Saints and Mary: What Lutherans and Roman Catholics agree on about them


If you’re wondering what Lutherans AND Roman Catholics can affirm about saints, here’s what the Lutheran-Roman Catholic dia­logue’s joint document, The One Medi­a­tor, the Saints, and Mary, has to say about it. Again, h/t to the folks at “Here I Walk.”

The document states some “church-uniting con­ver­gences” :

“1. We reit­er­ate the basic affir­ma­tion that ‘our entire hope of jus­ti­fi­ca­tion and sal­va­tion rests on Christ Jesus and the gospel whereby the good news of God’s mer­ci­ful action in Christ is made known; we do not place our trust in any­thing other than God’s promise and sav­ing work in Christ.’ (§103)

“2. We now fur­ther assert together that Jesus Christ is the sole Medi­a­tor in God’s plan of sal­va­tion (I Tim. 2:5). Christ’s sav­ing work and role in God’s design thus deter­mine not only the con­tent of the gospel and its com­mu­ni­ca­tion but also all Chris­t­ian life, includ­ing our own and that of Mary and the saints who are now in heaven…

“8. The term ‘saint’ is used in both our tra­di­tions for all those jus­ti­fied by the grace of Christ, and, to one degree or another, for cer­tain indi­vid­u­als among them, marked by holi­ness, who live the life of faith in devo­tion toward God and love toward the neigh­bor in exem­plary ways, call­ing forth praise to God…

“10. The fel­low­ship of those sanc­ti­fied, the ‘holy ones’ or saints, includes believ­ers both liv­ing and dead. There is thus a sol­i­dar­ity of the church through­out the world with the church triumphant…

“13. In the fel­low­ship of the liv­ing and departed saints, believ­ers are inspired by oth­ers, as exam­ples of God’s grace, to greater faith, to good works, and to thanks­giv­ing for one another.

“14. Chris­tians honor saints in at least three ways: by thank­ing God for them; by hav­ing faith strength­ened as a result of the saints’ response to God’s grace; and by imi­tat­ing in var­i­ous sit­u­a­tions their faith and other virtues.

“15. Among the saints who have played a role in God’s plan of sal­va­tion for human­ity, Mary, who bore Christ, is in par­tic­u­lar to be hon­ored, as ‘God-bearer’ (theotokos) and as the pure, holy, and ‘most blessed Vir­gin’ (lau­datis­sima virgo)…

“17. Saints on earth ask one another to pray to God for each other through Christ. They are nei­ther com­manded nor for­bid­den to ask departed saints to pray for them.

“18. Devo­tion to the saints and Mary should not be prac­ticed in ways that detract from the ulti­mate trust that is to be placed in Christ alone as Mediator.”

The whole article from which this is excerpted can be found here.

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2 responses to “Saints and Mary: What Lutherans and Roman Catholics agree on about them

  1. #17 reminds me of something C. S. Lewis said in Letters to Malcolm which is that whether one prays to the saints or not, we should at least be reminded that we are praying with the saints.

  2. Pingback: Saints: The three things early Lutherans thought they could do for us | Grateful to the dead

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