There is no official process for orthodox saints to become Catholic. There is no charitable canonization process and no formal process for the relics of orthodox saints. This article focuses on the recognition of Photius as a patriarch by St. Ignatius and other early Catholics.
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No formal canonization process
In the early Christian Church, there was no formal canonization process for orthodox saint. Instead, a person’s spiritual life and exemplary life were recognized through local practices, cults, and traditions. As a result, holy men and women were recognized during their lifetimes, and venerated and prayed for after their deaths. Christian communities also continued to visit their shrines, ask for prayers, and honor their memory.
As early Christians sought to honor their departed ancestors and beloved friends, they began to recognize and honor well-known Christians with a special celebration at the local church. They also visited their relics, which remained vehicles for the Holy Spirit and were believed to heal the sick body and soul. Today, orthodox saints can be formally recognized by the Vatican. They have also received honorific titles and canonized relics.
The canonization process in the Roman Catholic Church is different from that of the Orthodox Church. In order to become a Saint in the Roman Catholic Church, there must be proof of miracles and Christian virtues, as well as other validations. Joan of Arc, for example, was canonized by the Roman Catholic Church. However, there are many differences between the Roman Catholic and Orthodox approaches to sainthood. For one, the Roman Catholic approach emphasizes salvation through obedience, logic, and procedure, while the Orthodox Church places importance on grace and redemption through grace.
No charitable canonization process
The Orthodox Church recognizes the sanctity of certain individuals, including baptized Christians, by canonizing them. The canonization process is similar to that of a legal case: the supporters of the candidate must prove that the person was a saint who performed acts of holiness. The process is a significant theological event, validating the person’s sanctity and the validity of their prayers.
For a person to become an Orthodox saint, they must be exceptionally holy and fit into one of seven categories: apostles, martyrs, fathers of the early Christian church, monastics, and prophets. Although they may not be saints, their acts of charity and mercy are recognized by the church.
Orthodox Christians venerate these holy people and pray to them. They do not replace God with these holy people, but rather ask for their guidance and prayers. It is as if they are asking a seasoned person to assist them in their daily lives.
Ignatius’ recognition of Photius as legitimate patriarch
Photius’s claim to be a legitimate patriarch is contested. Some scholars point out that he was not the author of the Nomocanon, the standard law-book of the Eastern Church. However, this book is much older than Photius and was supplemented during his time as patriarch. This can be verified through the canons of his councils. Photius was a learned man who had studied legal literature in his life.
Ignatius’ recognition of Phottius as a legitimate patriarch was met with considerable resistance. The Latins reacted badly to the conflict. Nevertheless, Photius had received all the necessary sacerdotal orders. He was arrested on Nov. 8, and his supporters were persecuted. Nicholas published a decree in 863 requiring the excommunication of anyone who struck a bishop. In addition, Nicholas called for a great provincial synod at the Lateran in April 863, with the purpose of trying Legates.
During this time, Constantinople was at the centre of a power struggle. The emperor Michael III was displeased with the way the church was run. The Empress Theodora’s brother Petrona and Varda had tried to convert the Empress Theodora to the nunhood. When the Patriarch was informed of this development, he refused to tonsure Theodora and publicly denounced the two sisters.
No formal canonization process for orthodox saints
While the Orthodox Tradition does not have a formal process for canonizing a saint, a person may be eligible to be included in the list of saints if the Orthodox Church considers their life worthy. Whether the candidate is worthy is a question of the Holy Synod. Once the Synod approves the candidate, they can have their life incorporated into liturgical services and icons.
The Church can only formally recognize a saint by a synod of bishops, but some saints are popularly venerated in the Orthodox Church without going through the formal canonization process. In order to become a saint, a person must have a remarkable life and die in a holy manner. Once a person is formally recognized as a saint, their relics are enclosed in vessels that are made to honor their memory.
During the first ten centuries of the Orthodox Church, there was no formal canonization process. The decision to add someone to the list of Orthodox Saints was left to the conscience of the Orthodox clergy and laity. Throughout this period, the Orthodox Church continued to recognize and honor holy men and women, and their shrines were visited by Christian people.