God 'determined to call together in the holy Church those who believe in Christ'

Lumen Gentium


The Communion of Saints


The Church Triumphant

The Church is a “communion of saints” above all in the Eucharist, which unites believers in Christ. But the term “communion of saints” refers too to those who live in Christ who “died for all”, so that what each one does or suffers in and for Christ bears fruit for all. It follows that those men and women who lived virtuously on earth enjoy the fruits of their labours in heaven. The Communion of Saints is made up of the Church in heaven, the Church on earth, and the Church in purgatory. The Church Triumphant (those in heaven) prays for the Church Militant (the Church on earth) and for the Church Suffering (those in purgatory), since all are bound together in ties of charity.

The Communion of Saints is thus a real treasure of the Church.

We speak of the saints when we recite the Creed at Mass. Our invisible friends in heaven are there to intercede for us in all sorts of circumstances. They are close to Our Lord Jesus and Our Lady and so can bring our needs to them on our behalf.

It is good to call upon one’s own patron saint often and ask for protection, blessing and guidance. Some saints are associated with different needs, such as Saint Anthony, for finding lost articles. You can find lists of other patron saints here. But of course there is much more to them than that. It is ultimately more important to call upon them for spiritual blessings and graces such as they displayed themselves during their time here on earth. It is good also to read the Lives of the saints: they are like “living gospels” and we should try to follow their example. They all have a commonality which is their great love of God, their pursuit of holiness and their humility, albeit manifested in different ways and by different paths. That is why they are now in heaven and remain powerful intercessors for us all as we strive to become saints ourselves. This is the calling for all of us.

(Photo: mazur/catholicchurch.org.uk)