SaintOfVirtue

Etymology of the Word "Saint"

3 posts in this topic

Recently at work I got into a debate with multiple coworkers on the authenticity of Catholicism.  One of the key points brought up that seemed to galvanize them was the Church's history of creating feast-days and other celebrations to correlate with otherwise pagan holidays. Not wholly unrelated to this discussion the argument was made that the church started making use of saints as an attempt to assimilate ("baptize" if you will) the deities of pagan cultures. Hence the ancient Romans had a god of safe travels and we have a patron saint of safe travels & etc.

Regardless of how tripe these claims may seem I am in need of historical facts to counter them with. If any of you could provide information on how the church started the tradition of sainthood to include the earliest historical evidence, etymology of the word itself, and possibly point me in the direction of some related resources I'd be very appreciative. 

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"Saint" comes from Latin Sanctus, meaning "holy". 

Much more needs to be said, and I'll leave it to the experts here. 

 

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I have heard that the Church used to intentionally make its feasts correspond with pagan feasts so as to make an easier transition for the pagans who were converting to Christianity (or something to that effect). Same with certain traditions, such as the Christmas tree. 

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