Uncanonized Saints


“In the Orthodox Church it is by no means discouraged to pray to ‘uncanonized’ saints. Actually, canonization only grants official status to what already exists unofficially: people are already praying to a saint before the Church finally declares his public veneration, when the service and icon to him are approved, etc. For that matter, privately one may pray to any departed Orthodox Christian, just as one asks the prayers of living Orthodox Christians – for in Christ all are alive; and all the more so someone whose holiness of life or martyrdom have evidently found favor with Christ our Lord, so that he can hear our prayers and intercede for us. Therefore, if you are so inspired to do so, by all means pray to Hieromartyr Seraphim*. In fact, there is nothing wrong with cutting out his photograph and putting it in your icon corner – not in central place, but off to one side, at the edge of the icon corner, so to speak. Many people did this with images of Saint John of Kronstadt and Saint Herman long before they were canonized…”

Taken from Letters from Father Seraphim (Rose)

* New Russian Martyr, Archbishop Seraphim of Uglich, who at the time was not yet canonized

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