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 Light inspires, and plays upon
The nose of Saint like Bag-pipe drone,
And speaks through hollow empty Soul,
As through a Trunk, or whispring hole,
Such language as no mortal Ear
But spiritual Eve-droppers can hear.”
—Samuel Butler (16121680)
“O Paddy dear, an did ye hear the news thats goin round?
The shamrock is by law forbid to grow on Irish ground!
No more Saint Patricks Day well keep, his colour cant be seen,
For theres a cruel law agin the wearin o the Green!”
—Unknown. The Wearing of the Green (l. 3740)
“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)