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Saints and Sainthood

“The term saints refers to all Christian believers, for all who believe in Jesus Christ with their whole heart and are sanctified by the Holy Spirit are by definition saints. The later use of the term saints for holy people who lived particularly exemplary lives and who are canonized (or glorified) by the Church does not undo this primary meaning.” (Orthodox Study Bible, Acts 9:32)

“The Greek word for saint is hagios, meaning"holy one.” Sainthood is therefore not the calling of a select few, but of every Christian, for God says,"Be holy, for I am holy” (1 Pet. 1:16). Hagios is the word St. Paul used to describe every Christian believer (e.g. Rom. 1:7; 1 Cor. 1:2; Eph. 1:1).” (Archimandrite Vassilios Papavassiliou)

“The early Christians were called"saints."…Does it mean that those who are Christians are already saints, that is to say have achieved salvation, are already deified? Not at all! It means they (we) are 'called' to sainthood; it is a goal to be attained. We are called to"become partakers of the Divine Nature." (2Pt 1:4).” (Father George Morelli)

"Among the saints we find a variety of personalities and ways of life: married and unmarried, martyrs and ascetics, kings and bishops, rich and poor, intellectuals and simpletons. Some were chaste all their lives, others committed many sexual sins; some committed more terrible sins than many of us ever have, yet they became far holier than the most virtuous of us. For every person there is a saint to give us hope, a reminder that sainthood is a real possibility for us too. But for all the variety among the saints, there is one thing that defines every one of them, one thing they all have in common: freedom from vainglory." (Archimandrite Vassilios Papavassiliou)

"Throughout the OT and NT and church history, the greatest sinners have often become most notable saints (Moses, Rahab, David, Photini—the woman at the well, Matthew, Paul, St. Mary of Egypt)….Consider David. He had at one time in his life broke two commandments; he murdered and committed adultery. But God forgave such grave sins because David had an authentic heart. What separated these saints from others who did the same vile things was that they never rationalized their behavior or fell into self-deception. Their authenticity was key to their repentance and spiritual growth and transformation into Saints. (Orthodox Study Bible, 1 Timothy 1:12-17, Sacramental Living)

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