The Catholic practice of devotion to the saints can seem alienating to some people. We have Masses, say prayers, and celebrate feast days for them; we name our children and our churches after them.
Altogether, veneration of the saints is a distinctly Catholic practice and one that seems especially confusing for those unfamiliar with the Church. Isn’t it idolatry? Don’t these saint devotions mean we see these people as gods or goddesses? These ideas are, of course, false – misconceptions sometimes purposely perpetrated and other times believed out of genuine misunderstanding. In fact devotion to and remembrance of the holy men and women who lived and died for their faith before us is one of the earliest of Christian devotions.