Imitating Saints

“Imitate me, just as I also imitate Christ.” ~1Cor. 11:1

“We have learned that God has no need of material offerings from men, seeing that He gives us all things, and we have been taught, and are convinced, and believe, that He only receives those who imitate Him in the virtues which are part of His attributes, temperance, namely, and justice, humanity, and all that is worthy of a God Who is called by no proper name; and we are also taught that He in His goodness created all things in the beginning from shapeless matter, for the sake of men, who, if by their works they approve themselves worthy of His design, shall, we believe, be thought worthy of a dwelling with Him, there to reign with Him free henceforth from corruption and suffering.” ~ St. Justin Martyr

“The primary goal in the education of children is to teach, and give example, of a virtuous life.” ~ St. John Chrysostom

“For though you might have ten thousand instructors in Christ, yet you do not have many fathers; for in Christ Jesus I have begotten you through the gospel. Therefore, I urge you, imitate me.” ~1 Cor. 4:15-16

“Such, my bretheren, are the wonders of God. And God reveals His hidden saints so that some may emulate them and others have no excuse for not doing so. Provided they live a worthy life, both those who choose to dwell in teh midst of noise and hubbub and those who dwell in monasteries, mountains and caves c an achieve salvation. Solely because of their faith in Him God bestows great blessings in them. Hence those who because of their laziness have failed to attain salvation will have no excuse to offer on the day of judgment. For He who promised to grant us salvation simply on account of our faith in Him is not a liar.” ~ St. Symeon the New Theologian

“It is true that Christians pay religious honor to the memory of the martyrs, both to excite us to imitate, them, and to obtain a share in their merits, and the assistance of their prayers. But we build altars not to any martyr, but to the God of the martyrs, although it is to the memory of the martyrs. No one officiating at the altar in the saint’s burying place ever says, we bring an offering to thee O Peter!, or O Paul, or O Cyprian! The offerin gis m ade to God, who gave the crown of martyrdom, while it is in the memory of those thus crowned.” ~ St. Augustine of Hippo

“Even if we make images of pious men it is not that we may adore them as gods but that when we see them we might be prompted to imitate them.” ~ St. Cyril of Alexandria

“Remember the deeds of the saints so that their example will inspire your soul to virtue and restrain it from vice.” St. Antony of Egypt

“Imitate Hannah’s example (1 Sam. i. 24); look at what she did. She brought him up at once to the temple. Who amongst you would not rather that his son should become a Samuel than that he should be king of the whole world ten thousand times over? “And how,” you will say, “is it possible he should become such a one?” Why is it not possible? It is because thou dost not choose it thyself, nor committest him to the care of those who are able to make him such a one. “And who,” it will be said, “is such a one as this?” God. Since she put him into the hands of God. For not even Eli himself was one of those in any great degree qualified to form him; (how could he be, he who was not able to form even his own children?) No, it was the faith of the mother and her earnest zeal that wrought the whole. He was her first child, and her only one, and she knew not whether she should ever have others besides. Yet she did not say, “I will wait till the child is grown up, that he may have a taste of the things of this life, I will allow him to have his pastime in them a little in his childish years.” No, all these thoughts the woman repudiated, she was absorbed in one object, how from the very beginning she might dedicate the spiritual image to God. Well may we men be put to the blush at the wisdom of this woman. She offered him up to God, and there she left him. And therefore was her married state more glorious, in that she had made spiritual objects her first care, in that she dedicated the firstfruits to God.” ~ St. John Chrysostom