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Thomas Aumen wrote:

Hi guys,

Given that we honored saintly men and women yesterday, November 1st:

  • Why is it that holy men and women from the Old Testament are not declared saints of the Church? (e.g. Jeremiah, Judith, etc.)

Thanks.

Thomas

  { Why aren't holy men and women from the Old Testament declared saints of the Church? }

Mary Ann replied:

Hi, Thomas —

Canonized saints are saints who have been acclaimed at the time of their death by those who knew them; saints whose lives the Church has been able to examine through witnesses, documents, and contemporary evidence.

The Old Testament holy men and women are surely in Heaven, but the Church cannot examine their lives. However, their lives were found worthy of inclusion in Scripture itself by the People of God of their time, and the Church honors them as holy in her liturgical prayers.

They are not examples of Christian virtue as a canonized saint would be; they are foretellings or types of Christ Himself.

Mary Ann

John replied:

Hi, Tom —

The Old Testament prophets are considered Saints by the Church. That would include Jeremiah.

Judith (as in the book of Judith) probably never existed. The book of Judith is not a historical book. It is an inspired novel. One just needs to read the first few paragraphs to see that.

For instance, I believe in the book of Judith, the King of Assyria is actually the King of Babylon.
So you can think of Judith like Gone with the Wind. It was a historical novel with real people
in the background that was set against a real, historical event (the Civil war), but Rhett Butler and Scarlett O'Hara, weren't real people.

The only difference is that Judith is inspired Scripture. It is in the Bible for a reason.

John

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