Catholics have notions of and attitudes toward “saints” that appear very foreign or even idolotrous to many modern Christians. But what is the history of the “communion of saints” as referred to in the Apostles’ Creed and what is really going on in Catholic teaching and praxis on this topic?

Introduction

Nearly all Christians around the world, at one time or other in their lives, profess the Apostles’ Creed. Most consider this Creed a faithful historic summary of key Christian beliefs. Many Christians blanch when they profess their belief in the “Holy Catholic Church,” but quickly clarify this to mean the “universal” church. But the phrase “communion of he saints” rolls off their tongues without explanation, and often without thinking. What are we professing when we say this? Does this refer to coffee and donuts after worship, or does this refer to the union of those now in heaven with Jesus? Where did this concept come from? Is it biblical? We have found that coming to grips with this doctrine is crucial to understanding other controversial topics, such as why many Christians pray to Mary and other departed Saints, asking for their intercession. In this section, we will examine this and other related topics.

Going Deeper

Praying to Saints and Dying to Sin, Romans 6:1-14

November 7, 2014

Deep in Scripture

Who is Mary of Nazareth?

May 8, 2014

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St. Joseph: The World’s Greatest Father

May 8, 2011

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A Look at the “Hail Mary”

May 8, 2011

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Martin Luther’s Devotion to Mary

May 8, 2011

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What is Devotion to Mary?

May 8, 2011

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Personal Testimonies

3 Treasures of the Church

November 14, 2011

Looking into Scripture

Alcohol, Mary, & Miracles — Hard Verses with Steve Ray, John 2:1-12

December 10, 2015

Deep in Scripture

Praying to Saints and Dying to Sin, Romans 6:1-14

November 7, 2014

Deep in Scripture

Listener Q&A: The Communion of Saints and Intercessory Prayer

August 27, 2008

Deep in Scripture

Listener Q&A: Praying to Mary, Scripture, Salvation and the Church

August 13, 2008

Deep in Scripture

“Woman, behold, your son”, Mary as Mother of the Church in John 19:25b-27

March 22, 2006

Deep in Scripture

Other Voices

One Mediator Between God and Men

December 8, 2015

Do Catholics Worship Statues?

December 1, 2015

How Learning about the Rosary Blew My Mind

December 1, 2015

The Intercession of the Saints

December 1, 2015

Recommended Books & Documents

Let’s Go Deeper

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As you look for answers, we want to support you in fellowship and prayer. Our online forums and discussion groups are a great place to pursue this and other topics like it.

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