Saint titles

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The holy ones of the Orthodox Church have various customary saint titles with which they are commemorated on the Church Calendar and in divine services.


The following list explains the references:

  • Confessor: one who has suffered for the faith but not martyred outright
  • Enlightener of N.: the saint who first brought the faith to a people or region, or who did major work of evangelization there
  • Equal-to-the-Apostles: one whose work greatly built up the Church, whether through direct missionary work or through assisting the Church's place in society
  • Fool-for-Christ: a saint known for his apparent, yet holy insanity
  • God-bearer: one who bears God within himself and is aflame in heart with love for Him [1]
  • Great-martyr: one who was martyred for the faith and suffered torture
  • Hieromartyr: a martyr who is also a clergyman
  • Martyr: one who has died for the faith
  • Merciful: one known for charitable work, especially toward the poor
  • Myrrh-bearer: Those who were present at Christ's passion and went to the tomb to anoint the body of Jesus
  • Myrrh-streaming or Myrrh-gusher: the relics of the saint exude holy and sweet-smelling (and often miraculous) oil
  • New-martyr: a martyr often bearing the same name as a more ancient martyr, but usually more recent in the Church's history
  • Passion-bearer: one who faced his death in a Christ-like manner
  • Protomartyr: the first martyr in a given region (in the case of Stephen the Protomartyr, the first martyr of the whole Church)
  • Right-believing: an epithet used for sainted secular rulers
  • Righteous: a holy person under the Old Covenant (Old Testament Israel) but also sometimes used for married saints of the New Covenant (the Church)
  • Unmercenary: a saint who refused to take payment for healing
  • Venerable: a monastic saint
  • Venerable-martyr: a martyred monastic
  • Virgin-martyr: an unmarried, non-monastic, chaste female martyr
  • Wonder-worker: a saint renowned for performing miracles


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