The Communion of Saints

Paul's letters clarify how the Apostolic Church under the influence of the Holy Spirit spoke of believers as "saints," whether living or dead.

Paul asked the saints to pray for him and to imitate him.

Faithful people in the Post-Apostolic Church in the Apostles Creed defined the confessional response to faith in their creed: "We believe in the communion of saints."

Through Baptism we pass "from death to life; death no longer has dominion over us." Christians must believe that there is no real distinction between the believer in human life and after human life. Saints, living or dead, are indistinguishable before God.

If we can pray for and with saints in this life, we can pray for and with those saints after human life.

And as Paul asked saints to imitate him as he imitates Christ, the Church encourages Catholic Christians to imitate the holiness of the saints as they imitated the holiness of Christ and the Father.

As a hem of a garment, the shadows of saints, and clothes of the saints were used devotionally in the Apostolic Church, so relics and images of the saints are devotionally encouraged by the Church today.

First among saints by the fullness of grace which was hers is the Mother of Jesus, Mary.

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By Paul Flanagan and Robert Schihl.
Catholic Biblical Apologetics, © Copyright 1985-1997, Paul Flanagan and Robert Schihl

Unless otherwise noted, all Scripture texts are taken from the New American Bible with Revised New Testament and Revised Psalms © 1991, 1986, 1970 Confraternity of Christian Doctrine, Washington, D.C. and are used by permission of the copyright owner. All Rights Reserved. No part of the New American Bible may be reproduced in any form without permission in writing from the copyright owner.

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Last Updated: September 17, 2004