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Saints

by Micha F. Lindemans
In the New Testament, the name applied to the members of the Christian community generally, but restricted in ecclesiastical usage from very early times to those who have been virtuous to a heroic degree. There are several classes of saints: apostles and evangelists; martyrs; confessors, originally those who had undergone imprisonment or pains without the final crown of martyrdom and later male saints in general who were eminent for sanctity; doctors, saints eminent for sacred learning; virgins; and matrons and widows.

There are two important sources for the many saints. The fullest list is found in the general table in the 61st volume of the Acta Sanctorum of the Bollandists, which mentions about 20,000 saints. The catalogue that possesses the highest ecclesiastical authority is that of the Martyrologium Romanum with some 2,700 saints, including about 20 saints of the Old Testament.

Many saints have a feast day which is celebrated annually. All Saints' Day, also Allhallows or Hallowmas, is a Christian festival celebrated on November 1 in the Roman Catholic and Anglican churches in honor of God and all his saints, known and unknown.

Some of the saints are:

  • St Agatha - patron saint of Malta and of Cataninia, Italy;
  • St Albertus (Albertus Magnus) - patron saint of all who study the natural sciences;
  • St Aloysius Gonzaga;
  • St Ambrose - patron saint of Milan;
  • St Andrew - patron saint of Scotland and Russia;
  • St Ansgar - patron saint of Scandinavia;
  • St Anthony of Padua - the patron saint of Padua and of Portugal, and the saint invoked for the finding of lost articles;
  • St Barbara - patron saint of artillery;
  • St Basil - Basil, his brother St Gregory of Nyssa, and his friend St Gregory of Nazianzus are known collectively as the Cappadocian Fathers. Basil's grandmother Macrina; his parents, Basil and Emmelia; his sister Macrina, and his younger brothers Gregory and Peter of Sebaste are all venerated as saints;
  • St Blaise - patron saint of wool combers
  • St Bridget of Sweden
  • St Bernadette
  • St Bernadine of Siena - Advertising;
  • St Brigid of Ireland
  • St Bruno of Cologne
  • St Catherine of Alexandria
  • St Christopher
  • St David
  • St Denis
  • St Dunstan - Blacksmiths
  • St Elizabeth Ann Seton
  • St Elizabeth of Hungary - Bakers
  • St Frances Xavier Cabrini
  • St Francis of Assisi
  • St Francis de Sales - Authors and journalists;
  • St Genesius - patron of actors;
  • St Genevieve
  • St George
  • St Gregory I
  • St Isaac Jogues
  • St Jean de Brébeuf,
  • St Joan of Arc
  • St John Baptist de la Salle
  • St John Chrysostom
  • St John of Damascus (or St John Damascene)
  • St John of Nepomuk
  • St Luke
  • St Margaret
  • St Mark
  • St Martin
  • St Matthew
  • St Nicholas - Bakers
  • St Philip
  • St Rose of Lima
  • St Sebastian - Athletes (and archers);
  • St Seraphim of Sarov
  • St Simeon Stylites
  • St Stephen - patron saint of Hungary;
  • St Theresa of Lisieux
  • St Ursula
  • St Valentine

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