In this 5th grade lesson, you learn how a person becomes a saint. You study how a person is officially declared a saint by the Church and why you should pray to saints and imitate them.
All CatechismClass Lessons follow our time-tested 7 Step format: Introduction, Opening Prayers, Scripture and Commentary, Catechism Passages, Integration of the Lesson Topic, an activity, and a closing prayer. Quizzes end each of the lessons.Preview This Lesson
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When a new saint is canonized in the Vatican, large banners of that saint’s picture are hung outside. This is from the banner of St. Filippo Smaldone. Pope Benedict XVI canonized him in 2006.
Have you ever asked a friend or a sibling to ask your mom or dad for something for you? Sometimes when we want something but we aren’t sure how to get it, we might ask someone else to help us get what we want. Sometimes it makes sense to ask someone else to step in and help us when we aren’t confident in our ability to achieve the goal.
The Saints are very much like the friend or sibling we depend on to help us in our time of need. But Saints are so much better because they’re already in Heaven and so they have the ability to go to God for us directly. Saints are like our best friends in Heaven.
What is a saint?
A saint is a person that lived a life of virtue, holiness, and union with God on earth. The Church recognizes a person’s sanctity by “canonizing” them. This means they are declared to be in Heaven. The saints are intercessors before God for us. They pray for all the world that we may become saints, too. The saints are those closest to God. They led extraordinarily holy lives while they were on Earth.
History of honoring saints:
The term "saint" is from the Latin word sanctus meaning "hallowed or “consecrated." The first person honored individually as a saint was Stephen, the first martyr. For nearly four centuries, praying to St. Stephen was incredibly popular. Beginning at the end of the second century, there were special celebrations on anniversaries of the martyrs' deaths. These martyrs were witnesses of Christ. They gave their lives for Him. Jesus says that he who perseveres to the end shall be saved. By the fourth century, sainthood was not just considered for martyrs. It was also for confessors and virgins. Saints could be monks, nuns, bishops, or any of the lay faithful. The saints are not merely the ones who have been canonized. There are many saints in Heaven that we do not even know yet. In the Book of Revelation, it describes how there is a tremendous number of people of Heaven. One of the greatest feasts of the Church is All Saints’ Day. This feast honors all the saints in Heaven, known and unknown.
The process of canonization:
There is a special process involved with officially determining that someone is a saint. The Catholic Church determines that a person is definitely in Heaven when they canonize someone.
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5th Grade: Lesson 27: Canonizations and Beatifications is part of the following course(s):