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."

Submit your own questions to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Orthodox Awareness

Ecumenism in the Homestretch and the Orthodox Witness of a Contemporary Saint and Confessor

A Synodal Gathering of the Church of the Genuine Orthodox Christians of Greece at the Port Authority of Piræus

Keynote Presentation on the Sunday of Orthodoxy: February 16/March 1, 2015 by His Grace, Bishop Klemes of Gardikion, Secretary of the Holy Synod

Ecumenism in the Homestretch and the Orthodox Witness of a Contemporary Saint and Confessor

Ἡ Τελικὴ Εὐθεῖα τοῦ Οἰκουμενισμοῦ καὶ ἡ Ὀρθόδοξη Μαρτυρία Συγχρόνου Ὁμολογητοῦ Ἁγίου

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

2021 St. Xenia Camp

Greetings St. Xenia Camp family,

As previously announced, through the intercessions of St. Xenia, the prayers of so many of you, and with the blessing of Metropolitan Demetrius, St. Xenia Camp 2021 will return to Forest Acres in Fryeburg, Maine August 15-21! Given the continued impact of COVID-19, camp this year may yet be somewhat different from the past Forest Acres experiences. We are sharing this information ahead of registration so that all families can make an informed decision on whether they feel comfortable sending their camper(s) this year. [Read more...]

 

Ask A Priest

Forty Day Memorial Service

Q. Can you please explain the significance of the forty day memorial service? An Evangelical family asked one of our relatives that question. We said that it’s best to ask a clergy member. Thank you in advance for your response. (We will forward it to them as soon as possible).
-P. & M. G. Read more...