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Re: Wattessril Methran, a Saint ?

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  • drthomas_joseph
    ... The Syriac Orthodox Church does not have the rigorous and formal procedure of canonization or beatification as practiced in the Roman Catholic Church. The
    Message 1 of 4 , Mar 3 2:33 AM
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      In message #453, "V Thomas" <vthomas@t...> wrote:
      > Do we (syrian orthodox church) have any procedure for canonisation?
      > How we have declared the earlier metropolitans as saint?.

      The Syriac Orthodox Church does not have the rigorous and formal
      procedure of canonization or beatification as practiced in the Roman
      Catholic Church. The fathers of the church were not compelled to
      establish such formal processes most likely due to the reluctance to
      establish parameters for "holiness" best left to judgment in the
      sight of God. In practice, the holiness of a saint is recognized by
      popular acclaim and over time the more prominent of the holy ones are
      commemorated as saints in the liturgies. Today, from a liturgical
      perspective, the formal recognition as a saint comes with the
      authorization to use the quqalya of the zadeeqe (hymns for
      intercession of the righteous) in his or her commemoration at the
      tomb or on the memorial day. Given the widely variant list of local
      saints in the calendars of different monasteries in the Middle East,
      I suspect that such recognitions of sainthood were made rather
      informally by the abbots of monasteries. In recent times, the
      Patriarch as the spiritual head of the Church grants such
      authorizations with the consent of the Holy Synod. However, given the
      fact that the fifth diptych (Syr. toob-deyn) read universally has
      undergone no changes since it was authored by Mor Ya`qub of Edessa
      (c. AD 633-708), it is unlikely that any Patriarch since has formally
      declared anyone a universal saint. (Note that even the encyclical
      from HH the Patriarch No. E265/87 dt. Oct 20, 1987 permits additions
      to the diptych for use only in Malankara).

      In my humble opinion, the Church should remain true to its traditions
      and shy away from formal bestowals of sainthood. It is up to the
      faithful to seek intercession of whoever they consider holy in the
      sight of God. After all is said and done, those who have a 'confident
      stand in the presence of God' are the ones who are holy.

      Thomas Joseph, Ph.D.
      Web Master, SOR (http://sor.cua.edu)
      Technical Editor, Hugoye: Journal of Syriac Studies
      (http://syrcom.cua.edu/Hugoye)
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