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Worshipping Saints

Posted: Sat Mar 10, 2007 9:25 am
by SageWolf
So this was a few years ago, but it got me to thinking and so I wanted to ask everyone's opnion, I'll make a long story short, I had a cat a few years ago, she went to the Vet and got spayed, well I went to go pick her up and she went into shock, I mean Severe shock. I was really upset about it, and I talked to a friend of mine, She has been Pagan for Sevral years, I beleive she is even a High priestess, Anyway she told me to ask for St. Christopher's help (I believe it was St. Christopher,I'm not too sure) So I was wondering, As a pagan, do you worship Saints as well? I know Saints are more of the Catholic Religion, But I still wonder, Just Because Mother Thersea was a Nun does that take away all the good she has done. She is next in line for Sainthood. But Reguardless of their Religions, if a need arises, couldn't we ask on the Spirit of the Saint for assistance?

ANyway that was my question.

Hope someone can help me with this.

SageWolf

Posted: Sat Mar 10, 2007 2:42 pm
by Jescissa
Some saints were Pre-Christian gods repackaged to suit the church's agenda like St Bridget of Ireland was the goddess of smithcraft, Bridgid :-D However, I definitely don't defer or pray to saints and if I was to ask Bridgid for anything I would treat her as the Goddess she is, definitely not a Christianized saint...If I want to talk to Goddess, I'm gonna talk to Goddess :lol: I don't need no saints to intercede with the Gods for me, the beauty of Pagan faiths is that you're your own priest or priestess and it's the personal relationship with deity that counts!

Just because someone followed a different religion than you do doesn't cancel out any good deeds they did in life, that's true, but I think there are some Christian deceased spiritual figures who would be extremely offended to be included in a Pagan prayer. Perhaps if you want to do this, consider the spirit saint you want to approach, consider when they lived and their attitude to what you're doing. A saint from 1400 would most definitely not appreciate being a part of a Pagan ceremony, whereas very early saints like Patrick or David or George might be a bit more open to the idea because they feature in a lot of mythology :-D

I don't believe in bothering the spirits of the dead :lol: They deserve their time of rest...I believe in reincarnation so the period of rest between death and rebirth should be a period of total rest & relaxation for the spirit...life is pretty hard going, the deceased deserve their 'me' time :lol:

Posted: Sat Mar 10, 2007 3:32 pm
by Graver
Saint Christopher is the Patron Saint of animals... or some junk like that. My Grandma (who is Catholic) has a small statue of him in her back yard because she thinks it attracts birds but keeps animals that harm her plants away. The whole idea of praying to a dead human for the sake of a sick animal is... well... there is nothing good said about either in the Bible.

Protestants do not pray to saints (well, Church of England/Anglican/Espiscopalian Churches sometimes do), because we consider it to be idolatry, and we consider idolatry to be a very bad thing. Also, semantically speaking, we believe that every Christian is a saint, because of some abstract Biblical reference that says something along that order in the New Testament.

I can understand the human tendency to pray to saints/the dead. My Father is more conservative than I am, and he "talks" to his dead Grandmother and Sister... then again, he's also on tons of medication for his plethora of mental and chemical issues. But the basic idea is confessing a troubling situation to someone of known/reputed wisdom, and seeking their guidance. Catholics do this because each saint has a particular area of wisdom, and its basically asking guidance from a lesser being, rather than pestering God Himself with the meager problems (which is something I can respect as humility, somewhat).

Yeah, anyway. There's the weird-o Christian's take on it. Back to lurking for me!

Posted: Sat Mar 10, 2007 5:57 pm
by daibanjo
The official Catholic view, without going too much into biblical reference, goes like this;
let's say that you were a christian and had a friend, human or animal, that needed help. You are a person of faith and so you would pray to God for help. There would be nothing strange in you asking others of your faith to also pray for your loved one. So, believing as you do that those close to God who died are now living with him in heaven, it is perfectly natural for you to ask them to also pray with you.
This is a perfectly natural extension of christian belief.
Of course the origin of it is from the Greek tradition of having a patron god for countries, cities and for every conceivable form of behavior.
As pagans; generally speaking, we commune with our Gods regularly. There are many wonderful stories of how hopeless situations have been turned around by heartfelt appeals. We commune with the god/dess that we feel closest to at the time.
In my experience I have never felt closer to the Divine than when I am in a situation of gratitude. I have felt my needs answered and the love that surrounds those answers. But the feeling that a sense of gratitude fills me with is undescribable.

Posted: Sat Mar 10, 2007 11:11 pm
by Windwalker
I always as Artemis for help when animals are involved. I never ask saints for help. I'm sure many of them were good people, but I consider them a part of the Catholic religion and therefore, in saint form, nothing to do with me. Likewise, I don't believe in angels at all.

You could, theoretically, ask the spirit of a saint for assistance, but I'm doubtful whether they could do much to help, save - as Daibanjo says - pray on your behalf. Quite a few people ask their ancestors for help. Personally, I do not. When I speak to the dead, I do so for reasons of friendship, and ask only companionship from them. We have a plethora of deities that are willing enough to help when we ask.

Posted: Sun Mar 11, 2007 12:55 am
by Ragnar
Remembering, of course, that MOST Saints got that way by "burning the Pagan". The early and middle, middle ages ones that is. Which most of them are.

To me it would be like asking Hitler to do the door security at a Bahmitzwah.

Posted: Sun Mar 11, 2007 1:07 am
by Ragnar
Graver wrote:Saint Christopher is the Patron Saint of animals.
St Francis of Assisi is patron saint of animals.

St Cristopher is patron saint of travellers.

Posted: Sun Mar 11, 2007 2:30 am
by Crazy Healer Lady
I personally do not pray to saints, but that does not mean I have not been inspired by them.

And hey, isn't Saint Christopher a myth? My grandmother had a pendant with his form on it. I learned that historians are saying he did not exist.

Anyway, Joan of Arc has always been an inspiration to me. And old Gods and Goddesses that have been turned into saints for the good folks who would not let their tales die have also been inspiration, especially Brigit, although I do not see them as saints but as gods.

The idea of a saint is abstract. I suppose it could be compared to Buddhism with their Boddhitsavas.

Really, whatever floats your boat. No religion is complete, I think, and to learn from other religions is what keeps the evolution process going.

Posted: Sun Mar 11, 2007 4:59 am
by Ragnar
Graver wrote:Saint Christopher is the Patron Saint of animals... or some junk like that.
Perfect example of why christins will ultimately fail, and fade into some insignificant corner of old dusty memories.

WE, allthough having some very different views to each other stick together, and do not call one group;
junk
Because of a different take on life.

Ahh, the cracks are appearing in the christian monolith.

Not before time.

Posted: Sun Mar 11, 2007 7:05 am
by Willow
I look at each saint individually. I tend to think that some of them are "souls that got it right" (to quote my indigo girls song). But I equally remember that they were allflawed humans.

So mother theresa is an inspiration to me for giving. St. Francis of Assissi for simple living. I have also always had a connection with Bridget (I have her cross over my door).

But I can look outside of religion too. I don't think I would ever pray to them, but I look at them as the characters in great myths to maybe give me a role model when I am unsure of myself.

However from a pagan point of view, a part of the dead are always with us. if you feel better using their energy and it works for you, go for it. Like CHL said, the universe understands intent and engery.

Really interesting topic....good book "Fifth Business by Robertson Davies." A guy who is obsesed with making a woman in his town a saint.

Posted: Sun Mar 11, 2007 12:03 pm
by Graver
Ragnar wrote:
Graver wrote:Saint Christopher is the Patron Saint of animals... or some junk like that.
Perfect example of why christins will ultimately fail, and fade into some insignificant corner of old dusty memories.

WE, allthough having some very different views to each other stick together, and do not call one group;
junk
Because of a different take on life.

Ahh, the cracks are appearing in the christian monolith.

Not before time.
* is happily sitting in a bath, so the flames don't really touch me all that much*

Some might say you have an unhealthy obsession there, Ragnar ;)

Posted: Mon Mar 12, 2007 12:52 am
by Ragnar
Just think of me like the "Hoover" of the site. Or Beria, if you please.

Posted: Mon Mar 12, 2007 12:25 pm
by forgotten oceans
You know, I have a Korean family I visit often, just last week their apt was broken into. I learned of this just two days ago, while I was over there I noticed their dog was also missing. I asked about it, told them it was a shame that the burgulars had taken their dog too. The mother looked at me and said "Dogs that do not bark do more good in a pot of stew." Ragnar's not obsessed, he's annoyed. ;)

As to the saint thing, I've never ask for assistance from a saint, never saw a reason to. If I don't wanna bother a God, I ask a nymph or sprite, or if I can, do it myself. My cat would lick the flea drops off the back of her neck, get sick and go into shock, I would just put her in a warm bath of lavender and chamomile, always worked for me. I only asked for help about Jac once, and that was so an apt fire didn't spread, she was under the bed and I couldn't get to her before the fire fighters asked me to get out. Good news, things worked out fine. :-D

Posted: Mon Mar 12, 2007 5:55 pm
by Graver
Ragnar wrote:Just think of me like the "Hoover" of the site.
You suck? :lol: Sorry. No offense. I just could resist.

Posted: Tue Mar 13, 2007 7:57 pm
by runewulf
Personally, I don't. However I've known many who do. Many of the original saints were christianized gods, demi-gods and mythical beings from paganism. Also many of the saints have had gods associated with them by christianized cultures and their religo-magickal practices, i.e. voudon, santeria, etc.

If it works for you, go with it.