The title “saint” indicates a person who has been chosen as holy to God. Because they are born of a man and woman, are mortal like us, they draw us even closer to the divine. During the Roman persecution of Christians, saints were people who had died for their faith—to declare one’s faith at that time meant an almost certain death. Thus, most of these early Christian martyrs were made into saints.
Long ago, it was enough just to survive the vicious persecution of their faith, but often miracles and wondrous cures would follow in the wake of a martyr’s death. And when a popular devotion and local support developed for the deceased martyr, the basis for Sainthood was created—leading to canonization now.
After Constantine declared that Christianity was a tolerated religion, martyrdom became a rarer occurrence, and the veneration and belief in the sanctity of saints became more common and cherished among Christians.
Saints have truly unselfish holiness. They are the most pure, virtuous, praiseworthy and good of all mankind—and God visited upon them extraordinary events. And because of the miracles surrounding their life on earth, they bring blessings, holiness and miracles to those of us who believe in them and pray for their help in our life on earth.
© Nona Jane Siragusa