By Fr. Bob Hoffman
Hebrews 12:1 tells us, “Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us rid ourselves of every burden and sin that clings to us and persevere in running the race that lies before us while keeping our eyes fixed on Jesus, the leader and perfecter of faith.”
This cloud of witnesses is one way that we can look at the saints of the Church. We do not worship saints. We honor them. We pray to them to ask their intercession with Jesus. However, we only worship God. The Father is God. Jesus Christ is the God the Son. The Holy Spirit is God. None of the saints are God. Mary is the greatest of the saints, but she is not God.
Who we typically describe as saints are those canonized by the Church. The Church does not make them saints. The Church recognizes, after a formal investigation, that they are saints with God in heaven because of their heroic virtue and because of miracles that have been attributed to their intercession. There are many more holy people that will never be canonized, or recognized as saints by the church, because their heroic virtue was not as publicly known.
The heroic virtue of the saints can be a great example to those of us still living our lives here on earth. None of the saints were perfect. However, they all exhibited this heroic virtue in different ways that can inspire us in our own lives.
Each class at Epiphany has an image of a saint right outside their door. Alongside the image is a famous quote from the saint. Ask your child about the image and about the quote. We hope that all in each class become experts on their saint.