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Contents

  1. Warriors, Warlords and Saints
  2. The Communion of Saints
  3. Site footer
  4. In the Anglo-Saxon Church
  5. Saints of East Anglia – St. Benet's Minster Catholic Church, Beccles

The participants: the three parts of the Church Expos. Later Scholastics and post-Reformation theologians have added little to the Thomistic presentation of the dogma. They worked rather around than into it, defending such points as were attacked by heretics , showing the religious, ethical , and social value of the Catholic conception; and they introduced the distinction between the body and the soul of the Church , between actual membership and membership in desire, completing the theory of the relations between church membership and the communion of saints which had already been outlined by St.

Optatus of Mileve and St. Augustine at the time of the Donatist controversy. One may regret the plan adopted by the Schoolmen afforded no comprehensive view of the whole dogma , bur rather scattered the various components of it through a vast synthesis. This accounts for the fact that a compact exposition of the communion of saints is to be sought less in the works of our standard theologians than in our catechetical , apologetic , pastoral, and even ascetic literature. It may also partly explain, without excusing them, the gross misrepresentations noticed above.

Warriors, Warlords and Saints

In this way they learned to look up to the saints in heaven with feelings of confidence and affection, to consider them as friends and protectors, and to implore their aid in the hour of distress, with the hope that God would grant to the patron what he might otherwise refuse to the supplicant. Like all other Christians , the Anglo-Saxons held in special veneration "the most holy mother of God , the perpetual virgin Saint Mary " Beatissima Dei genitrix et perpetua virgo. Her praises were sung by the Saxon poets; hymns in her honour were chanted in the public service; churches and altars were placed under her patronage; miraculous cures were ascribed to her; and four annual feasts were observed commemorating the principal events of her mortal life: her nativity, the Annunciation , her purification , and assumption.

Next to the Blessed Virgin in the devotion was Saint Peter, whom Christ had chosen for the leader of the Apostles and to whom he had given the keys of the kingdom of Heaven , "with the chief exercise of judicial power in the Church , to the end that all might know that whosoever should separate himself from the unity of Peter's faith or of Peter's fellowship, that man could never attain absolution from the bonds of sin , nor admission through the gates of the heavenly kingdom " Bede.

Saint Gregory the Great - September 3

These words of the Venerable Bede refer, it is true , to Peter's successors as well as to Peter himself, but they also evidence the veneration of Anglo-Saxons for the Prince of the Apostles, a veneration which they manifested in the number of churches dedicated to his memory, in the pilgrimages made to his tomb , and by the presents sent to the church in which his remains rested and to the bishop who sat in his chair. Particular honours were paid also to Saints Gregory and Augustine , to whom they were chiefly indebted for their knowledge of Christianity.

The Communion of Saints

They called Gregory their "foster-father in Christ" and themselves "his foster-children in baptism "; and spoke of Augustine as "the first to bring to them the doctrine of faith , the sacrament of baptism , and the knowledge of their heavenly country". While these saints were honoured by the whole people, each separate nation revered the memory of its own apostle.

All the saints so far mentioned were of foreign extraction; but the Anglo-Saxons soon extended their devotion to men who had been born and educated among them and who by their virtues and zeal in propagating Christianity had merited the honours of sanctity. This account of the devotion of the Anglo-Saxons to those whom they looked up to as their friends and protectors in heaven is necessarily brief, but it is amply sufficient to show that they believed and loved the doctrine of the communion of saints.

Protestant views Sporadic errors against special points of the communion of saints are pointed out by the Synod of Gangra Mansi , II, , St. Cyril of Jerusalem P. Epiphanius ibid. Jerome P. From the forty-second proposition condemned, and the twenty-ninth question asked, by Martin V at Constance Denzinger , nos. But the communion of saints became a direct issue only at the time of the Reformation.

The Lutheran churches , although commonly adopting the Apostles' Creed , still in their original confessions, either pass over in silence the communion of saints or explain it as the Church's "union with Jesus Christ in the one true faith " Luther's Small Catechism , or as "the congregation of saints and true believers" Augsburg Confession, ibid. The Reformed churches generally maintain the Lutheran identification of the communion of saints with the body of believers but do not limit its meaning to that body.

Calvin Inst. That view is followed in the Heidelberg Catechism, emphasized in the Gallican Confession, wherein communion is made to mean the efforts of believers to mutually strengthen themselves in the fear of God. Zwingli in his articles admits an exchange of prayers between the faithful and hesitates to condemn prayers for the dead , rejecting only the saints' intercession as injurious to Christ. Both the Scotch and Second Helvetic Confessions bring together the Militant and the Triumphant Church, but whereas the former is silent on the signification of the fact, the latter says that they hold communion with each other: "nihilominus habent illae inter sese communionem, vel conjunctionem".

The double and often conflicting influence of Luther and Calvin , with a lingering memory of Catholic orthodoxy , is felt in the Anglican Confessions. On this point the Thirty-nine Articles are decidedly Lutheran , rejecting as they do "the Romish Doctrine concerning Purgatory, Pardons, Worshipping and Adoration as well of Images as of Relics, and also Invocation of Saints", because they see in it "a fond thing, vainly invented, and grounded upon no warranty of Scripture, but rather repugnant to the Word of God".

On the other hand, the Westminster Confession, while ignoring the Suffering and the Triumphant Church, goes beyond the Calvinistic view and falls little short of the Catholic doctrine with regard to the faithful on earth, who, it says, "being united to one another in love , have communion in each other's gifts and graces ". In the United States , the Methodist Articles of Religion, , as well as the Reformed Episcopal Articles of Religion, , follow the teachings of the Thirty-nine Articles, whereas the teaching of the Westminster Confession is adopted in the Philadelphia Baptist Confession, , and in the Confession of the Cumberland Presbyterian Church, Protestant theologians , just as Protestant confessions, waver between the Lutheran and the Calvinistic view.

The cause of the perversion by Protestants of the traditional concept of communion of saints is not to be found in the alleged lack of Scriptural and early Christian evidence in favour of that concept; well-informed Protestant writers have long since ceased to press that argument.

Nor is there any force in the oft-repeated argument that the Catholic dogma detracts from Christ's mediatorship, for it is plain, as St. Thomas had already shown Suppl. Some writers have traced that perversion to the Protestant concept of the Church as an aggregation of souls and a multitude of units bound together by a community of faith and pursuit and by the ties of Christian sympathy, but in no way organized or interdependent as members of the same body. This explanation is defective because the Protestant concept of the Church is a fact parallel to, but in no way causative of, their view of the communion of saints.

The true cause must be found elsewhere.

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As early as , Luther , the better to defend his condemned theses on the papacy , used the clause of the Creed to show that the communion of saints, and not the papacy , was the Church : "non ut aligui somniant, credo ecclesiam esse praelatum. This was simply playing on the words of the Symbol. At that time Luther still held the traditional communion of saints, little dreaming that he would one day give it up.

But he did give it up when he formulated his theory on justification. The substitution of the Protestant motto, "Christ for all and each one for himself". In place of the old axiom of Hugh of St. Victor , "Singula sint omnium et omina singulorum" each for all and all for each--P.

In such a theology there is obviously no room for that reciprocal action of the saints, that corporate circulation of spiritual blessings through the members of the same family , that domesticity and saintly citizenship which lies at the very core of the Catholic communion of saints. Justification and the communion of saints go hand in hand. The efforts which are being made towards reviving in Protestantism the old and still cherished dogma of the communion of saints must remain futile unless the true doctrine of justification be also restored.

About this page APA citation. Sollier, J. The Communion of Saints. In The Catholic Encyclopedia. New York: Robert Appleton Company. MLA citation. Sollier, Joseph. New York: Robert Appleton Company, This article was transcribed for New Advent by William G. Bilton, Ph. Ecclesiastical approbation. Nihil Obstat. The celestial patronage here considered will be restricted in the first instance to churches and chapels. Patrons in different countries generally present a distinctly national colouring; but the principles which have governed the selection of names will be made apparent by the examination of a few instances.

In comparing place with place, the rank or precedence of patrons should be kept in view. A convenient arrangement will be the following: Dedications to God and the Sacred Humanity of Christ or its emblems; to the Mother of God ; to the Angels ; to the holy personages who introduced the New Law of Christ ; to the Apostles and Evangelists ; to other saints. Rome Rome is illustrious for churches named after its local martyrs. The most important are the basilicas of St. Peter , of St. Paul Outside the Walls , of St. Lawrence, St. Sebastian, and of St. Agnes in the Via Nomentana. Other churches have received their title from the fact of being constructed in connexion with houses belonging to the martyrs in question: St.

Clement's, St. Pudentiana's, St. Alexius's, St. Cecilia's, St. Praxedes's, St. Bartholomew's, Sts. John and Paul, St.

In the Anglo-Saxon Church

Frances's of Rome. Santa Croce recalls St. Helen ; the Domine quo vadis chapel refers to the meeting of Our Lord and St. Peter's martyrdom ; San Pietro in Vincoli contains the actual chains with which St. Peter was bound. John Lateran's was first dedicated to Our Saviour , but the title was changed in the twelfth century; St.

Gregory and the site of the church he built in honour of St. Andrew ; St. Lorenzo in Damaso recalls its founder, Pope Damasus. Spirito in Sassia, S. Salvatore in Lauro, S.

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Salvatore in Thermis, and the Gesu. There are no dedications to the Angels nor until recently to St. England St. Augustine and his companions brought with them to England the Roman customs and traditions respecting the naming and dedication of churches. Altars were consecrated with the ashes of the martyrs. One of the earliest dedication prayers of the Anglo-Saxon Church runs thus: "Tibi, sancta Dei genitrix, virgo Maria vel tibi, sancte J.

Mary's de Comeliis, St. Accepting the figures of F. Michael and the Angels one in six of the churches, ancient and modern, now attached to the Established Church bears the name of Our Lady or one of her titles, the total being , and the proportion in pre-Reformation times was still larger , John Baptist, ; Peter, ; Peter and Paul, ; Paul, ; Holy Innocents , 15; Helen, ; Augustine of Canterbury , 57; Thomas of Canterbury , 70; Nicholas , ; Lawrence, The Catholic Church in England at the present time has shown the same spirit of conservatism and of independence which is everywhere manifested in the choice of patrons.

Among the chief of the dedications to God of the churches and chapels not counting religious houses , colleges , or institutions , the numbers are: Holy Trinity , 16; Holy Cross, 15; Sacred Heart, Consecrations in honour of the Blessed Virgin maintain their ancient pre-eminence, reaching a total of The simple designation of St. Mary's is the most frequent appellation. The form "Our Lady" occurs usually in combination with other titles. The angels are not favoured, Michael standing almost alone, but with 38 dedications. John Baptist has 20, while the name of Joseph appears as titular in no fewer than churches.

Apostles and Evangelists reach a total of Peter leads the way with 43; the Beloved Disciple counts his 30, Peter and Paul follow with Each of the remaining Apostles has at least 2 churches under his invocation, except Matthias, Barnabas, and Mark, who have but 1. Among the male saints : Anthony of Padua , Charles , Edward, Edmund , George, and Richard have each between 10 and 20; but Patrick , with 46, heads the list; then follow Augustine 22, Benedict 19, Cuthbert 18, and Francis of Assisi A special interest attaches to names which occur but once, for frequently they are dedications to a local saint, as in the instances of Birinus Dorchester , Dubritius Treforest , Gwladys Newport, Mon.

Nothing could have been more appropriate than the saints' names selected in the northern dioceses corresponding with the ancient Northumbria. Among the female saints Anne , the mother of Our Lady , occupies a position of eminence with 30 churches , Winefrid ranks next with 10, and Catherine follows with 8. Peter was held in preference, from A.

As instances of double titulars, native and foreign, the following may be taken: St. Mary and St. Manchar Old Aberdeen ; St. Boniface ; Sts. In pre-Reformation times Holy Trinity occurred less frequently than in England ; the Holy Ghost is met with three times; many churches bore the title of Christ Kilchrist, Kildomine ; Holy Blood and Holy Rood are found in several instances. Many churches had St. Michael for patron Kilmichael. Anne is the titular in several places, and an altar to the Three Kings existed in almost every church.

Joseph is nowhere found as a church titular, though he held the position of joint titular of an altar in The present day. The Sacred Heart has 8 dedications, the Holy Rood 3. The Apostles receive the special honour of 39 churches , John being the patron of 13, and Andrew of 7. Churches with the titles of modern saints are in a minority, for Patrick takes the lead with 12; Ninian, Scotland's first apostle, has 6; Columba 5; Mungo 4; David 3; and Margaret 2. Ireland The history of the patron saints of Ireland has yet to be written. The country has passed through long periods of trouble and oppression, yet several of the Celtic dedications have been preserved and linger in some districts even to this day.

The Catholic church is often known simply by the name of the street in which it is situated, as the Cathedral, Marlborough St. A similar instance occurs in Dublin with regard to the church dedicated to St. Francis of Assisi , but always styled "Adam and Eve", from the fact that when the building was erected in the seventeenth century, there swung at the end of the alley, in which the chapel was situated, a public-house sign with the full figures of our first parents.

The two religious edifices in a town are sometimes called the "Cathedral" and the "Old Chapel". In the days of persecution , when churches and endowments had alike been confiscated, the conditions of Catholic worship recalled the secrecy of the catacombs. During the nineteenth century the old "barns" that had so long served for chapels were replaced by beautiful and spacious churches for which Irish saints were frequently selected as patrons; but as a rule the choice has been determined by the tendencies of modern devotion. There are dedications to the Sacred Heart, to Our Lady under her various titles, and to many of the more recently canonized saints , such as St.

Vincent and St. Francis de Sales. Still the people continue to refer to the churches by the names of the streets. In Celtic times man churches were dedicated to Our Lady and called Kilmurray. All the Donaghmore Dominica Major churches were dedicated to St. Patrick , because they had been founded by him.

Saints of East Anglia – St. Benet's Minster Catholic Church, Beccles

The Holy Sepulchre found a place among the oldest dedications. Michael-le-Pole , Nicholas within and Nicholas without the walls, were to be met with. Bern's church was so called because founded by a priest of Byrne's clan. The title of Cell-Ingen-Leinin Church of the five daughters of Leinin, whence the name Killiney was so called from its founders. New names were introduced by the Normans, as Audven Dublin , being St. Ouen of. The colony from Chester , brought over to repeople Dublin which had been decimated by the plague at the end of the twelfth century, erected a church dedicated to their patroness, St.


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Continental Europe With regard to the patrons of churches on the continent of Europe it must suffice to mention that in France alone there are dedications under the invocation of St. Martin , and then to take a glance at the single diocese of Bruges in Belgium : Bruges is the diocese of an old country that has never lost the faith. Every town and district of Belgium is hallowed with the traditions of the holy men and women of ancient days, so that the devotion shown to the saints of other countries is not a little remarkable.

Out of 57 male saints adopted as titulars Martin has the highest number, namely 20; Nicholas 13; Lawrence 8; Blaise 6. Amand, Apostle of the Flemings, has been chosen patron of 19 churches , Audomar of 8; Bavo, the hermit of Ghent , of 7; Eligius of 10; Medard of 6; and Vaast of 4. Louis, St. The life of Christ is adequately represented, thus: Incarnation 3; Nativity 9; Epiphany 3; Transfiguration 4; Resurrection 3; Ascension 9. Sauveur, and Sacred Hearts of Jesus and Mary 1 each.

With the increasing realization of the gifts of the Incarnation which appears in modern devotions, it will excite little wonder that some or more churches are dedicated to the Mother of God under one or other of her many titles, the principal being: St. The list of male saints in the fourteen dioceses comprises names, and the female For the sake of convenience these have been divided into groups. The female patronesses are 41 in number, those whose names appear more frequently being: Anne 36; Rose 22; the three Catherines 21; Teresa 14; Agnes 13; Cecilia 12; Margaret 10; Elizabeth 9; Monica 8; Genevieve 6; Philomena 5.

Among the saints , more than in any other class, the nationality of devotion finds occasion for its manifestation. Canada In the Dominion of Canada , to a very great extent, the name of a district or village is the same as that of the patron of the church. Obviously the different localities have been named after their respective patrons. The number of titulars is considerable, the names having been assigned on the plan of avoiding repetitions.

In the list examined the names of about male, and female , saints are represented, and the entire range of popular devotion is covered. It is a surprise to find that in this long list of provincial divisions no dedications are to be found to the Most Holy Trinity , the Holy Ghost, the Blessed Sacrament. Moreover, only five are to be found which in any way relate to Christ or the mysteries of His life, these being, St.