ETYM French, from Latin sanctus sacred, properly p. p. of sancire to render sacred by a religious act, to appoint as sacred; akin to sacer sacred. Related to Sacred, Sanctity, Sanctum, Sanctus.
1. A person who has died and has been declared a saint by canonization.
2. Person of exceptional holiness; SYN. holy man, holy person, angel.
Holy man or woman respected for his or her wisdom, spirituality, and dedication to their faith. Within the Roman Catholic church a saint is officially recognized through canonization by the pope. Many saints are associated with miracles and canonization usually occurs after a thorough investigation of the lives and miracles attributed to them. For individual saints, see under forename; for example, Paul, St.
In the Orthodox church, saints are recognized by the patriarch and Holy Synod after recommendation by local churches. The term “saint” is also used in Buddhism for individuals who have led a virtuous and holy life, such as Kukai (774–835), also known as Kobo Daishi, founder of the Japanese Shingon school of Buddhism.
The lives of thousands of Catholic saints have been collected by the Bollandists, a group of Belgian Jesuits. In 1970 Pope Paul vi revised the calendar of saints' days: excluded were Barbara, Catherine, Christopher, and Ursula (as probably nonexistent); optional veneration might be given to George, Januarius, Nicholas (Santa Claus), and Vitus; insertions for obligatory veneration include St Thomas More and the Uganda martyrs.
A painted or carved wooden image of a saint common especially in Mexico and the southwestern United States