There are several different procedures involved in a person’s sanctification from ordinary mortal to a saint. The process begins in a local area when a diocesan bishop requests that the Church recognize a person as a saint. The Church has to decide if the person’s life and miracles are enough to merit sainthood. Once that decision has been made, the person is announced as a saint by the Holy Eparchial Synod, and the other Orthodox Churches are notified.
Table of Contents
Orthodox saints live a holy life
Orthodox Christians revere the lives of saints. While they may not be able to perform miracles, their faith in God and acceptance of His love make them worthy of veneration. The Orthodox Church provides a set of guidelines for living a holy life that will lead you closer to God. Following these guidelines will help you face any challenge and live according to the virtues. These guidelines include the ten points of union with God.
Orthodox Christians believe that purification is part of the foretaste of heaven, where righteous souls enjoy eternal peace before the Last Judgment. While this process involves purification from sins, Orthodox Christians do not believe in punishment. They believe in the boundless love and mercy of God. Only after physical death will righteous souls face the final judgment on the Day of Christ.
Early Christians did not have a formal process for declaring saints. In early Christianity, the only way to be considered a saint was to die for the faith. This proved that they lived a holy life. Those who died for the faith were known as martyrs. They were venerated only after their local bishops gave their approval.
They walk with Jesus Christ daily
In the Orthodox Church, saints are people who consciously choose to live the life of Christ in their daily lives. They consciously allow the Holy Spirit to guide them. In the Orthodox faith, the ultimate goal of man is to achieve communion with God. It is impossible to achieve this without faith.
The Orthodox Church encourages us to pray for the dead. This practice, however, has some critics who claim it is heretical and superstitious. In the Orthodox Church, the dead are not punished in the world but enjoy eternal peace. This is a wonderful gift to those who believe in eternal life.
The New Testament says that the souls of pious martyrs pray for Christians. This is why the Martyrs’ Commemoration is celebrated annually.
They have holy relics
Holy relics are the remains of revered saints. Traditionally, these relics have a spiritual value and are placed in reliquaries at orthodox parishes. They are considered vessels of sanctity because they draw people into the holiness of God. Since the early Christians, holy relics have been associated with the altar. An orthodox altar is never consecrated without them. The relics of martyrs are especially important. Their body parts have been used in early liturgies in the catacombs and are now used in altars today.
Orthodox churches also commemorate saints who were directly involved in sacred events. For instance, the Baptism of Christ is celebrated in honor of those who participated in the event. Theophany of the Lord is another example of this tradition. In this case, the relics of a saint who participated directly in the Baptism of Christ are also revered at the Baptism.
Orthodox Christians believe that the human body and soul are created by God. They believe that the relics of saints can perform miracles. An Old Testament account shows the power of relics in 2 Kings 13:21. In the story, a prophet Elisha revives a man from the dead by touching his bones. This miracle is confirmed by early Church writers, including Saint Paul and Saint Augustine.
They are counted as saints
The Church decides whether a person is worthy of being counted as a saint, or whether he or she is not. In the orthodox tradition, the primary characteristic of a canonical saint is that he or she held God’s image. Mankind was created in God’s image – called the ikon in Greek – and people who reflect that image are considered role models. Orthodox churches typically display many ikons of saints.
In the early Church, saints were often recognized without a formal canonization ceremony. Local parishes would honor their pious lives by hosting liturgical services, praying for their intercession, and visiting their relics. These relics were often believed to contain the Holy Spirit.
Sainthood is a highly regarded honor in the Orthodox Church. A saint is a holy person recognized by the Church as a perfect example for all of the faithful to emulate. While being a saint isn’t an award in itself, canonization is an honor that recognizes the saint’s life of holiness and grace. After a person is canonized, their name is placed on a list of saints, who are then assigned a day on the Church calendar.