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:
“This is the fundamental idea of culture, insofar as it sets but one task for each of us: to further the production of the philosopher, of the artist, and of the saint within us and outside us, and thereby to work at the consummation of nature.”
—Friedrich Nietzsche (18441900)
“A saint about to fall,
The stained flats of heaven hit and razed
To the kissed kite hems of his shawl....”
—Dylan Thomas (19141953)
“A saint is good who wanders constantly.
Water is good which flows continuously.”
—Punjabi proverb, trans. by Gurinder Singh Mann.