Who are saints according to the Bible? Was this just a Catholic thing? All Christianity in Western Europe was Catholic before 1517.
First lets talk about what the ancient church said. In 993AD, the church started to designate people saints. Before then almost everyone called Saint Patrick and the Apostle Paul saints and locally there were many more. The Catholic church did not oppose this but rather took charge of the process starting around 1000 AD. Now, only the church could name Saints.
They say a person must be a great Christian, and after death there must be two cases where people prayed to the dead saint candidate and a miracle occurred. Martyrs only need one verified case. The process costs over $100,000 to get a person through the whole process. Catholics can pray to the people who are dead to get help. and saints are recognized as serving Catholics in this way. Orthodox Christians in Eastern Europe also have a standard for saints like the catholics.
The protestants found no such process in the Bible and eliminated naming people saints or praying to them.
Now Saint Stephen and other famous Christians like Patrick were known by the title Saint and protestants usually did not stop using those names. So, I was baptized in Saint Stephen Lutheran church as an infant when no one in my family believed. The Lutheran church would not argue that Stephen was a saint standing above us, It is just his title as it were.
This is confusing and most people in that lost church thought Stephen was a saint and ordinary Christians were not.
Who Are Saints? What does the Bible Say?
The modern translations do not use the word saints but older versions showed that Paul was writing to the saints in Corinth and other cities. Paul clearly meant the believers as we are made holy before God when we believe. Modern translations says Holy People instead of saints. Naming saints confuses young Christians who may see works as needed for salvationa dn that on;y good people are saved.
“Why do you call me good?” Jesus answered. “No one is good—except God alone.”
And by that will, we have been made holy through the sacrifice of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.
It is not what we did, but rather what He did. We are all saints by faith alone.
let us draw near to God with a sincere heart and with the full assurance that faith brings, having our hearts sprinkled to cleanse us from a guilty conscience and having our bodies washed with pure water.