What is a saint, according to the Bible? A Bible-defined saint (holy person) is simply a physically alive person with eternal life (a Christian). This is easy to establish since Paul, before he became a Christian, persecuted Christian men and women (who were called saints) with some to their death:
And that is just what I did in Jerusalem. On the authority of the chief priests I put many of the saints in prison, and when they were put to death, I cast my vote against them. (Acts 26:10)
A Saint is Physically Alive
Even in the Old Testament there is clear proof that a saint is a holy person, who is physically alive:
Precious in the sight of the LORD is the death of his saints. (Psa 116:15)
When the antichrist gets in power he will make war against the saints.
He was given power to make war against the saints and to conquer them. And he was given authority over every tribe, people, language and nation. (Rev 13:7)
For the antichrist to do that, the saints would have to be alive. He could never make war against people already in heaven. Again, the Biblical evidence reveals that a real saint or a true saint is a Bible-defined Christian — one who is alive and holy. That is solidly and consistently taught in various ways in Scripture and is the only sound legitimate definition. In contrast to that established Biblical definition of a saint, is the Catholic saint in Roman Catholicism.
The Catholic Saint
Catholicism requires two miracles from the intercession of a deceased Catholic to qualify for sainthood, with the pope being the final word on that decision! The process goes from venerable to blessed to saint! For example, former Syracuse nun Marianne Cope (1838-1918) became venerable in 2004, blessed in 2005 and on October 21, 2012 will be canonized a Catholic saint! Since that decision by the Vatican for Marianne Cope to be a saint, a prayer for her intercession has been written for Catholic people to pray. Folks, that is not what a true saint is.
Catholics do not usually pray to God directly, as Christians did in the Scriptures (Lk. 18:13,14; Acts 4:24-30; etc.) and as Jesus commanded his followers to do (Mt. 6:6-8; Jn. 14:14 etc.). NEVER in the Bible did the Christians ever pray to a deceased person, Mary or angels! They always prayed to God or the Lord Jesus and relied upon God. Unfortunately, Catholics often rely upon a Catholic saint or saints for their intercession, such as Jude, Anthony, Christopher and especially Mother Mary and even Michael the Archangel at times. NOTE: Oftentimes the Catholic prayer is directly TO the saint as the Marian prayer, the Memorare, is directly to Mary the mother of Jesus!
Another contrast is, the Holy Spirit intercedes for the saints, while the canonized Catholic saints already in heaven supposedly intercede for people’s needs:
And he who searches our hearts knows the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for the saints in accordance with God’s will. (Rom 8:27)
So, what is a saint? Here’s more proof. Real saints pray for other saints:
And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the saints. (Eph 6:18)
The living pray for the living. To call on a deceased person for their intercession is to imply they are omniscient, an attribute that only God has. They would have to be all-knowing to hear various people requesting prayer at the same time. Hence, it is not only unscriptural, but irrational to pray to anyone other than the Father or the Lord Jesus.
A Catholic Saint is Not a Real Saint
Finally, many of the people canonized a saint by Catholicism are not sound in doctrine. In fact, they were clear and definite HERETICS. Two examples are Alphonsus Liquori and Louis De Montfort, apostles of Mary! Both promoted trusting in the fabricated Mary of Catholicism, even for salvation and eternal life. If you know the Biblical message and read their writings you will be shocked they are Catholic saints. To know what is a saint, we only need to go to the Bible. A Catholic saint is not the same as a true Bible-defined saint.