What’s in a name? That which we call a rose
By any other name would smell as sweet;
This of course is the famous line by Juliet in Act II Scene II of William Shakespeare’s play Romeo and Juliet.
Juliet is explaining to her love that it matters not what things are called … the name doesn’t change its essence.
And so I ask, what’s with all these different Saint names?
Some are Apostles, others are Evangelists. Then there are the Martyrs, the Virgins, the Doctors of the Church, and let’s not overlook the Greats.
They are all Saints … but why the different names?
This week Genuflect answers this question. We look at the categories of Catholic Saints; how some got to be called Doctors, Fathers, and Great; the difference between Venerable and Blessed; we consider whether John Paul II should be called the Great; and we explain the Incorruptibles.
All Saints lived a virtuous life and now enjoy eternal life in heaven, but now we’ll have a little more understanding of the significance of their names.
Also, don’t miss the new section below for prayers. This week we highlight The Novena to The Holy Spirit which begins on Friday, leading up to Pentecost.
You all are in my prayers. Stay safe!
Founding Editor, Genuflect
Categories of Saints
Saint John the Evangelist, St. Paul the Apostle, Saint Leo the Great … Saints come with several different titles. What do they all mean? Here’s an overview of the 7 categories of Saints based on the Roman Missal.
The Seven Traditional Categories of Saints | The Fatima Center
2 Kinds of Saints
Our Liturgical calendar is chock full of Saints. They come from all walks of life, from past and present centuries, experiencing different lives and deaths. Despite the range of differences, Simply Catholic claims that all Saints belong to one of these two categories.
Two Kinds of Saints? | Simply Catholic
Doctors of The Church
Some Saints are called ‘Doctor of the Church.’ Here’s what that title means, the eligibility requirements, and the list of Saints who have earned the title Doctor of the Church.
Doctors of the Catholic Church | Crossroads Initiative
Fathers of The Church
While ‘Doctor of the Church’ is a formal title bestowed by the Pope, the title ‘Father of the Church’ is less formal. Interestingly, not all Church Fathers are Saints. Here’s more information,
The Fathers of The Church | Catholic News Herald
‘The Great’ Saints
Why are some Saints referred to as ‘The Great?’ How did they get that title? Who decides to give them the title? Here are the answers to all these questions.
How Does a Saint Become “the Great?” | Aleteia
Saint John Paul The Great?
Pope John Paul II was a very popular and beloved Pope. Some are already referring to him as ‘The Great.’ But is that title warranted? Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI makes the case here as he reflects on JPII’s impact on the world.
Can we Refer to Pope St. John Paul II ‘The Great?’ | National Catholic Register
Saints vs. Blesseds vs. Venerables
It can get confusing understanding the meaning of the titles Blessed, Venerable, and Servant of God. Here’s a short and sweet answer that clears it all up.
What Is The Difference between Saints And Blesseds? | Catholic Answers
There are Saints whose bodies don’t decay after death. Though not a formal title, they are referred to as incorruptible. They are a miraculous reminder to us to be pleasing to God in all ways. Here’s a list of all the Incorruptibles.
The Incorruptible Saints | Roman Catholic Saints
Becoming a Saint
In case you need a refresher, here’s how Saints are made … from the early days and today.
The Process of Becoming a Saint | Catholic Education Resource Center
The Saint Jesus Always Answers
Saints are role models we can imitate to ensure our heavenly afterlife. But we also pray for their intercession with the Lord. Troy Kroening suggests that in times of need like these, shouldn’t we turn to the Saint who Jesus always answers? Here’s the Saint he recommends.
Come Holy Spirit!
Pentecost is a week from Sunday. To prepare your heart for the coming of the Holy Spirit begin praying The Novena to The Holy Spirit this Friday, May 22nd. Get the full instructions here … and come back every day of the novena.
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