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What Does It Mean To Be A Saint? (Part 1)

On April 27, two popes will be canonized as saints: Pope John Paul II and Pope John XXIII. Both men lived extraordinary lives, reflecting Christ’s love and standing as models of Christian faith for everyone to see.

As we approach this season of Easter joy and celebration, it’s the perfect opportunity to ask ourselves how we too can be saints. What does it mean to be a saint, and how can we become one?

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Let’s start our investigation in Verbum by simply typing the word “Saint” in the Go box.

Type in Saint[Click to Enlarge]

Doing so opens up an entire layout, complete with a Topic Guide to begin my study. Immediately I see (in the HarperCollins Bible Dictionary) that the word “saint” occurs in Ps. 31:23—“Love the Lord, all you his saints!” (NRSV)—and comes from the Hebrew term khasid, which is expressive of covenant faithfulness. It goes on to say that “saints” in the New Testament is always translated from the Greek hagioi, the term for “holy ones”: “Thus in Rom 1:6-7, the phrases “called to belong to Jesus Christ,” “God’s beloved,” and “called to be saints” are virtually synonymous.”

This is helpful, but I wonder if a plain dictionary can help us out a bit more regarding more recent etymology. Right-clicking “saint” and opening it up in Marriam-Webster’s, we read that the word comes from the late Latin sanctus (sacred), specifically from the past-participle form sancire“to make sacred” (or to “set apart for God.”)

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We know at this point that the older understanding of saint is one who is “called to belong to Christ” or one who is set apart for God. The Catechism of the Catholic Church defines a saint as:

“The ‘holy one’ who leads a life in union with God through the grace of Christ and receives the reward of eternal life.”

We see two important elements here in addition to what we’ve learned so far:

1)    A saint lives a life in union with God through the grace of Christ

2)    A saint is one who has “received the reward of eternal life”

This second point is an important distinction for understanding the modern usage of the word. When referring to a saint, we usually mean those who are living with Christ in heaven, whereas the earlier Greek and Hebrew words didn’t necessarily refer to those who have died. But we also know that the Catechism says:

“The Church . . . is held, as a matter of faith, to be unfailingly holy. This is because Christ, the Son of God, who with the Father and the Spirit is hailed as ‘alone holy,’ loved the Church as his Bride, giving himself up for her so as to sanctify her; he joined her to himself as his body and endowed her with the gift of the Holy Spirit for the glory of God.” The Church, then, is “the holy People of God,” and her members are called saints.

 This is a good starting point for understanding sainthood. Next time, we’ll use Verbum to take a closer look at saints in Scripture and throughout the history of the Church.

Pope John XXIII: 4 Things to Know

On April 27, Pope John XXIII will be canonized as a saint, along with Pope John Paul II. Pope John XXIII was a pope of peace, proclaiming God is at the center of all right conduct—in the opening line of his encyclical Pacem in Terris, he wrote, “Peace on earth . . . which man throughout the ages has so longed for and sought after . . . can never be established, never guaranteed, except by the diligent observance of the divinely established order.” Affectionately known as “Good Pope John,” John XXIII worked tirelessly to establish peace and good will, especially in the aftermath of World War II.

Here are four things to know and share about this great Pope:

JohnXXIII

1)    Pope John XXIII called the Second Vatican Council

In 1962, John XXIII called the historic Second Vatican Council. Though he didn’t live to see its completion in 1963, he began a process that would produce four Constitutions, three Declarations, and nine Decrees—all creating major changes for Catholic life and worship worldwide.

2)    Pope John XXIII wrote the first papal encyclical addressed not only to the Catholic faithful, but to “All men of goodwill”

In his landmark encyclical Pacem in Terris (Peace on Earth), John XXIII addresses all who are willing to work toward peace, laying out the requirements for basic human rights by saying, “Man has the right to live. He has the right to bodily integrity and to the means necessary for the proper development of life . . .” This encyclical, perhaps more than any other pre–Vatican II papal writing, has provided the foundation for modern Catholic teaching on human rights, freedoms, and responsibilities.

3)    Pope John XXIII gave the famous “Speech of the Moon”

On the night following the conclusion of the first Vatican II session, the crowds in Saint Peter’s Square chanted and yelled to get John XXIII to appear at the window and address them. It worked, and when he came to them he delivered an impromptu speech, finishing with the admonition to return home and hug their children, telling them that it came from the pope. This was especially endearing at the time, given the total formality of most—if not all—papal addresses.

4)    Pope John XXIII worked as nuncio to save refugees from the Nazis in World War II

Before he was pope, John XXIII made many efforts to save refugees, including Jewish refugees who arrived to Istanbul, Slovakian children, Jews held at the Jasenovac concentration camp, Bulgarian, Romanian, Italian, and Hungarian Jews all across the globe, and many more. His efforts for peace were tireless, and his compassion for the disenfranchised saved lives and inspired love in the hearts of many.

Now is the perfect time to read and study the writings of this great soon-to-be saint.

Get them for 33% off today on Pre-Pub.

Learn to Use the Verbum App (Part 3)

The Verbum Catholic Bible Study app is free, powerful, and perfect for studying the Scriptures and Tradition anywhere you go. Watch the video below to learn how to connect with others via Faithlife in the Verbum app:

Using Faithlife in the Verbum App

Learn more about using the free Verbum app here:

Part 1
Part 2

Get the Verbum App today by simply typing in “Verbum” to your app store and downloading the app. If you’re reading this on your device, you can download the Verbum App right now on:

iOS

Android

or for Kindle Fire

Pre Publication Special: Faith of the Early Fathers

Get the Faith of the Early Fathers for 10% off! 

 The writings of the early Church Fathers are vast. Though all these texts are inherently valuable, the question sometimes arises: How can I find the most important, popular, or concise teachings?

faith-of-the-early-fathers

 The Faith of the Early Fathers collection is your answer. Following the structure of the Enchiridion Patristicum, it gives you the Church Fathers’ most important sayings and writings, all in one highly cited collection.

What is the Enchiridion Patristicum?

The Enchiridion Patristicum is a chronological manual of the Fathers’ most important sayings. Compiled by the French theologian Rouet de Journel in 1911, it’s proved itself as a thorough guide for anyone studying theology and Church history.

The Faith of the Early Fathers collection follows Journel’s format, but also includes much that Journel did not. This collection is perfect for:

1) Studying critical theological developments in the first seven centuries of Christian history.

2) Reading prominent sayings and sermons from Clement of Rome, Polycarp, Augustine, Basil, Chrysostom, Ambrose, Jerome, and others.

3) Tracking the formation of Christian doctrine—both the orthodox and the heretical—in the first seven centuries of the Church.

The Faith of the Early Fathers is ideal for serious patristic scholars, or for those who simply want an expertly curated selection of writings from the Church Fathers.

Get this outstanding collection today for 10% off on Pre-Pub.

Pre-Publication Special: Pope John Paul II’s Apostolic Writings and Audiences

Get The Audiences and Apostolic Writings of Pope John Paul II for 20% off!

In less than a month, Pope John Paul II will be canonized as a saint—a momentous occasion for millions all around the world. Now is the perfect opportunity to reflect on the life of this great man of God—a man who left behind not just a legacy of holiness, but also a treasury of literature and thought for the entire Church to study.

Today, you can get Pope John Paul II’s audiences and apostolic writings in one 11-volume collection. These are enormous volumes, compiled here at Verbum, that contain the Holy Father’s correspondences, constitutions, and audiences from 1978 to 2005.

These writings, in this chronological, digitized format, are not available anywhere else. 

 
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In this massive collection, you’ll get 26 years of Pope John Paul II’s writings, including his:

  1. Letters
  2. Messages to bishops, archbishops, cardinals, and world leaders
  3. Public prayers
  4. Public audiences
  5. Speeches
  6. Motu Proprio
  7. Original teachings on Theology of the Body
  8. Apostolic Constitutions (available in Latin)

There is no better way to read and study the great writings of Pope John Paul II than in Verbum. All of his scriptural and Church-document references are linked to the resources themselves, giving you the ability to read Pope John Paul II’s thought side by side with the Tradition he loved and upheld.

Pre-order The Audiences and Apostolic Writings of Pope John Paul II today for 20% off

Learn to Use the Verbum App (part 2)

The Verbum Catholic Bible Study app is a free, powerful scripture study tool for your mobile device. Start studying now with the most powerful Catholic App ever made.

Check out the video below to learn how to use some of the study tools included in the Verbum App:

Using Study Tools in the Verbum App

Get the Verbum App today by simply typing in “Verbum” to your app store and downloading the app. If you’re reading this on your device, you can download the Verbum App right now on:

iOS

Android

or for Kindle Fire

Pre-Publication Special: The Way of the Lord Jesus

Get The Way of the Lord Jesus for 29% off

The systematic study of revealed truth—a question-by-question reflection on Scripture, reason, and history—is not always at the forefront of our minds. In fact, unless one is a systematic theologian, sitting down to hammer out questions about morality and theology is rare. If we’re honest, most of us have neither the time nor the faculties to approach Scripture and the teachings of the Church with such rigor.

This is why great works like Thomas Aquinas’ Summa Theologica are so immensely helpful. They stand as compendiums that the Faithful can refer to regarding pressing questions. Works like the Summa also help us categorize our thoughts, doctrine, and study.

baptism-of-jesus-1643.jpg!BlogGermain Grisez does precisely this kind of work with his three-volume series The Way of the Lord Jesus. Focusing on the moral dimension of systematic theology, Grisez walks through the most pressing questions we face today. His first chapter in the first book begins with these questions:

1) What is theology?

2) What is moral theology?

3) What is the role of the teaching of the Church in the method of moral theology?

4) What does Vatican II say about renewal in moral theology?

Grisez’s method is similar to Aquinas’ in that he takes each question and gives a systematic answer. For example, the answer to question #1 begins as follows:

1.“Theology” in the most general sense means thought and talk about God. Theology is also about ourselves and everything else, considered in relation to God. Philosophical theology (sometimes called “natural theology” or “theodicy”) is distinct from sacred theology. The former proceeds by the light of reason, while the latter proceeds by the light of faith and uses reason only as a tool of faith (see S.t., 1, q. 1, a. 1; a. 5, ad 2; a. 8, ad 2; S.c.g., 1, 9).

2.Sometimes the word “theology” is used to refer to the systematic features of a scriptural author’s appropriation (that is, personal reception) of divine revelation: We speak of the “theologies” of St. Paul, of St. John, and so on. It should not be supposed, however, that Scripture and our reflections on faith are theology in the same sense. Since it was essential to the completion of God’s act of communication that revelation be personally received and made their own by persons whom God chose for that purpose, the Scriptures, together with sacred tradition, constitute the supreme rule of faith (see DV 21). We receive Christian faith only by understanding and using the books of the Bible as the Catholic Church understands and uses them in her teaching, liturgy, and life. Hence, the “theologies” in Scripture itself are normative—that is, they set the standard—for our reflections on faith.

Grisez gives five more points, each following up the questions brought up in the last. He continues this method throughout the entire series, masterfully covering hundreds of theological topics and moral questions.

the-way-of-the-lord-jesusIn Verbum, this resource—amazing in and of itself—becomes truly invaluable. Because Grisez makes so many references and citations to Scripture and other Church documents, these volumes come to life in Verbum: each resource links to your other books and resources.

Grisez’s brilliant work of moral theology is 29% off on Pre-Pub.

Get it today!

Pre-Publication Special: Catholic Bible Dictionary


Get the
Catholic Bible Dictionary for 23% off!

catholic-bible-dictionary

Scott Hahn’s Catholic Bible Dictionary is a landmark publication in its own right, but in Verbum it’s full potential is unlocked. It’s an enormous compendium of biblical topics, characters, and definitions; all 5,000-plus entries are replete with Scripture references and detailed definitions.

Imagine a page like this in Verbum, where each of the entries are easily searchable and linked to other resources in your digital library:

Abel 1

The Catholic Bible Dictionary doesn’t just give you simple definitions. Key characters and concepts have pages devoted to themes, questions, and other relevant topics. Here’s an example from the entry on Abraham:

Abraham 1

In print, this volume is big, heavy, and difficult to carry around. With Verbum, you can carry around this 1,000-plus-page volume on your phone, tablet, or laptop—with all the added functionality and tools that you need for thorough, powerful study.

In this massive work, Scott Hahn draws from two millennia of scholarship to create an accessible, comprehensive tool for deeper and more rewarding biblical study.

A perfect study companion for layman and serious scholar alike, the Catholic Bible Dictionary is an invaluable asset to your Verbum library.

Get it today for 23% off!

Learn to Use the Verbum App (part 1)

The Verbum Catholic Bible Study app is a free, powerful app for your mobile device. Start studying the Scriptures and Tradition with the most powerful Catholic App ever made. Check out the videos below to learn the basics:

 Getting Started

Using Community Notes

Get the Verbum App today by simply typing in “Verbum” to your app store and downloading the app. If you’re reading this on your device, you can download the Verbum App right now on:

iOS

Android

or for Kindle Fire

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