Why do we Call Angels “Saint”?

Q. I noticed that we call the angels Michael and Gabriel "Saint." I thought the title "Saint" was only given to humans who have proven themselves Godly. Do you mind clarifying this for me? Is there a deeper meaning to "Saint" that I am not aware of?

-S.L.

A. There are a lot of concepts in English that have two or more words to describe them. Often this is because one word comes from Old English, while the other entered in through French, after the Norman conquest of England in 1066. Our language absorbed a lot of these French words, but didn't always do away with the original English words. Over time, some of these synonyms took on different shades of meaning; so for instance, we "eat pork" but we "heard swine."

The word saint and the word holy are both translated from the same Greek word, ἅγιος (hagios). So when we chant the Trisagion hymn "Ἅγιος ὁ Θεός..." we translate that into English as "Holy God..." and when we refer to "Ἅγιος Θεοδόσιος" we translate it into English as Saint Theodosios.

For this reason, we can give the title Saint to the angels, because they are holy. In fact, the name Michael in Hebrew means, "Who is like God."

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Orthodox Awareness

(Ψευδο) Προφητείας Παϊσίου το ανάγνωσμα...

Εις την εφημερίδα «Ελεύθερην Ώραν» της 6-8-2009 (ν.η.) ανγράφεται το ακόλουθον δημοσίευμα υπό τίτλον «Ο Γράψας, ο Παϊσιος και η Προφητεία!»:

«Για τον στρατηγό Δ. Γράψα υπήρχε άλλη Προφητεία. Την φοβήθηκαν.

Από καιρό κυκλοφορεί η προφητεία του γέροντα Παΐσιου… Βέβαια, άλλο προφητεία, άλλο πραγματικότητα… Αλλά, κάπου υπάρχει μία άκρη! Read more...

Missions

Saint Matthew the Evangelist, Jonesboro, Arkansas

Jonesboro is a town located near the Eastern border of Arkansas, with a population of approximately 60,000. From a human standpoint, it’s not the most likely candidate for a traditional Orthodox mission, but for an Orthodox Christian who orders his priorities around Christ and His Church, it makes perfect sense. Read more...

Youth

St. Xenia Camp 2014

When:
October 10-12, 2014

Where:
Westwood, MA

Host:
Saint Mark of Ephesus Orthodox Cathedral

Ask A Priest

Is the GOC Insular?

Q. In considering becoming part of the GOC in America, I am getting warnings from various circles that the attitude of GOC people is that of being “walled off,” “arrogant,” “judgmental,” and “in your face” toward those not in the Genuine Orthodox Church, with accusations such as “World Orthodox” priests are “not even Christians” and the like. Could you give me your personal, realistic assessment of this dynamic and possibly refer me to an official statement on how GOC members should and do relate to and communicate with those in “World Orthodoxy”? Read more...