Find accurate definitions of over 5,000 Catholic terms and phrases (including abbreviations). Based on Fr. John Hardon's Modern Catholic Dictionary, © Eternal Life. Used with permission.
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A saint or blessed who, since early Christian times, has been chosen as a special intercessor with God for a for a particular person, place, community, or organization. The custom arose from the biblical fact that a change of personal name indicated a change in the person, e.g., Abram, to Abraham, Simon to Peter, Saul to Paul; and from the practice of having churches built over the tombs of martyrs.