Why We Venerate the Saints

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 Why We Venerate the Saints

Why We Venerate the Saints

In a careful biblical, historical, and systematic study of the ancient and enduring tradition of veneration of saints, Patricia Sullivan illuminates the compelling and transformative roles of the saints in the lives of individuals and in the life of the Church.

Although older Catholics are familiar with the cult of the saints, veneration of saints is for many younger Catholics a lost tradition.  Yet this remarkably clear, deeply researched book offers a path through biblical, historical, and systematic aspects of the communion of saints in which the canonized play special roles. This study follows Vatican II’s view of the saints as companions, models, and intercessors—that the saints guide us both through the inspiration of their holy lives and in their roles in the afterlife. With a comprehensive introduction to the Catholic Church’s history of venerating saints, each subsequent study emphasizes the rediscovery of the meaning of veneration and is designed both for academic instruction and personal use. Each chapter also includes a list of important terms and suggestions for additional reading. A beautifully written, theologically rich resource for college and ministry students and nourishment for the heart and mind of every serious Catholic.

Table of Contents

One: Veneration of Saints: Past and Present
Two: The Saints in the Bible: Companions, Models, Intercessors
Three: The Cult of the Martyrs: The Saints in the Early Church
Four: From Witnesses to Protectors: The Development of the Cult of the Saints in the Middle Ages
Five: Official and Universal Veneration of Saints: Liturgy and Canonization
Six: Historical Critiques of the Cult: Protestant and Catholic Reformations
Seven: The Corporate Life of the Church and Popular Piety: Theological Reflection and Traditional Practices
Eight: Recovered Emphases and New Procedures: Vatican II and the 1983 Congregation for the Causes of Saints Reform
Nine: The Christological Center: Catholic Doctrine and Ecumenical Conversation
Ten: The Saints as Companions: A Contemporary Understanding
Eleven: The Saints as Models: A Contemporary Understanding
Twelve: The Saints as Intercessors: A Contemporary Understanding
Thirteen: Mariological Devotion: Catholic Doctrine and Ecumenical Conversation
Fourteen: Concerns: The Mysterious, the Miraculous, and Miscellaneous
Fifteen: Veneration of Saints: Meaning and Value of the Tradition
Appendix 1: Key Church Documents Pertaining to Doctrine About the Saints and to Veneration of Saints
Appendix 2: Abstracts of Karl Rahner’s Theologies of Symbol and Anamnesis

Reviews and endorsements

“This is an extraordinarily rich resource for informed teaching, writing, and thinking about saints, sanctity, and the call to holiness at the heart of Catholic faith.”
Wendy M. Wright, professor of theology, Creighton University

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“The veneration of saints is not merely some quaint pious custom from days gone by but a fundamental aspect of authentic Catholic ecclesiology. Sullivan demonstrates this to be the case in a careful historical and theological study that reveals ressourcement  at its very best. Highly recommended.”
Lawrence S. Cunningham, John A. O’Brien Professor of Theology, The University of Notre Dame

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”This book speaks thoroughly and beautifully of who the saints are in the history of human salvation.”
Francis Cardinal George, O.M.I., Archbishop of Chicago


“This is an extraordinarily rich resource for informed teaching, writing, and thinking about saints, sanctity, and the call to holiness at the heart of Catholic faith.”
Wendy M. Wright, professor of theology, Creighton University

,

“The veneration of saints is not merely some quaint pious custom from days gone by but a fundamental aspect of authentic Catholic ecclesiology. Sullivan demonstrates this to be the case in a careful historical and theological study that reveals ressourcement  at its very best. Highly recommended.”
Lawrence S. Cunningham, John A. O’Brien Professor of Theology, The University of Notre Dame

,

”This book speaks thoroughly and beautifully of who the saints are in the history of human salvation.”
Francis Cardinal George, O.M.I., Archbishop of Chicago

9780824524364
Paperback / 305 pages
CROSSROAD, 2012

Dimensions: 6 x 9.25