A saint is one who has been recognized for having an exceptional degree of holiness, sanctity, and virtue. While the English term "saint" originated in Christianity, the term is now used by historians of religion "in a more general way to refer to the state of special holiness that many religions attribute to certain people," with the Jewish Tzadik, the Islamic wali, the Hindu rishi or guru, and the Buddhist arahat or boddhisatva also referred to as saints. Depending on the religion, saints are recognized either through official church recognition or by popular acclaim (see Folk saints).
In Christianity, "saint" has a wide variety of meanings, depending on its usage and the denomination. In some denominations, "saint" refers to any believer who is "in Christ", and in whom Christ dwells, whether in heaven or in earth. In Orthodox and Catholic teachings, all Christians in heaven are considered to be saints, but some are considered to be worthy of higher honor, emulation, or veneration, with official church recognition given to some saints through canonization or glorification.
Famous quotes containing the word saint:
“Ce corps qui sappelait et qui sappelle encore le saint empire romain nétait en aucune manière ni saint, ni romain, ni empire. This agglomeration which called itself and still calls itself the Holy Roman Empire was in no way holy, nor Roman, nor an empire.”
—Voltaire [François Marie Arouet] (16941778)
“O my God, what must a soul be like when it is in this state! It longs to be all one tongue with which to praise the Lord. It utters a thousand pious follies, in a continuous endeavor to please Him who thus possesses it.”
—Teresa Of Avila, Saint (15151582)
“A saint addicted to excessive self-abnegation is a dangerous associate; he may infect you with poverty, and a stiffening of those joints which are needed for advancementin a word, with more renunciation than you care forand so you flee the contagion.”
—Victor Hugo (18021885)