Answering the rebuttals of a Catholic apologist, #39: “We Are the Saints”

Today, we continue with our series responding to “Meeting the Protestant Challenge: How to Answer 50 Biblical Objections to Catholic Beliefs” (2019), written by Karlo Broussard. With this installment, the Catholic apologist completes his five-chapter section on “The Saints” as he attempts to counter Protestants’ assertion that “We Are the Saints.”

capture30

The Roman Catholic church almost exclusively uses the term, “saint,” in association with those whom it officially canonizes. Canonized saints are recognized as being in Heaven and worthy of “veneration” and qualified to be intercessory mediators.

“Showing devotion and respect to Mary, the Apostles, and the martyrs, who were viewed as faithful witnesses to faith in Jesus Christ. Later, veneration was given to those who led a life of prayer and self-denial in giving witness to Christ, whose virtues were recognized and publicly proclaimed in their canonization as saints.” – from “Veneration” in the glossary of the Catechism of the Catholic Church (CCC)

In counterpoint, evangelical Protestants cite such passages as Colossians 1:2 to show that all genuine believers are saints:

“To the saints and faithful brothers in Christ at Colossae: Grace to you and peace from God our Father.”

In this verse, Paul addresses all of the born-again believers in Colossae as saints. Broussard attempts to counter Protestant objections with three arguments:

(1) Broussard begins by informing us that the Greek word used in the Septuagint and the New Testament for “saint,” hagios, means “sanctified,” “set apart,” or “holy.” He presents multiple examples from the Bible to show the word is used to signify believers, angels, and even God. Broussard concludes, “(since) there is no single biblical use of the term hagios, (that) gives Catholics some freedom to decide how they want to use the term” (p.211).

(2) Broussard then states that the Roman church readily concedes that it’s technically appropriate to categorize “all baptized Christians” as saints (CCC 1475, 948), “but it in a narrower and more formal way, the Catholic church also uses the word to refer to those individual Christians who are perfected in the heavenly kingdom” (p. 212).

(3) Broussard concludes by arguing that “it’s reasonable for the Church to use the term saint as a title of honor for those Christians in heaven because of their perfected state” (p. 212).

Let’s now respond to Broussard.

 (1) It’s certainly true that the Bible uses hagios to refer to believers, angels, and God. Because of the variance in application, Broussard claims Catholicism has the “freedom” to apply the term as it sees fit. Does that rationalization hold water? Let’s continue.

(2) After having attempted to establish Catholicism’s prerogative to use hagios according to its own whims, while still conceding that the term can theoretically be used to refer to all “baptized saints,” Broussard acknowledges that the Roman church almost exclusively uses the term to refer to those it has canonized.

(3) Broussard concludes, once again, with Catholicism’s “reasonable/fitting” argument, i.e., (A) If a certain extra-Biblical theological hypothesis is reasonable and fitting (according to Catholic arguments), then (B) it is true. Hence, Roman Catholicism’s designation of super-Catholics as “saints” is deemed appropriate because the RCC says it is.

The Roman Catholic church teaches it has the God-given ability to discern if certain individuals are in Heaven and are worthy to be venerated as intercessors by the faithful. It claims to be able to make that determination via its scrupulous canonization process.* It alleges its saints obtained a place in Heaven due to sacramental grace (baptism, eucharist, confession, confirmation, last rites, marriage, ordination) and their abundant meritorious works and piety.

There is a fundamental and irreconcilable difference between the genuine Gospel of salvation by God’s grace alone, through faith alone, in Jesus Christ alone and Roman Catholicism’s false gospel of sacramental grace and merit. Gospel Christians take the Biblical view, that the saints are all those who have repented of their sin and trusted in Jesus Christ as Savior by faith alone. The RCC’s usage of “saint,” as referring to a “Super Catholic,” aligns with and perpetuates that church’s false notion of works-righteousness salvation.

Postscript: No one is really sure how many individuals have been canonized by the Catholic church. However, the RCC states the first saint to be formally canonized was Ulrich of Augsburg in 993 AD by pope John XV. Why were no saints canonized prior to 993? Like most Catholic “sacred traditions,” this saint business evolved over time. There is no mention of canonization or praying to saints in the New Testament. Popular culture parrots the Catholic notion of “sainthood” and even believers get caught up in this error: “Sally helped me out so much. She is an absolute saint.”

What are Christian saints according to the Bible?
https://www.gotquestions.org/saints-Christian.html

*The canonization process usually takes decades, if not centuries, of dogged persistence on the part of the devotees of a particular candidate. However, the RCC has shamelessly “fast tracked” famous and socially relevant personages (e.g., pope John Paul II, Mother Teresa, and recently, token African-American Catholics) in order to exploit their popular appeal.

Next up: “Today You Will Be with Me”

Answering the rebuttals of a Catholic apologist, #38: “God Alone Knows Our Hearts”

Today, we continue with our series responding to “Meeting the Protestant Challenge: How to Answer 50 Biblical Objections to Catholic Beliefs” (2019), written by Karlo Broussard. With this next chapter, the Catholic apologist continues his section on “The Saints” as he attempts to counter Protestants’ objections that “God Alone Knows Our Hearts”

capture30

In examining Broussard’s three previous chapters on this topic, I pointed out that Catholicism teaches that its saints have deific abilities to receive and comprehend prayers. In counterpoint, evangelical Protestants often cite 2 Chronicles 6:30 to show that God alone knows the hearts of men and women:

“Then hear from heaven your dwelling place and forgive and render to each whose heart you know, according to all his ways, for you, you only, know the hearts of the children of mankind.”

Broussard responds to this objection with two arguments:

(1) Firstly, Broussard posits that an all-powerful God is certainly able to grant limited omniscience to the saints. He appeals to Catholic theologian, Thomas Aquinas, in his Summa Theologiae:

“God alone of himself knows the thoughts of the heart: yet others know them, insofar as these are revealed to them, either by their vision of the Word [Second Person of the Trinity] or by any other means.”

(2) Next, Broussard contends that there is Scriptural precedent for the notion of saintly omniscience. He cites Daniel 2 where God revealed King Nebuchadnezzar’s private dreams to Daniel in a vision. He also cites Revelation 5:8 with its mention of “the four living creatures and the twenty-four elders fell down before the Lamb, each holding a harp, and golden bowls full of incense, which are the prayers of the saints” as an alleged example of how “God reveals the interior thoughts of men to created intellects, particularly to souls in heaven” (p.208).

Let’s now answer Broussard.

(1) I certainly don’t regard Thomas Aquinas as a reliable theological authority, but I do acknowledge from examples in Scripture that God is almighty and all-powerful and can and has chosen, in unique circumstances, to reveal the interior thoughts of others to His prophets and select individuals.

(2) Yes, Mr. Broussard, God did reveal the interior thoughts of Nebuchadnezzar to Daniel. No, Mr. Broussard, Revelation 5:8 doesn’t indicate that the souls in Heaven know the details of believers’ prayers.

Broussard has once again used the Catholic “reasonable/fitting” argument to “prove” the validity of praying to saints. He posits that (A) since God has revealed the interior thoughts of people to prophets, then (B) it’s reasonable to assume that God enables saints to know the interior thoughts of those who pray to them, therefore (C) God grants limited omniscience to the saints in order for them to receive prayers.

Roman Catholicism has likewise extrapolated many other specious, extra-Biblical doctrines and traditions using its reasonable/fitting argument. While God did reveal the interior thoughts of people to prophets, there is not a single example in either the Old or New Testaments of a faithful believer invoking the dead. Not one. God would NOT empower souls in Heaven to be spiritual mediators because He would be contradicting His Word, which states believers are to pray directly to God the Father through Jesus Christ, our only Mediator.

“Pray then like this: ‘Our Father in heaven…'” – Matthew 6:9

Jesus DID NOT instruct His disciples to pray to saint so-and-so. He instructed His disciples to pray to God the Father.

“Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need.” – Hebrews 4:16

The writer of Hebrews, under divine inspiration of the Holy Spirit, exhorts Christians to pray to God, NOT to pray to saints X, Y, and Z.

Next up: “We Are the Saints”

Answering the rebuttals of a Catholic apologist, #37: “The Dead Know Nothing”

Today, we continue with our series responding to “Meeting the Protestant Challenge: How to Answer 50 Biblical Objections to Catholic Beliefs” (2019), written by Karlo Broussard. With this next chapter, the Catholic apologist continues his section on “The Saints” as he attempts to counter alleged Protestants’ objections that “The Dead Know Nothing.”

capture30

As we’ve seen in the previous two chapters, the Roman Catholic church teaches that its members can and should pray to canonized saints for intercessory help. In this chapter, Broussard contends that “some” Protestants believe “the dead know nothing” based upon Ecclesiastes 9:5,10:

“5 For the living know that they will die, but the dead know nothing, and they have no more reward, for the memory of them is forgotten…10 Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with your might, for there is no work or thought or knowledge or wisdom in Sheol, to which you are going.”

Broussard offers three arguments to counter alleged Protestants’ objections. This is one of the longest chapters (seven pages) in the book, so I will attempt to summarize the author’s claims as succinctly as possible.

(1) Broussard states that the writer of Ecclesiastes, King Solomon, “is not intending to make an assertion about the nature of the afterlife,” only “that he is trying to make sense of death from an earthly perspective” (p.199).

(2) Broussard hypothesizes that (A) since “souls in heaven possess the beatific vision,” then (B) “we have good reason to think that they would be conscious of our requests made to them” (p.201). For his proof text, Broussard cites 1 John 3:2 (“…we shall be like him…”) to claim that believers in Heaven have divine abilities like God. Referring to Hebrews 7:25, Broussard next hypothesizes that (A) since Christ “always lives to make intercession,” and (B) the believers in Heaven “are going to be perfectly like Christ,” then (C) “it’s at least reasonable to think that the saints would be doing what Christ does-namely, interceding for Christians on earth” (all quotes from p. 201).

(3) Broussard concludes, “There is clear and convincing evidence in both the Old and New Testaments that there is consciousness in the afterlife” and follows with multiple Bible passages for supporting evidence.

While this was one of Broussard’s lengthier chapters, my rebuttal will be short.

Broussard’s argument is somewhat of a straw man fallacy. Evangelical Protestants certainly do not believe that “the dead know nothing.” In Ecclesiastes 9:5,10, Solomon is clearly referencing death solely from a temporal perspective. Scripture is abundantly clear that the redeemed souls are in Heaven worshiping the Lord (see here) while the unredeemed souls are in hell and are conscious of their circumstance (see here). However, nowhere in Scripture is there a reference to a redeemed soul in Heaven being prayed to and acting as an intercessor for believers on Earth as Catholicism teaches. Catholicism’s ungrounded claims for saintly intercession are based strictly upon the type of unwarranted extrapolation Broussard presents in his second argument. As we see by this example, much of Catholic “sacred tradition” is founded and defended using the argument that such-and-such extra-Biblical doctrine is true because it is allegedly “reasonable” and/or “fitting.”

Broussard claims that “some Christians both within and outside mainstream Protestantism” believe “the dead know nothing.” The associated endnote (#140, pp. 285-286) reveals that Broussard is largely referring to Seventh Day Adventists (1.2 million members in North America) who teach the unconscious “soul sleep” of believers until the resurrection and the annihilation of the lost. Broussard doesn’t reference them, but the Jehovah’s Witnesses also teach soul sleep. The Jehovah’s Witnesses definitely do not teach the Christian Gospel. As for Seventh Day Adventism, the debate continues whether there’s enough Gospel truth within the sect’s aberrant teachings for a person to be saved (see here).

Next up: “God Alone Knows Our Hearts”

Answering the rebuttals of a Catholic apologist, #36: “Invoking the Dead Is an Abomination”

Today, we continue with our series responding to “Meeting the Protestant Challenge: How to Answer 50 Biblical Objections to Catholic Beliefs” (2019), written by Karlo Broussard. With this next chapter, the Catholic apologist continues his section on “The Saints” as he counters evangelical Protestants’ objections that “Invoking the Dead Is an Abomination.”

capture30

The Roman Catholic church teaches its members to pray to Mary and its canonized saints for assistance in meriting their salvation and other needs:

“The witnesses who have preceded us into the kingdom, especially those whom the Church recognizes as saints, share in the living tradition of prayer by the example of their lives, the transmission of their writings, and their prayer today. They contemplate God, praise him and constantly care for those whom they have left on earth. When they entered into the joy of their Master, they were ‘put in charge of many things.’ Their intercession is their most exalted service to God’s plan. We can and should ask them to intercede for us and for the whole world.” – CCC 2683

Regarding the practice of praying to the dead, evangelical Protestants cite Deuteronomy 18:10-12:

“10 There shall not be found among you anyone who burns his son or his daughter as an offering, anyone who practices divination or tells fortunes or interprets omens, or a sorcerer 11 or a charmer or a medium or a necromancer or one who inquires of the dead, 12 for whoever does these things is an abomination to the Lord. And because of these abominations the Lord your God is driving them out before you.”

It’s clear from this passage and many others (see here) that God commands believers to refrain from invoking the dead, i.e., necromancy.

Broussard seeks to rebut Protestant objections with two arguments:

(1) Broussard attempts to distinguish between the necromancy specifically condemned in Deut. 18:11 and the invocation of the saints as taught by the Roman Catholic church. First, he presents a definition of necromancy, i.e., “the conjuration of the spirits of the dead for purposes of magically revealing the future or influencing the course of events.” Broussard follows with the Greek roots of the word, “necromancy”: nekros (“dead person”) + manteia (“oracle”/”divination”). Broussard then places v.11 in context with the entirety of Deuteronomy 18:9-21 to assert that the prohibition against necromancy “has to do with seeking secret knowledge apart from God” (p.198).

(2) From the above argument, Broussard concludes that petitioning the saints is not necromancy, because invoking the saints involves “giving information to the dead by making our requests known to the departed soul” (p.198), in alleged contrast to necromancy, the goal of which, he states, is to gain secret knowledge from the departed souls.

Let’s now respond to Broussard.

We can use the information provided by Broussard to swiftly and successfully rebut his sophistical apologia. One of the purposes of necromancy, according to Broussard’s own definition, is for “influencing the course of events.” Catholics certainly do pray to Mary and the saints in the hopes that they can influence the course of future events!

Last week, we discussed how praying to saints is idolatry because it ascribes to them powers and glory that belong to God alone (see here). Nowhere, nowhere, nowhere in the Old or New Testaments is there an example of an obedient believer praying to anyone other than God.

No need to debate this specific topic further. Broussard has unwittingly debunked his own argument.

What does the Bible say about praying to the dead?
https://www.gotquestions.org/praying-to-the-dead.html

Next up: “The Dead Know Nothing”

Reevaluating “saint” Thomas More, terrorizer of Protestants

The Black Lives Matter protesters are targeting everything (statues, memorials, flags, names, etc.) alleged to be symbolic of Western/European/American/White racism and oppression. State and local governments, private institutions, and businesses are scrambling to align with the “new think.” I don’t agree with violence or the destruction of public or private property, but some of the statues and symbolism were blatant holdovers of other-era racism and bigotry that already should have been changed/removed (e.g., the incorporation of the Confederate flag as part of several southern state flags).

The American Catholic church has been kept busy by the BLM provocateurs. Over the past month we’ve seen protesters targeting memorials to Franciscan friar, Junípero Serra, explorer, Christopher Columbus, and Saint-King Louis IX. We’ve also seen multiple reports of Catholic statues of Jesus and Mary damaged or defaced after BLM leader Shaun King tweeted on June 22 that all images depicting Jesus as a “white European” should be targeted.

Again, I don’t condone mob violence or destruction, but I do think that it is interesting that Catholicism is being pressured to reevaluate some of its revisionist history. Modern popes have previously apologized for some of the most blatant examples of Catholic oppression (the Inquisition, forced baptisms, anti-Semitic pogroms, persecution of Protestants), but some revisionist charades still continue. I know of one such example in my own backyard.

St. Thomas More Catholic church (photo above) is located about three miles from my house. Who was Thomas More? More was Lord High Chancellor (i.e., Prime Minister) of England from 1529 to 1532 during the reign of King Henry VIII. In that role, he authorized the surveillance, arrest, imprisonment, interrogation, torture, and execution of Protestants. At least eleven Protestants were burned at the stake under More’s authority (see here) and thousands more were terrorized and persecuted during his three-year, anti-Protestant crusade. It’s ironic that More himself was beheaded in 1535 after refusing to assent to Henry’s break with the Roman Catholic church. More got caught in his own trap. What’s even more ironic is that More is hailed by American Catholics as a champion of religious liberty! Argh! Talk about revisionist double-speak! More was canonized as a “martyred saint” by pope Pius XI in 1935. In 2000, pope John Paul II even declared murderer More the patron saint of statesmen and politicians.

Some would defend More, as Wojtyla did, by saying that he “reflected the limits of the culture of his time” and that he persecuted and murdered Protestants according to the standards of 16th-Century European society. That type of apologia for tainted heroes is no longer tenable or excusable according to the BLM protesters. As long as the Catholic church is reevaluating its memorials to Serra and Columbus, shouldn’t the Rochester Catholic diocese also reevalute its memorial to the bloody-handed terrorizer of English Protestants?

Throwback Thursday: Flying nuns and flying priests?

Welcome to this week’s “Throwback Thursday” installment! Today, we’re revisiting a post that was originally published back on July 20, 2015, and has been slightly revised.

capture30

I’ve heard of “The Flying Nun” but has anyone heard of flying priests? ABC’s “The Flying Nun” television comedy ran from 1967 to 1970 with Sally Field starring as Sister Bertrille, the young, 90-pound nun who was often levitated by the strong tropical breezes of San Juan, Puerto Rico (where her convent was located) that lifted her up into the air by her highly-starched cornette (see photo above). Wow, that nun must have had neck muscles like aircraft cables! Few, if any, shows in the history of television have had a more ridiculous premise.

But Sister Bertrille wasn’t the only Catholic flying around the atmosphere. The Catholic church claims quite a few of its “saints” were prone to levitate while in contemplative, rapturous swoons. Below is an incomplete list of “frequent flyers” from Catholic sources:

St. Francis of Assisi, St. Alphonsus Liguori, St. Catherine of Siena, St. Teresa of Avila, St. Francis Xavier, St. Benedict Joseph Labre, St. Angela of Brescia, St. Antoinette of Florence, St. Bishop Arey, St. Peter Celestine, St. Colette, St. Margaret of Hungary, St. Stephen of Hungary, St. Mary of Egypt, St. Joseph Oriol, Bl. Bentivolio Buoni, St. Francis of Paola, St. John of St. Facondo, St. Martin de Porres, St. Gerard Majella, St. Paul of the Cross, and St. Gemma Galgani.

Perhaps the “saint” most famous for levitating was Franciscan friar, Joseph of Cupertino (1603-1663). It’s claimed that Pope Urban VIII witnessed Joseph’s levitations firsthand when the friar visited the Vatican. Did these people actually float or are these just more Catholic “sacred tradition” folk tales? The Bible records that Jesus and Peter walked on water and that Jesus ascended into Heaven, but there’s no other mention of any other kind of “levitation” in the New Testament. Levitation has long been a staple of pagan religions and is cited as a frequent phenomenon in cases of demonic possession. Joseph of Cupertino and the others mentioned were Catholic “mystics” who deprived themselves of food, water, sleep, and other necessities and normal comforts in an effort to enter into a psychological state of religious ecstasy/euphoria/hysteria. These “mystics” lived in a society dominated by religious superstition. Why do we not hear of any verifiable cases of levitation among Catholic priests or nuns today?

Catholicism is overflowing with fanciful tales and legends of religious miracles, but proclaims a false gospel of salvation by sacramental grace and merit. Pay no attention to the “bright lights” of false “mystical” spiritualism/experientialism and heed the Biblical Gospel of Grace! Repent of your sin and accept Jesus Christ as your Savior by faith alone and ask the Lord to lead you to an evangelical church where the Gospel is preached without compromise!

St-Joseph-of-Cupertino

Above: “Saint” Joe of Cupertino, fancifully portrayed flying onward and upward.

 

Throwback Thursday: Patron gods and patron “saints”

Welcome to this week’s “Throwback Thursday” installment! Today, we’re revisiting a slightly re-edited post that was first published back on September 25th, 2015.

capture30

Pagan Rome had a very long list of gods who each presided over a certain activity or occupation. Pagan worshipers prayed to their patron god and to other gods as various circumstances and needs arose. As Christianity strengthened its position within the Empire and became increasingly institutionalized, the church’s message devolved from personal faith in Jesus Christ as Savior into ritualism and legalism. Heathen beliefs and practices were adapted by the church to attract and assuage pagan “converts.” In place of worshiping and petitioning pagan gods, the church substituted “venerating” and praying to “saints” who had jurisdiction over specific occupations and activities. By semi-deifying these “saints” and directing veneration and devotion (aka worship) to them, the Catholic church violates the first commandment, “You shall have no other gods before me.” – Exodus 20:3.  Nowhere in all of Scripture is there even one example of a follower of God praying to anyone other than to Him.

Praise the Lord for leading me out of the ritualism, legalism, and the man-made traditions of Roman Catholicism and for His salvation by grace through faith in Jesus Christ alone! Evangelicals should be repulsed by such an anti-Biblical belief system instead of accommodating it.

Below is a partial list of the Roman Catholic “saints” and the occupations and activities they allegedly oversee. At the very bottom is a link to a similar list of Roman pagan gods.

Agabus – prophecy
Adrian of Nicomedia – arms dealers, butchers, guards, soldiers
Agatha – bakers, bellmaking, nurses
Albertus Magnus – natural scientists
Alexander of Comana – charcoal-burners
Alexius – belt makers and nurses
Aloysius Gonzaga – Catholic students, Jesuit scholastics
Amand – bartenders, brewers, innkeepers, merchants, vine growers, vintners, boy scouts
Ambrose of Milan – bee keepers, wax-melters and refiners
Anastasius the Fuller – fullers, weavers
Andrew the Apostle – fishmongers, fishermen
Andrew Kim – clergy of Korea
Ann – miners, equestrians, stablemen, French-Canadian voyageurs, cabinet makers, homemakers and sailors
Ansovinus – gardeners
Anthony Mary Claret – weavers
Anthony the Abbot – basket-makers, swineherds, motorists, gravediggers
Anthony of Padua – those seeking lost items or people, nomadic travelers, brush makers, women seeking a husband,
Antipas – dentists
Apollonia – dentists
Arnold of Soissons – brewers
Arnulph – millers
Augustine of Hippo – brewers, printers, and theologians

Barbara – miners, artillerymen, military engineers and firemen, Italian marines, architects, builders, foundry workers, fireworks makers, Mathematicians, geoscientists, stonemasons, servicemen of the Russian Strategic Rocket Forces
Bartholomew the Apostle – tanners, leatherworkers, curriers, plasterers
Basil the Great – hospital administrators
Basilides – Italian prison officers
Basilissa – nursing mothers
Benedict of Nursia – farmers, farmhands, engineers, architects, Italian speleologists, husbandry, heraldry and officers of arms
Bénézet – bridge-builders
Benno – fishermen
Bernadette of Lourdes – shepherds, shepherdesses
Bernardine of Feltre – pawnbrokers, bankers
Bernardine of Siena – advertisers
Bernard of Clairvaux – bee keepers, wax melters and refiners
Bernard of Menthon – mountaineers, skiers
Bernard of Vienne – farmers, farmhands, husbandry
Bernward of Hildesheim – architects
Blaise – veterinarians, wool combers, town criers and weavers
Boethius – philosophy
Bona of Pisa – flight attendants, travelers, specifically couriers, guides, pilgrims
Botulph – farmers, farmhands, husbandry
Brendan the Navigator – mariners, seafarers, sailors, those traveling by sea
Brigid of Ireland – dairy workers, medicine/healers

Cajetan – unemployed, gamblers, odd lot dealers, and of job seekers
Camillus of Lellis – nurses, hospital workers
Cassian of Imola – shorthand writers, stenographers, school teachers, parish clerks
Catherine of Alexandria – tanners, librarians, nurses, philosophers, preachers
Catherine of Siena – nurses
Cecilia – musicians
Charles Borromeo and Robert Bellarmine – Catechists
Christina the Astonishing – millers, psychiatrists
Christopher – travelers, surfers, athletes, drivers, pilots (his actual existence is now in serious doubt so the infallible Catholic church has downgraded Christopher to only half a saint – excatholic4christ).
Clare of Assisi – goldsmiths, gilders, laundry workers, needleworkers
Claude – sculptors
Clement – stonecutters
Columbanus – motorcyclists
Cosmas – doctors, pharmacists, surgeons, barbers
Germaine Cousin – shepherdesses
Crispin – tanners, shoemakers, cobblers, leatherworkers, curriers, saddle-makers
Cuthbert – shepherds
Cuthman – shepherds

Damian – doctors, pharmacists, surgeons
Dismas – undertakers
Dominic – astronomers, astronomy, scientists
Dominic de la Calzada – civil engineers
Dominic of Silos – shepherds
Dorothea of Caesarea – horticulture, florists, brewers
Drogo – shepherds, coffee house keepers, coffee house owners
Dunstan – blacksmiths, goldsmiths
Dunstan and Venerius the Hermit – lighthouse keepers
Dymphna – mental health professionals, therapists

Edward the Confessor – kings
Eligius – veterinarians, farriers, farmers, farmhands, husbandry, harness makers, goldsmiths, jewelers, Royal Electrical Mechanical Engineers soldiers, numismatists
Elisabeth of Hungary – nursing services, bakers
Elizabeth Seton – sailors
Erasmus of Formiae or Elmo – pyrotechnicians, steeplejacks, chimney sweeps, sailors and anyone who works at great heights
Ephrem the Syrian – spiritual directors and spiritual leaders
Eustachius – hunters, firefighters, trappers

Ferdinand III – engineers
Fiacre – taxi-drivers, horticulturists, gardeners
Florian – firefighters, chimney sweeps
Foillan – dentists, surgeons, truss-makers, children’s nurses
Frances of Rome – automobile drivers
Francis de Sales – writers/authors, journalists
Francis of Assisi – ecologists, animal welfare, and rights workers
Francis Caracciolo – chefs

Archangel Gabriel – diplomats, ambassadors, communications workers, postal workers, emergency dispatchers, police dispatchers, broadcasters, messengers, and radio/television workers.
Gabriel of Our Lady of Sorrows – students, seminarians, clerics, a society exists whose goal is to have Gabriel declared the patron saint of handgunners
Gangulphus – tanners, shoemakers
Gemma Galgani – students, pharmacists
Genesius – actors, comedians, clowns, dancers, theatrical performers of all kinds, also attorneys, barristers, lawyers
George – agricultural workers, archers, armourers, boy scouts, butchers, cavalry, Crusaders, equestrians, farmhands, farmers, field hands, field workers, horsemen, husbandry, knights, riders, Rover Scouts, saddle makers, saddlers, scouts, shepherds, soldiers, Teutonic Knights (policemen and firefighters in Brazil).
Giles – beggars, spur makers
Gregory the Great – teachers
Gottschalk – linguists, princes, translators
Gummarus – lumberjacks
René Goupil – anesthesiologists

Hervé – bards, musicians
Homobonus – businessmen, tailors, and clothworkers
Honorius of Amiens (Honoratus) – bakers, confectioners, bakers of holy wafers, candle-makers, florists, flour merchants, oil refiners, and pastry chefs
Hubertus – hunters, furriers
Hunna – laundresses, laundry workers, washerwomen

Isidore the Farmer – farmers, farmhands, husbandry, manual laborers
Isidore of Seville – computer scientists, software engineers, computer programmers, computer technicians, computer users, schoolchildren, students
Ignatius of Loyola – Military Ordinariate of the Philippines, Society of Jesus,soldiers, Educators and Education.

Jadwiga of Poland – queens
James, son of Zebedee – veterinarians, equestrians, furriers, tanners, pharmacists
James, son of Alphaeus – pharmacists
Jerome – librarians, translators, spectacle makers
Joan of Arc – Soldiers
John the Almoner – Knights Hospitaller
John the Apostle – tanners
John the Baptist – farriers, bird dealers, Knights Hospitaller.
John of Damascus – makers of images of the crucifix
John the Evangelist – editors, authors, art dealers, tanners, and theologians
John of God – hospital workers, nurses, booksellers
John Baptist de la Salle – teachers of youth
John Bosco – apprentices, editors, printers/publishers
John Gualbert – foresters
John Vianney – priests
Joseph – cabinetmakers, carpenters, craftsmen, laborers, workers, and working people
Joseph of Arimathea – funeral directors, tinsmiths
Joseph of Cupertino – air travelers, aviators, astronauts, test takers, poor students
Joshua – intelligence professionals
John of Capistrano – jurists
Jude (also known as Jude Thaddeus) – police officers, hospital workers, lost (or impossible) causes
Julian the Hospitaller – shepherds, boatmen
Justa and Rufina – potters

Kateri – ecologists, environmentalists, Thomasites

Lawrence – librarians, students, tanners, cooks (having been martyred by roasting alive on a gridiron), comedians.
Leodegar – millers
Lidwina – ice skaters
Luke the Evangelist – doctors, surgeons, artists, painters, notaries

Madeleine Sophie Barat – school girls
Marcellin Champagnat – education and teachers
Margaret of Antioch – nurses
Martha – dieticians, cooks
Mary Magdalene – tanners, hairdressers, pharmacists
Magnus of Avignon – fish dealers, fishmongers
Albertus Magnus – chemists, medical technicians
Macarius of Unzha, Venerable – craftsmen, merchants, travelers
Malo – pig-keepers
Martin of Tours – soldiers
Matthew – accountants, tax collectors, bankers, bookkeepers, joiners, custom agents, security guards, perfumers,
Maturinus – comic actors, jesters, clowns, sailors (in Brittany), tinmen (in Paris) and of plumbers.
Maurice and Lydia – dyers
Maurice – infantrymen
Michael the Archangel – soldiers, paramedics, paratroopers, police officers, security officers

Nicholas of Myra – sailors, fishermen, merchants, pharmacists, archers, pawnbrokers, lawyers in Paris bar
Nicholas of Tolentine – Mariners
Notburga – farmers, farmhands, husbandry

Our Lady of Salambao – fishermen
Our Lady of Loreto – aviators

Pantaleon – doctors, midwives, physicians
Patrick – engineers
Paul the Apostle – hospital public relations
Peter the Apostle – popes, fishermen, fishmongers, sailors, bakers, harvesters, butchers, glass makers, carpenters, shoemakers, clockmakers, blacksmiths, potters, bridge builders, cloth makers
Peter of Alcantara – guards
Peter Damian – traceurs/freerunners
Phocas the Gardener – farmers, farmhands, husbandry
Pope John XXIII – Papal delegates
Pope Celestine V – bookbinders
Piran – tinners, tin miners
Philip – Special Forces

Quentin – bombardiers, chaplains, locksmiths, porters, tailors, and surgeons

Raphael the Archangel – doctors, pharmacists, nurses, shepherds, matchmakers, travelers[19]
Raymond Nonnatus – midwives, obstetricians
Raymond of Penyafort – medical record librarians, Canon lawyers
Rebekah – physicists
Regina – shepherdesses
John Regis – medical social workers
Reinold – Stonemasons
Roch – surgeons, tile-makers, second-hand dealers, gravediggers
Rose of Lima – embroiderers, gardeners

Sebastian – soldiers, athletes
Severus of Avranches – silk and wool makers, drapers; milliners and hatters
Simon – tanners
Solange – shepherdesses
Stephen – bricklayers, casketmakers, deacons, altar servers

Tatiana of Rome – students
Theobald of Provins – Farmers, winegrowers, shoemakers, beltmakers, charcoal-burners
Thérèse of Lisieux – florists, aviators, missionaries
Thomas – architects, politicians
Thomas Aquinas – students, teachers, academics
Thomas Becket – diocesan priests
Thomas More – politicians, statesmen, lawyers, civil servants, court clerks

Urban of Langres – vine-growers, vine-dressers, gardeners, vintners, and coopers
Ursula – archers, orphans, students

Valentine – beekeeping
Veronica – laundry workers; photographers
Vincent of Saragossa – winemakers
Vincent de Paul – hospital workers
Vincent Ferrer – builders
Vitus – comedians, dancers

Walstan – farmers, farmhands, husbandry
Winnoc – millers
Wolbodo – students
Wolfgang of Regensburg – woodworkers, woodcarvers

Frances Xavier Cabrini – hospital administrators

Yves – lawyers

Zeno of Verona – fishermen
Zita – domestic servants, waiters

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Patron_saints_of_occupations_and_activities

Below is a link to a similar list of Roman gods and their particular realms of jurisdiction:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Roman_deities

Throwback Thursday: Swooning St. Catherine of Siena!

Today’s “Throwback Thursday” post was originally published on July 27, 2015 and has been slightly revised.

capture30

Catherine of Siena, Italy (1347-1380) is one of Roman Catholicism’s most highly revered and venerated saints. In 1970, she was proclaimed a “Doctor of the Church,” an august honor bestowed upon only thirty-six individuals to date.

WARNING: Some of the details of Catherine’s story below are not for the squeamish. 

The Middle Ages saw a flourishing of monasticism and mysticism. The thinking was that acts of penitential self-denial and self-mortification equated to climbing a ladder to spiritual perfection. Severe fasting and self-imposed sleep deprivation, forms of self-mortification used in monasteries, often brought on swoons of religious ecstasy and visions among the monastic nuns. One such mystic was Catherine of Siena. Jesus declares in the Bible that anyone who claims to have seen Him or been visited by Him prior to His second coming is a liar (Matthew 24:23-27), but Catherine, a Dominican nun, claimed that Christ visited her often, eventually joining with her in a “mystical marriage” and presenting her with a wedding ring consisting of his infant “prepuce” (circumcised foreskin), which only she could see. Revolting? Assuredly. And how could Catherine have had Jesus’s foreskin when the Charroux Abbey in France claimed possession of the actual “Holy” Prepuce? [a rhetorical question]

Catherine also claimed she received the stigmata wounds of Christ (as portrayed in the fanciful painting above) and that she was also able to levitate. In a disgusting example of extreme self-mortification, Catherine would drink the drainage from the ulcerous tumors and sores of patients in her care. Was the woman insane or demon possessed? Catherine was also an anorexic who often forced herself to vomit the little food she ate. Towards the end of her short life (dead at thirty-three), Catherine’s daily food intake consisted of one communion wafer. Academicians have termed this eating disorder that was common among monastic nuns during the Middle Ages as “anorexia mirabilis” or “holy/miraculous anorexia” (see here).

In today’s society, a person like Catherine would be correctly diagnosed as mentally ill, but her church rewarded her extreme “piety” and devotion to the popes of her day by proclaiming her a “saint” in 1461. The fact that Catholicism encouraged monastics and others to engage in self-mortification practices leading to sickness and death is a sign of its demonic nature.

Thank the Lord for the Gospel of salvation by the grace of God through faith in Jesus Christ ALONE!

“They exchanged the truth about God for a lie, and worshiped and served created things (like the pope, Mary, “saints,” and bogus prepuces) rather than the Creator—who is forever praised. Amen.” – Romans 1:25

Interesting fact: Prior to being defined as infallible dogma in 1854, the doctrine of the immaculate conception of Mary had been roundly debated within Catholicism for centuries. In the early-Middle Ages, the immaculate conception was championed by the Franciscan order and strongly opposed by the Dominicans. In 1377, Catherine of Siena, a Dominican, claimed Mary visited her and told her the doctrine of the immaculate conception was fallacious (Pope Benedict XIV, “On Heroic Virtue” III.53.#16), another example of Catholicism being at odds with itself.

Mother Teresa?

…she believed in works salvation and universal redemption, both taught by her Catholic church.

“When I asked (Mother Teresa) whether she converted (anyone), she answered, ‘Yes, I convert. I convert you to be a better Hindu, or a better Muslim, or a better Protestant, or a better Catholic, or a better Parsee, or a better Sikh, or a better Buddhist. And after you have found God, it is for you to do what God wants you to do.’ She wanted people to come closer to God (however they understood Him) and believed that in this way they would also come closer to each other, love one another, and ultimately create a world that is better for everyone to live in.” – from What was Mother Teresa’s views on conversion?

Mother Teresa engaged in some charitable works, as have millions of others. But are works the way to salvation? Read more about Mother Teresa in the informative article below:

The Myth Of Mother Teresa
https://www.challies.com/articles/the-myth-of-mother-teresa/

If your pastor is lifting up Mother Teresa as an exemplary Christian, it’s time to find a different church.

Postscript: What prompted another post on Mother Teresa after having written about her several times in the past? My wife and I were invited over for dinner by an evangelical Christian couple two Saturday’s ago. Somewhere in the conversation, our hostess stated that she believed Mother Teresa was a Christian because of her charitable efforts and “sweet spirit.” I replied with several concrete reasons as to why Mother Teresa was NOT a Christian, including her publicly professed beliefs in works salvation and Universal redemption. The woman countered that she had read a book about Mother Teresa (“Mother Teresa: A Life Inspired” by Roman Catholic author, Wyatt North) and “just knew in her heart” that she was a Christian.

These days, “discernment” for many within the church is not about Biblical doctrine, but about feelings and emotion.

Getting our throats blessed by Saint Blaise was a big deal!

Memories of our childhood and of family traditions can be a joy and a comfort in thisFEAST ST. BLAISE increasingly fast-paced world. But we shouldn’t be slaves to tradition and ritual. Perhaps some of the things we were taught by well-meaning but misinformed parents, teachers, and authority figures weren’t correct or were even harmful.

I was listening to a recent podcast of the “Calling All Catholics” talk radio show on the Station of the Cross, 101.7 FM, Buffalo, NY and they were discussing the feast of St. Blaise, celebrated this past Friday, February 3rd.

Oh, how I looked forward to the feast of St. Blaise when I was a young Catholic grammar school student! It was such a big deal for us Catholic children to get our throats blessed on that day. It seemed to us that Blaise was one of the most important and powerful saints next to Mary because we didn’t make special trips to church for the feast day of any other saint.

At the tail end of the mass on Saint Blaise’s feast day we would all line up at the altar rail. The priest would then place two crossed blessed candles at the throat of each supplicant and say the following formula:

“Through the intercession of Saint Blaise, bishop and martyr, may God deliver you from every disease of the throat and from every other illness. In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.”

The supplicant would then respond with an “Amen.”

I enjoyed the ritual of getting my throat blessed every February 3rd but I would inevitably come down with sore throats during the year. My young mind even wondered why there was so much pomp and ritual for the blessing of the throat but not for other parts of the body. Why was that? A few years later, I questioned why we needed to pray to saints for help when it seemed like we should be able to go directly to God in prayer. And then, when I was around eleven, I remember thinking, “If we have to obey the Ten Commandments and church rules to merit Heaven, as the Catholic church teaches, then why did Jesus have to die on the cross?” I wouldn’t have a satisfactory answer to that question until sixteen years later when I realized from God’s Word that we are all sinners and could not possibly merit Heaven. It was then that I accepted Jesus Christ as my Savior.

Blaise doesn’t hear prayers or bless throats. It’s all a man-made tradition. There is only one Mediator between God and man and that is Christ Jesus. Accept Him as your Savior and ask the Lord to lead you to an evangelical church in your area that preaches God’s Word without compromise. Traditions, rituals, and ceremonies don’t save. Only Jesus saves!

“For there is one God and one Mediator between God and men, the Man Christ Jesus.” – 1 Timothy 2:5

God’s Word says that “saints” aren’t super duper holy people, like the Catholic church teaches. No, rather saints are all those who have accepted Jesus Christ as their Savior by faith.