Kult świętych w Prawosławiu
The article begins from explaining two key terms for the theme: the holiness and the the concept of theosis. In the first and second paragraph author makes general remarks on what is the sanctity of God and sanctity of the Church. Only after that it is explained what was the meaning of the word “saint” used in the Old Testament and similarities and differences of the meaning of this term in the NewTestament. The Church teaching of sanctity was précised in VII–VIIIcenturies only, when St. John Damascenes explained the differences between of worshiping God and venerating the saints. The author also explains differences between veneration of saints and the cult of paganheroes, as well as between venerating saint and venerating angels. Many observations are given from the Church Fathers as well as contemporary Orthodox theologians.
In the third paragraph it was explained how the forming of the venerating saints of different categories was made i.e.: the martyrs, the apostles, the prophets, the ancestors (fathers, etc.), saint hierarchs of theChurch, the venerable (the monastics), the right-believing, the witnesses, unmercenary physicians, the fool-for-Christ, the passion-bearers, therighteous (the just).
The fourth paragraph gives short analysis of several main elements of the veneration of saints, as: the prayers to the saints, the intercession ofthe saints, the veneration of icons of the saints, the venerating of relics ofthe saints, the establishing of the feasts honoring the saints in the Church calendar, the liturgical feast for the memory of the saints, building of the churches honoring the saints, hymnography and hagiography to commemorate saints.
The last paragraph of the article makes an explanation how the word “canonization” is understood on Orthodox Church and what is the procedure of canonizing saints in Orthodoxy is used.
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