The Cult of the Saints

Fr. Prof. Sidney H. Griffith
Professor in the Department of Semitic and Egyptian Languages and Literatures
Catholic University of America

In Roman Catholic and Orthodox theologies, Mary is venerated as theotokos, translated as “Mother of God”, (meaning that Jesus is God). This title was bestowed by the Council of Epheses in 431 CE, and brought objections from Nestorian Christians. These objections appeared again and were an important part of the Protestant Reformation of the 16th century. The hagiography associated with Mary is traced from Justin Marty’s depiction of Mary as a replacement for the Eve of Genesis through doctrines of Mary’s perpetual virginity, Immaculate Conception, and bodily assumption (dormition) into heaven. The development of the canonization process for recognized saints is continued from Lecture 21 to the present.