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What Does It Mean To Be A Saint? (Part 1)

On April 27, two popes will be canonized as saints: Pope John Paul II and Pope John XXIII. Both men lived extraordinary lives, reflecting Christ’s love and standing as models of Christian faith for everyone to see.

As we approach this season of Easter joy and celebration, it’s the perfect opportunity to ask ourselves how we too can be saints. What does it mean to be a saint, and how can we become one?


Let’s start our investigation in Verbum by simply typing the word “Saint” in the Go box.

Type in Saint[Click to Enlarge]

Doing so opens up an entire layout, complete with a Topic Guide to begin my study. Immediately I see (in the HarperCollins Bible Dictionary) that the word “saint” occurs in Ps. 31:23—“Love the Lord, all you his saints!” (NRSV)—and comes from the Hebrew term khasid, which is expressive of covenant faithfulness. It goes on to say that “saints” in the New Testament is always translated from the Greek hagioi, the term for “holy ones”: “Thus in Rom 1:6-7, the phrases “called to belong to Jesus Christ,” “God’s beloved,” and “called to be saints” are virtually synonymous.”

This is helpful, but I wonder if a plain dictionary can help us out a bit more regarding more recent etymology. Right-clicking “saint” and opening it up in Marriam-Webster’s, we read that the word comes from the late Latin sanctus (sacred), specifically from the past-participle form sancire“to make sacred” (or to “set apart for God.”)

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We know at this point that the older understanding of saint is one who is “called to belong to Christ” or one who is set apart for God. The Catechism of the Catholic Church defines a saint as:

“The ‘holy one’ who leads a life in union with God through the grace of Christ and receives the reward of eternal life.”

We see two important elements here in addition to what we’ve learned so far:

1)    A saint lives a life in union with God through the grace of Christ

2)    A saint is one who has “received the reward of eternal life”

This second point is an important distinction for understanding the modern usage of the word. When referring to a saint, we usually mean those who are living with Christ in heaven, whereas the earlier Greek and Hebrew words didn’t necessarily refer to those who have died. But we also know that the Catechism says:

“The Church . . . is held, as a matter of faith, to be unfailingly holy. This is because Christ, the Son of God, who with the Father and the Spirit is hailed as ‘alone holy,’ loved the Church as his Bride, giving himself up for her so as to sanctify her; he joined her to himself as his body and endowed her with the gift of the Holy Spirit for the glory of God.” The Church, then, is “the holy People of God,” and her members are called saints.

 This is a good starting point for understanding sainthood. Next time, we’ll use Verbum to take a closer look at saints in Scripture and throughout the history of the Church.

Study the Holy Family in Verbum

Today we celebrate the feast of the Holy Family. In honor of this feast day, I thought we could take a quick look at Holy Family in Verbum. Watch the video below to see how easy it is to begin a study:

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Win a Free Copy of Verbum Foundations Plus!

Enter to win a chance to receive a free copy of Verbum Foundations Plus! We will be taking entries all through Christmas (ending on Epiphany, January 6th) and will pick a winner end-of-day on Epiphany.

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Verbum Foundations Plus includes the most important Catholic texts and powerful Verbum tools. From the Catechism of the Catholic Church, to the Apostolic Fathers, Verbum Foundations Plus includes 315 resources that allow you to explore the Faith—a library worth over $5,000.

Study the Liturgy with the Verbum Plus Libraries

Study the liturgy in new, powerful ways with the Verbum Plus Libraries. In addition to the updated Lectionary Layout, we’ve added a new lectionary section in the Passage Guide, so you can see where and when in the liturgy the passage you’re looking for is located. Watch the video below for more information:

Don’t forget—you can save 10% on any Verbum Plus library with the coupon code ADVENT13 all through Advent! Get a Verbum Plus library today and start studying the Scriptures and liturgy like never-before.

Clementine Vulgate Now Has Morphological and Lemma Data

This post was written by Louis St. Hilaire

We’ve just shipped a free update to the Clementine Vulgate, which adds morphological and lemma tagging to the Latin text.

This tagging is important for a few reasons. First of all, it allows you to quickly see possible parsings of a word by hovering over it. Secondly, it lets you quickly look up a word in a lexicon such as Lewis & Short no matter what form the word is in.

Most importantly, though, it lets you use Verbum’s Morph Search to perform powerful searches by lemma or morphological form. Just right-click a word, select “Lemma” or a specific morphological form on the right, then select Morph search on the left. [click the image to enlarge]


This makes it easy to study the usage of a particular word across the Vulgate. For instance, I can use the search on Lemma for “pereo” to find all occurrences of this verb in the Vulgate, regardless of form:


Or I can search for a specific form, such as all occurrences of “pater” in the accusative singular:


Note that, at this point, we’ve just used an automated process to apply the tagging. This means that some words might have been missed and forms that are ambiguous are just tagged with all the possible parsings. Nonetheless, this tagging represents an important step forward for Latin functionality in Verbum and enriches the text substantially.

The Clementine Vulgate is included in all our Verbum libraries, and you can learn more about morphological searching in Practicum.

The Catholic Topical Index: Studying the Immaculate Conception

Today we’re going to take a closer look into the Catholic Topical Index, one of the brand new tools and resources you get in the Verbum Plus libraries. The Catholic Topical Index is extremely easy to use, revolutionizing the way that you study in Verbum.

Watch the video below to learn more:


This Advent season get 10% off a new Verbum Plus Library and start using the Catholic Topical Index today! Use coupon code ADVENT13 at checkout.

Get a New Verbum Plus Library for 10% off!

The brand-new Verbum Plus libraries are here! Through Advent and Christmas, don’t miss out—use coupon code ADVENT13 to get 10% off an upgrade or a new Verbum Plus library.

These new Verbum libraries make your already-powerful Verbum library even better with hundreds of new resources, brand-new features, and streamlined functionality. Check out the video below to see a quick overview of what’s new:

With the Verbum Plus libraries, you get:

The new Catholic Topical Index

  • Gives you a huge reference index, hand-compiled by scholars here at Verbum
  • Opens up in a passage guide or topic guide straight from the Go Box
  • Is doctrinal in nature
  • Is filled with themes especially relevant to Catholic doctrine
  • Lets you study topics like absolution, Eucharist, etc., and then see relevant Scripture verses, Catechism references, and Ecclesiastical writings elsewhere in your library
  • Works best with more resources / bigger libraries

The new Saints Database

  • An all-new database of over 500 saints and their feast days
  • High-quality images for over half of the Saint entries
  • Navigation through the saints and their feast days, right from your homepage

Restructured libraries

  • The newly designed Plus libraries feature the very best resources for Catholic study. See the Comparison Chart for more details!

And much, much more

Get your Verbum Plus library for 10% off today!

Black Friday Special! Introductory Pricing for Verbum Plus Libraries

Black Friday is here, and right now you can get one-time-only introductory pricing on a brand-new Verbum Plus library! Check out this video to learn more:

Use the coupon code VERBUMBLACKFRIDAY to take 15% off a brand new Verbum Plus library OR 15% off any upgrade to a Verbum Plus library!

New version? Does this mean my current version of Verbum is obsolete? 

Not in the least. The new Verbum libraries are additions to the resources you already own. The Verbum Plus libraries contain new features and books, which means that by upgrading to a Verbum Plus library, you only get more resources and features.

What if I’m just now buying a Verbum Plus library? Do I miss out on the old features? 

Nope. All the features of the old versions are included in the Verbum Plus libraries. All the books you buy in Verbum are yours to keep forever. The only difference in the new version is additional functionality and books. Check out the video below to learn more about what’s new in the Verbum Plus libraries:


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