Quick capitalization question!

I’m writing a paper about some saints. One dreams that she fights the devil. Would devil be capitalized?

What about saint’s day?

If you’re speaking of The Devil, as in Satan, then it’s capitalized. If it’s a non-specific devil, then it’s not.

Thank you!

Do you mean All Saints’ Day, or just St. Whatshisface’s Day? Either way, holidays are usually capitalized, as they are proper nouns.

Unless you aren’t very churchy. In that case seeing The Devil in a sentence will just make you snicker. Same thing when discussing God and His Will and His Design. Just looks artificially anachronistic. The reader will expect to see a few thines and shalts and smites in the words ahead.

For example, the day for the Saints Perpetua and Felicity. Would you say their saints’ day, Saints’ Day, or some variation of?

BTW, capitalize Heaven, but don’t capitalize hell.

I see an ad for rosaries.

Why wouldn’t you capitalize Hell? It’s a place name, like Heaven or Narnia or Oz. You wouldn’t capitalize it if you’re saying “what the hell are you doing” but you would if you were saying “I’m in Hell.”

I’d write “Saints Perpetua and Felicity’s Day is on a Thursday this year,” referring to a specific holiday. But if I had already named them in the same discussion, I’d write something like “Saint Perpetua and Saint Felicity are both <some common trait>. These two saints’ day is on a Thursday.” Rationale for the latter is that the word “saints” is not a name or title in that case, but simply a generic noun. The apostrophe at the end indicates a possessive of the plural, making it clear that the day is related to the two saints.

Whether to capitalize heaven, hell, purgatory, pronouns referring to God (he, him, his), the devil, the archangel Michael, and so on is a style choice. There is no right or wrong way to do it (unless you are following a particular style guide). Just be sure you are consistent throughout your document. Generally capping gives a more formal tone.

Ask Nancy Todd, Patron Saint of Grammar