Sainthood: its history, development and modern-day meaning


  • HISTORY: Be sure to include the historical background of your topic
  • ESSENCE: your topic’s relation to the ESSENCE of Christianity aka what is its significance to the religion.
  • PRESENT-FUTURE: reflect also on how your topic impacts Christianity’s present and future.
  • Must include a proper introduction and conclusion (that contains thesis statement, summary and key statements)
  • Section headings will be useful to improve flow.
  • Length: 11 Pages excluding citations, times new roman size 12 font, double spaced
  • Citations: APA style, Include page numbers in citations when possible.


Essay outline (as I discussed it with the professor)

Historical Background:

  • Who and why was the first saint canonized (and why there were others deemed saints before him, prior to an official canonization)
  • What is the Process historically? How was this determined?


  • What is the importance of a saint: duties, roles, effects, results of becoming a saint
  • What is the meaning of a feast day? Why is it important

Present Future:

  • What are current feast days that are celebrated in the mainstream society, even if non-religious (aka St. Patrick’s Day, St Valentine), how did they get to this point?
  • Who was the last saint to be Canonized?
  • Has the process of canonization changed or developed over the course of Christian History?
    • In the past most, saints were canonized due to their acts of Martyr, dying for their religion, but now most are canonized for their good morale/holy actions and spreading of Christian messages/beliefs
  • Do the Different Sects/ splits of Christianity treat saints Differently? If so How and Why? (Canonization within the Roman Catholic Church VS Glorification in the Eastern Orthodox Church)(depending on space)


Preferred Resources (1-2 others can be added if you feel they are important)

  1. For any/all biblical quotes use:
  2. “The Saints: A Short History”, by Simon Yarrow, 2016 first edition
    • Talks about both history and modern day roles, also compares to other religions
  3. “Why can the dead do such great things? Saints and worshippers from the martyrs to the reformation” by Robert Bartlett 2013, Princeton University press
  4. “The Oxford Dictionary of Saints” by Farmer and David Hugh, 5th edition 2011.
    • Speaks on many saints but more importantly the process of becoming a saint.
  5. “ Becoming holy in early Canada”, By Pearson, Timothy G.
    • Covers two modern day saints named in the 2000’s detailing how they went from being locally known to gaining the attention of Rome.
    • Mother Teresa rise to becoming a saint
    • Brief history and development of becoming a saint, also touches on how the process of sainthood has hanged and developed throughout the years.
    • And explains the different types of saints

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