Servant of God

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Servant of God is a title given to individuals by different religions, but in general the phrase is used to describe a person believed to be pious in his or her faith tradition. In the Catholic Church, it designates someone who is being investigated by the Church for possibly being recognized as a saint. In the Eastern Orthodox churches, this term is used to refer to any Eastern Orthodox Christian.[1]

The Arabic name Abdullah[2] عبد الله, the Hebrew name Obadiah עובדיה and the German name Gottschalk literally mean "servant of God".

Roman Catholicism[change | change source]

"Servant of God" is the title given to a deceased person of the Catholic Church whose life and works are being investigated in consideration for official recognition by the Pope and the Catholic Church as a saint in Heaven.[3][4] The process for canonization is under the jurisdiction of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints.

The title "Servant of God" (Latin: Servus Dei) should not be confused with Servus Servorum Dei (Servant of the Servants of God), one of the titles of the Pope.

Receiving the title Servant of God is the first of the four steps in the canonization process. The next step is being declared Venerable, upon a decree of heroicity or martyrdom by the honored. This is followed by beatification, with the title of Blessed, after the confirmation of miracles attributed to the honored. The final step is canonization, where the honored would receive the title of Saint.[5][6]

References[change | change source]

  1. See e.g. the standard use of "servant of God" or, in Greek, "δούλος του Θεού" in the Orthodox rites of baptism ([1]), marriage, or communion; the female form, in English is "handmaid of God".
  2. The Vision of Islam. Sachiko Murata i William C. Chitthick. J.B. Tauris. Pag 125
  3. Pressing Sainthood for a Beloved Archbishop. (Dec 12, 2004). Fuchs, Marek. The New York Times. Accessed Feb 28, 2010.
  4. CONGREGATION FOR THE CAUSES OF SAINTS: NEW PROCEDURES IN THE RITE OF BEATIFICATION
  5. John Paul II declared Venerable, moves one step closer to sainthood. CNA. Retrieved Feb 28, 2010.
  6. Mercedarian Missionaries' founder to be beatified. Oct 5, 2006. Saipan Tribune. Retrieved Feb 28, 2010.
Stages of Canonization in the Catholic Church
  Servant of God   →   Venerable   →   Blessed   →   Saint