Patron saint

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Saint Matthew the Apostle, depicted with an angel, is the patron saint of Salerno, Italy, bankers, and tax collectors. Evangelist-St.-Matthew-And-The-Angel.jpg
Saint Matthew the Apostle, depicted with an angel, is the patron saint of Salerno, Italy, bankers, and tax collectors.
A branch of Saint Honore Cake Shop, a Hong Kong chain bakery, in Hong Kong. Saint Honorius (Honore) is the patron saint of bakers and confectioners. Saint Honore Cake Shop Outlet01.jpg
A branch of Saint Honore Cake Shop, a Hong Kong chain bakery, in Hong Kong. Saint Honorius (Honoré) is the patron saint of bakers and confectioners.

A patron saint, patroness saint, patron hallow or heavenly protector is a saint who in Roman Catholicism, Anglicanism or Eastern Orthodoxy, is regarded as the heavenly advocate of a nation, place, craft, activity, class, clan, family or person. [1] [2]

Contents

Origin

Saints often become the patrons of places where they were born or had been active. However, there were cases in Medieval Europe where a city which grew to prominence and obtained for its cathedral the remains or some relics of a famous saint who had lived and was buried elsewhere, thus making him or her the city's patron saint – such a practice conferred considerable prestige on the city concerned. In Latin America and the Philippines, Spanish and Portuguese explorers often named a location for the saint on whose feast or commemoration they first visited the place, with that saint naturally becoming the area's patron.[ citation needed ]

Professions sometimes have a patron saint owing to that individual being involved somewhat with it, although some of the connections were tenuous. Lacking such a saint, an occupation would have a patron whose acts or miracles in some way recall the profession. For example, when the previously unknown profession of photography appeared in the 19th century, Saint Veronica was made its patron, owing to how her veil miraculously received the imprint of Christ's face after she wiped off the blood and sweat. [3] [4] [5]

Denominations

Christianity

The veneration or "commemoration" and recognition of patron saints or saints in general is found in Roman Catholicism, Eastern Catholicism, Eastern Orthodoxy, Oriental Orthodoxy, and among some Lutherans and Anglicans. Catholics believe that patron saints, having already transcended to the metaphysical, are able to intercede effectively for the needs of their special charges. [6]

It is, however, generally discouraged in most Protestant branches such as Calvinism, where the practice is considered a form of idolatry. [7]

Islam

Although Islam has no codified doctrine of patronage on the part of saints, it has nevertheless been an important part of both Sunni and Shia Islamic tradition that particularly important classical saints have served as the heavenly advocates for specific Muslim empires, nations, cities, towns, and villages. [8] Martin Lings wrote: "There is scarcely a region in the empire of Islam which has not a Sufi for its Patron Saint." [8] :119 As the veneration accorded saints often develops purely organically in Islamic climates, in a manner different from Catholic and Eastern Orthodox Christianity, "patron saints" are often recognized through popular acclaim rather than through official declaration. [8] Traditionally, it has been understood that the patron saint of a particular place prays for that place's wellbeing and for the health and happiness of all who live therein. [8]

However, the Wahhabi and Salafi movements within Sunnism have latterly attacked the veneration of saints (as patron or otherwise), which they claim are a form of idolatry or shirk . [8] More mainstream Sunni clerics have critiqued this argument since Wahhabism first emerged in the 18th century. [9] The critiques notwithstanding, widespread veneration of saints in the Sunni world declined in the 20th century under Wahhabi and Salafi influence. [8]

See also

Related Research Articles

Icon religious work of art, generally a panel painting, in Eastern Christianity

An icon is a religious work of art, most commonly a painting, in the cultures of the Eastern Orthodox Church, Oriental Orthodoxy, the Roman Catholic, and certain Eastern Catholic churches. The most common subjects include Christ, Mary, saints and angels. Although especially associated with portrait-style images concentrating on one or two main figures, the term also covers most religious images in a variety of artistic media produced by Eastern Christianity, including narrative scenes. Icons can represent various scenes in the Bible.

Muhammad ibn Abd al-Wahhab was a religious leader and theologian from Najd in central Arabia who founded the movement now called Wahhabism. Born to a family of jurists, Ibn 'Abd al-Wahhab's early education consisted of learning a fairly standard curriculum of orthodox jurisprudence according to the Hanbali school of law, which was the school of law most prevalent in his area of birth. Despite his initial rudimentary training in classical Sunni Muslim tradition, Ibn 'Abd al-Wahhab gradually became opposed to many of the most popular Sunni practices such as the visitation to and the veneration of the tombs of saints, which he felt amounted to heretical religious innovation or even idolatry. Despite his teachings being rejected and opposed by many of the most notable Sunni Muslim scholars of the period, including his own father and brother, Ibn 'Abd al-Wahhab charted a religio-political pact with Muhammad bin Saud to help him to establish the Emirate of Diriyah, the first Saudi state, and began a dynastic alliance and power-sharing arrangement between their families which continues to the present day in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. The Al ash-Sheikh, Saudi Arabia's leading religious family, are the descendants of Ibn ʿAbd al-Wahhab, and have historically led the ulama in the Saudi state, dominating the state's clerical institutions.

Saint one who has been recognized for having an exceptional degree of holiness, sanctity, and virtue

A saint is a person who is recognized as having an exceptional degree of holiness or likeness or closeness to God. However, the use of the term "saint" depends on the context and denomination. In Roman Catholic, Eastern Orthodox, Anglican, Oriental Orthodox, and Lutheran doctrine, all of their faithful deceased in Heaven are considered to be saints, but some are considered worthy of greater honor or emulation; official ecclesiastical recognition, and consequently veneration, is given to some saints through the process of canonization in the Catholic Church or glorification in the Eastern Orthodox Church.

Wahhabism Religious movement and branch of Sunni Islam

Wahhabism is an Islamic doctrine and religious movement founded by Muhammad ibn Abd al-Wahhab. It has been variously described as "ultraconservative", "far-right" "austere", "fundamentalist", or "puritan (ical)"; as an Islamic "reform movement" to restore "pure monotheistic worship" (tawhid) by devotees; and as a "deviant sectarian movement", "vile sect" and a distortion of Islam by its detractors. The term Wahhabi(sm) is often used polemically and adherents commonly reject its use, preferring to be called Salafi or muwahhid, claiming to emphasize the principle of tawhid or monotheism, dismissing other Muslims as practising shirk (idolatry). It follows the theology of Ibn Taymiyyah and the Hanbali school of jurisprudence, although Hanbali leaders renounced ibn Abd al-Wahhab's views.

Veneration the act of honoring a saint, a person who has been identified as having a high degree of sanctity or holiness

Veneration, or veneration of saints, is the act of honoring a saint, a person who has been identified as having a high degree of sanctity or holiness. Angels are shown similar veneration in many religions. Philologically, "to venerate" derives from the Latin verb, venerare, meaning to regard with reverence and respect. Veneration of saints is practiced, formally or informally, by adherents of some branches of all major religions, including Christianity, Judaism, Hinduism, Islam, and Buddhism.

Heterodoxy in a religious sense means "any opinions or doctrines at variance with an official or orthodox position". Under this definition, heterodoxy is similar to unorthodoxy, while the adjective "heterodox" could be applied to a dissident.

Many Wikipedia articles on religious topics are not yet listed on this page. If you cannot find the topic you are interested in on this page, it still may already exist; you can try to find it using the "Search" box. If you find that it exists, you can edit this page to add a link to it.

Idolatry idol worship, any reverence of an image, statue or icon

Idolatry is the worship of an idol or cult image, being a physical image, such as a statue, or a person in place of God. In Abrahamic religions, namely Christianity, Islam and Judaism, idolatry connotes the worship of something or someone other than God as if it were God. In these monotheistic religions, idolatry has been considered as the "worship of false gods" and is forbidden by the values such as the Ten Commandments. Other monotheistic religions may apply similar rules. In many Indian religions, such as theistic and non-theistic forms of Hinduism, Buddhism and Jainism, idols (murti) are considered as symbolism for the absolute but not The Absolute, or icons of spiritual ideas, or the embodiment of the divine. It is a means to focus one's religious pursuits and worship (bhakti). In the traditional religions of ancient Egypt, Greece, Rome, Africa, Asia, the Americas and elsewhere, the reverence of an image or statue has been a common practice, and cult images have carried different meanings and significance.

Wali Arabic word meaning "custodian", "protector", "helper"; not to be confused with Wāli

Wali is an Arabic word whose literal meanings include "custodian", "protector", "helper", and "friend". In the vernacular, it is most commonly used by Muslims to indicate an Islamic saint, otherwise referred to by the more literal "friend of God". In the traditional Islamic understanding of saints, the saint is portrayed as someone "marked by [special] divine favor ... [and] holiness", and who is specifically "chosen by God and endowed with exceptional gifts, such as the ability to work miracles". The doctrine of saints was articulated by Islamic scholars very early on in Muslim history, and particular verses of the Quran and certain hadith were interpreted by early Muslim thinkers as "documentary evidence" of the existence of saints. Graves of saints around the Muslim world became centers of pilgrimage — especially after 1200 CE — for masses of Muslims seeking their barakah (blessing).

The Salafi movement, also called Salafist movement, Salafiya, and Salafism, is a reform branch or revivalist movement within Sunni Islam that developed in Egypt in the late 19th century as a response to Western European imperialism. It had roots in the 18th-century Wahhabi movement that originated in the Najd region of modern-day Saudi Arabia. It advocated a return to the traditions of the salaf, the first three generations of Muslims, which they preached as the unadulterated, pure form of Islam. Those generations included the Islamic prophet Muhammad and his companions, their successors, and the successors of the successors.

Shrine holy or sacred place, which is dedicated to a specific deity

A shrine is a holy or sacred place dedicated to a specific deity, ancestor, hero, martyr, saint, daemon, or similar figure of respect, wherein they are venerated or worshipped. Shrines often contain idols, relics, or other such objects associated with the figure being venerated. A shrine at which votive offerings are made is called an altar.

Religious images in Christian theology

Religious images in Christian theology have a role within the liturgical and devotional life of adherents of certain Christian denominations. The use of religious images has often been a contentious issue in Christian history. Concern over idolatry is the driving force behind the various traditions of aniconism in Christianity.

Islamic schools and branches Islamic schools and branches

This article summarizes the different branches and schools in Islam. The best known split, into Sunni Islam, Shia Islam, and Kharijites, was mainly political at first but eventually acquired theological and jurisprudential dimensions. There are three traditional types of schools in Islam: schools of jurisprudence, Sufi orders and schools of theology. The article also summarizes major denominations and movements that have arisen in the modern era.

Cult image human-made object that is venerated for the deity, spirit or daemon that it embodies or represents

In the practice of religion, a cult image is a human-made object that is venerated or worshipped for the deity, spirit or daemon that it embodies or represents. In several traditions, including the ancient religions of Egypt, Greece and Rome, and modern Hinduism, cult images in a temple may undergo a daily routine of being washed, dressed, and having food left for them. Processions outside the temple on special feast days are often a feature. Religious images cover a wider range of all types of images made with a religious purpose, subject, or connection. In many contexts "cult image" specifically means the most important image in a temple, kept in an inner space, as opposed to what may be many other images decorating the temple.

Ahl al-Hadith was an Islamic school of thought that first emerged during the 2nd/3rd Islamic centuries of the Islamic era as a movement of hadith scholars who considered the Quran and authentic hadith to be the only authority in matters of law and creed. Its adherents have also been referred to as traditionalists and sometimes traditionists.

A schism is a division between people, usually belonging to an organization, movement, or religious denomination. The word is most frequently applied to a split in what had previously been a single religious body, such as the East–West Schism or the Great Western Schism. It is also used of a split within a non-religious organization or movement or, more broadly, of a separation between two or more people, be it brothers, friends, lovers, etc.

A religious image, sometimes called a votive image, is a work of visual art that is representational and has a religious purpose, subject or connection. All major historical religions have made some use of religious images, although their use is strictly controlled and often controversial in many religions, especially Abrahamic ones. General terms associated with religious images include cult image, a term for images, especially in sculpture which are or have been claimed to be the object of religious worship in their own right, and icon strictly a term for Eastern Orthodox religious images, but often used more widely, in and outside the area of religion.

Most holy sites in Sufism are shrines dedicated to various Sufi Saints - spiritually elevated ascetics from various mystical orders within Islam. Shrines are widely scattered throughout the Islamic world. Pilgrimages to them are known as Ziyarat. Traditional annual commemorations of the saint's death held at his shrine are known as Urs In several countries, the local shrine is a focal point of the community, with several localities named specifically for the local saint.

The relationship between Salafism and Sufis – two movements of Islam with different interpretations of Islam – is historically diverse and reflects some of the changes and conflicts in the Muslim world today.

References

  1. Slocum, Robert Boak; Armentrout, Donald S. (2000). "Patronal Feast". An Episcopal Dictionary of the Church: A User-Friendly Reference for Episcopalians. New York: Church Publishing, Inc. p. 390. ISBN   0-89869-211-3.
  2. "patron saint" . The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language (4th ed.). 2006. p. 1290. ISBN   0-618-70172-9.
  3. C.W.G.; R.G. (11 September 1852). "St. Veronica (Vol. vi., p.199)". Notes and Queries . London. 6 (150): 252.
  4. "Archaeological Intelligence". The Archaeological Journal. 7: 413. 1850.
  5. Butler, Alban (2000). "St. Veronica (First Century)". In Doyle, Peter (ed.). Lives of the Saints: July (New full ed.). Tunbridge Wells: Burns & Oates. pp. 84–86. ISBN   0-86012-256-5. OCLC   877793679 via Google Books.
  6. Gibson, Henry (1882). "Twenty-Fifth Instruction". Catechism Made Easy: Being a Familiar Explanation of the Catechism of Christian Doctrine (No. 2). 1 (2nd ed.). London: Burns and Oates. p.  310 via Internet Archive.
  7. Duke, A.C.; Lewis, Gillian; Pettegree, Andrew, eds. (1992). "Managing a country parish: A country pastor's advice to his successor". Calvinism in Europe, 1540-1610: A Collection of Documents. p.  53. ISBN   0-7190-3552-X. OCLC   429210690.
  8. 1 2 3 4 5 6 Lings, Martin (2005) [1983]. What is Sufism?. Lahore: Suhail Academy. pp. 119-120 etc.
  9. Commins, David (2009). The Wahhabi Mission and Saudi Arabia. I.B.Tauris. p. 59. Abd al-Latif, who would become the next supreme religious leader ... enumerated the harmful views that Ibn Jirjis openly espoused in Unayza: Supplicating the dead is not a form of worship but merely calling out to them, so it is permitted. Worship at graves is not idolatry unless the supplicant believes that buried saints have the power to determine the course of events. Whoever declares that there is no god but God and prays toward Mecca is a believer.