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Legendary Saints

ironchapman

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This is something that I've been turning over in my head for a while.

I'm not really quite sure how to put this, but how do we handle Saints whose lives seem more legendary than real? The ones whose historicity is doubtful? Perhaps the most famous of these are Sts. Christopher and Barbara--the latter of whom doesn't even show up in near-contemporary martyrologies (like that by St. Jerome). I know the Roman Catholics have "demoted" both of them.

What's the Orthodox stance on this? Has a Saint venerated in Orthodoxy ever been conclusively proven by Orthodox Christians to not exist?
 

LBK

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Both St Christopher and St Barbara are Orthodox saints. The western St Christopher, the strong man who ferried people on his back over a river, is not found in Orthodox tradition. Christopher of Lycia suffered under the emperor Decius in about AD 250, and St Ambrose of Milan (340-397) wrote of the many thousands of pagans who were converted to Christianity by St Christopher.

Great-martyr Barbara is commemorated not only at her feastday, but also at the Prayer of Intercession at Vespers and Matins, in which a large number of important and prominent saints are invoked. The particular saints commemorated in this prayer varies between Orthodox jurisdictions, but, in my observation, St Barbara is always in the list, along with Sts George the Great Martyr and Panteleimon the Unmercenary.
 

mabsoota

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are you discussing this saint barabara?
http://www.copticchurch.net/synaxarium/4_8.html#2
 

Shanghaiski

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"Lack of historical evidence" for the Orthodox has never been a hang-up.

Consider what historical evidence we have for anything happening. It is only what has managed to survive--something written down or an artifact. Consider that, for most things, there is no hisotrical record. So, nothing has managed to survive for most of what has happened in history. Does that mean it never happened? You're here, even if you have no idea who your ancestors were because there were no historical records kept.
 

NicholasMyra

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A saint is venerated for the way God works through the saint.

If a saint turned out not to have lived the particular earthly life we thought they had, this would not be much affected.
 
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