Paul's letters clarify how the Apostolic Church under the influence of the Holy Spirit spoke of believers as "saints," whether living or dead.
Paul asked the saints to pray for him and to imitate him.
Faithful people in the Post-Apostolic Church in the Apostles Creed defined the confessional response to faith in their creed: "We believe in the communion of saints."
Through Baptism we pass "from death to life; death no longer has dominion over us." Christians must believe that there is no real distinction between the believer in human life and after human life. Saints, living or dead, are indistinguishable before God.
If we can pray for and with saints in this life, we can pray for and with those saints after human life.
And as Paul asked saints to imitate him as he imitates Christ, the Church encourages Catholic Christians to imitate the holiness of the saints as they imitated the holiness of Christ and the Father.
As a hem of a garment, the shadows of saints, and clothes of the saints were used devotionally in the Apostolic Church, so relics and images of the saints are devotionally encouraged by the Church today.
First among saints by the fullness of grace which was hers is the Mother of Jesus, Mary.
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Last Updated: September 17, 2004