposing them to the public and examining them in front of clergy and medical personnel. Others have affirmed the authenticity of the relics by stating that they contained intact bodies, hair, and undecayed garments.
In the Orthodox Church, relics of saints are a key part of veneration. People honor these men and women as examples of godliness and holiness. One such man, St. Constantine, was elected as a saint by the Lord after experiencing a vision of the Holy Cross. This vision prompted him to receive a divine call to serve the church, and his holy relics are tangible proof of his sainthood.
Their intercessions are sought for any need
In the Orthodox Church, the prayers of the saints are highly valued. While there is a limited list of “official” saints, there are innumerable “unofficial” saints. These individuals have a great deal of power to influence the outcome of a prayer.
The most common need that people pray to the saints for is childlessness. Joachim and Anna prayed, fasted, and gave alms above and beyond their standard. They also studied the Law and labored in virtue, and through their intercessions, they were blessed with a daughter who is now Mary, the mother of Jesus.
They are not recognized as saints by the Roman Martyrology
The Roman Martyrology is the official list of saints recognized by the Catholic Church. It lists the lives of up to ten saints each day, and some days honor more than one saint. It is written in a calendar format and is meant to be read during liturgy. However, the list of saints is not complete.
The Orthodox Church recognizes the Pope as Patriarch of Rome, but does not recognize the Pope as a saint. Although the Orthodox Church recognizes the Pope as the first among equals, it rejects the claim of papal supremacy. It also does not recognize indulgences, purgatory, or the doctrine of the immaculate conception.
Their lives were characterized by holiness
In the Orthodox church, the first commandment is a key component of the life of a believer. The church sets forth a strict code of conduct that aims to protect its members from sin, including the use of sexual immorality and the use of force. This is what sets Orthodox Christians apart from non-religious people, who reject the first commandment of love of God and neighbor.
Orthodox Christians believe that personal prayer is one of the most important aspects of Christian life. They repeat the Jesus Prayer many times, which helps them focus on God. Orthodox Christians also consider the strict lifestyle of a monk or nun to be a profound expression of faith.
Their contributions to their communities
The Orthodox Church recognizes a number of Saints as “friends of God” who have contributed to their communities and the world in various ways. These individuals strove to please God in their worldly lives and became sanctified in their bodies and souls. When they died, they were accepted into God’s bosom and granted the ability to pray for those who remain in this world. Because of this, Orthodox Christians give them great respect and veneration.
The New Testament, a collection of writings that describe the life and work of Jesus Christ, has become the centerpiece of the Orthodox Church. It consists of four Gospels, twenty-one epistles, and the Acts of the Apostles. The Book of Revelation, a symbolic text about the coming of Christ, is also included. These documents are considered the foundation of Orthodox faith and the source of Christian education.