The Cult of Saints

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The cult of the saints was a raising belief in the connection between heaven and earth through the grave as mediation. During the late antiquity death was such an elaborated event. People saw death as the parting of the soul from their material body. Once the soul parted from the body, the soul is judged. In the writing of Peter Brown, The Cult of the Saints, readers can see a clear picture of the raise and function within Latin Christianity in the late antiquity. Christians during this time were very concerned with life after death. Because of this, they turned to saints and reelects to act as the divine intervention between the moral world and the heavenly realm. The idea of worshiping relics is not a common part of Christianity today. As I read this writing of The Cult of the Saints, the idea of relics and the worship of the deceased, fascinated me. Why the Christians were during the late antiquity focused the worship upon deceased saints rather than God himself?

Christians during the late antiquity were captivated with the holiness of saints. People did not understand how an average mortal person could be capable of such holy acts. Christians believed that the saints were divinely empowered by God; yet with these powers, they possessed a tremendous amount of mercy. Because the saints were seen as more than just mortal men, their tombs, after they had passes on to the next life, were seen as holy as well. These grave sites were seen as “holy” because “ they allowed the average person to encounter their power and mercy that the saints possessed. The tombs of the saints “were privileged places, where the contrasted poles of Heaven and Earth met”(Brown2). Today this sounds a bit silly to think that a deceased person’s grav...

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...ationship with God was because they felt unworthy. I believe that the structure of the Roman Catholic Church hierarchy system is responsible for why people feel compel to have a middleman between themselves and God. After reading this primary source what surprised me the most was how comfortable the people seemed with the idea of death. People during the late antiquity were surrounded by death. It would seem as if they were numb to the morbid idea of a decaying body.

Works Cited

Brown, Peter. The Cult of the Saints: Its Rise and Function in Latin Christianity. Chicago [u.a.: Univ. of Chicago, 2007. Print.

"Exploring the Term “Relic” - Definition, News & Application | Treasure Hunting." Treasure Hunting - A Metal Detector Enthusiast's Guide. Web. 30 Nov. 2011. .
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