angels are saints?

for catholics:

how can angels be saints? they aren’t human; they aren’t dead? and why include them as saints? isn’t it enough that they are angels?

You’ve got it almost right. As near as I can figure it, a saint cannot be an angel, nor an angel a saint per se, but angels participate in the communion of saints.

I believe gratia capitis refers to the grace of Christ as head of the Church. I will await a more learned poster to elaborate on this.

I believe Cessandra’s question arises out of how the three archangels actually named in the Catholic version of scripture – Rafael, Michael and Gabriel – are incorporated into the list of “patron saints” (e.g. Gabriel as the patron of newscasters[of course])

If "saint"means those admitted before God’s presence, I suppose that technically, the archangels, having always been in the direct presence of Mr. Big Himself, would be canonical “saints” ex officio, as opposed to the deceased human about whom you have to provide some evidence thereof in order to be venerated.

It’s not just bein in a list of patrn saints – Michael the Archangel i actualy called Saint Michael the Archangel. I’ve never heard of Gabriel or Raphael called “saint”, but Sant Michael is also listed in my Penguin Dictionary of Saints, s I assume he’s isted in documents of the RCC as a saint, too. It always bothered me, I have to admit.

it was gabriel who led me to ask this question. my (protestant) husband has a picture of gabriel taped to his computer. he found “saint gabriel” listed as the patron of communications somewhere and thought it appropriate. he then asked me (i’m a recovered catholic :wink: ) how an angel can be a saint.

jrdelirious, i guess that makes sense… i kind of thought there might be more to the answer than that.

Well, like it said in the article quoted above, all of those who are in heaven and those who will eventually make it there would be “the Saints”.

Official canonical “Saints” are the ones the Church is already pretty sure that are there, and can serve as an inspiration for the rest of the faithful. However, it was only well into the late Middle Ages that the Church adopted some specific rules for canonization, other than popular acclamation or spontaneous veneration. By then, certain figures had been deeply ingrained in the collective psyche. It took until the 20th Century for the Church to strike some saints as never having been, and took away the feast days of some (Christopher) whose legend had displaced their real deeds.

BTW, technically all the prophets, patriarchs and judges of the OT are also canonical saints.

There’s a bit of error here in English translations. “Saint” to most people means “somebody that the Catholic Church (or at least some church) has deemed as having gone to heaven and who is worthy of respect, prayer (in some churches), and emulation.” But Scripturally it means “anybody who’s been saved” and derives from the Latin sanctus, with the meaning “Holy” – which is in turn from the Greek hagios, with the same meaning.

The big cathedral in Istanbul is Hagia Sophia, which does not mean St. Sophia, but “Holy Wisdom.” The city of Santa Cruz is not named after a saint named Cruz but because it was founded on Holy Cross Day.

St. Michael, St. Raphael, and St. Gabriel (along with St. Uriel, who always gets short shrift), are so designated, not because they were human beings who were canonized, but because as God’s ace angelic emissaries and factotums, they’re holy.