The Biblical Truth About Saints And Sainthood
I originally wrote this article and sent to the New Vision newspaper but they did not publish it – which did not surprise me at all. I have made minor edits to update some few sentences. May it bless you and others you choose to share it with.
Many Christians I have talked to recently have expressed surprise (and even shock) about Catholic beliefs and practices regarding saints and sainthood. This has occurred after they read the front page story in the New Vision entitled “Father Ngobya’s Organs Still Intact After 26 Years” (New Vision, Vol. 27 No. 068 of Wednesday, April 4th, 2012). Christians have wondered why Catholics must exhume bodies of the dead and parade them publicly as part of the long process of declaring them saints. (Note: Christianity and Catholicism are NOT the same; in fact they are worlds apart - as far as the east is from the west. But this is a topic for another day).
Moreover, the above New Vision story seemed to have created a false sense in the readers’ minds that the body of Fr. Ngobya was preserved due to a supernatural act or miracle of God. That is not true. Modern science, as Dr. Lynette Tumwine verified in the story, is clear that it is now perfectly possible to scientifically preserve a dead body for any length of time. This is not rocket science; even the ancient Egyptians were experts at the preservation or mummification of the bodies of their kings (pharaohs) and queens over 4,000 years ago. So, since preservation of dead bodies today or in the ancient past is not in dispute, I will focus only on what the Bible says about saints and hopefully help deceived Catholics realize how their beliefs and practices not only contradict, but are even antithetical, to the Word of God.
Catholic Pilgrims near the Catholic Martyrs Shrine, Namugongo. Photo by Abubaker Lubowa
So, what does the Bible say about saints and sainthood? Is what the Bible says about saints the same as what Catholics believe and practice? The following information may be shocking to some, but it is still the Biblical truth.
According to the Bible, a saint is a physically living person who is holy and therefore possesses eternal life or salvation. This is the only sense in which the entire New Testament uses the word ‘saint’ or ‘saved’ or ‘born-again’ or ‘Christian’. You can prove this by looking at Apostle Paul before he became a Christian and used to persecute (and sometimes kill) Christian men and women (who were called saints):
And that is just what I did in Jerusalem. On the authority of the chief priests I put many of the saints in prison, and when they were put to death, I cast my vote against them. (Acts 26:10)
Even in the Old Testament there is clear proof that a saint is a holy person, who is physically alive:
Precious in the sight of the LORD is the death of his saints. (Psalm 116:15)
During the end of the age, when the antichrist gets in power of the world government, he will make war against the saints:
He was given power to make war against the saints and to conquer them. And he was given authority over every tribe, people, language and nation. (Revelation 13:7)
Catholics struggle to touch Monsignor-Aloysius-Ngobya’s coffin in order to get blessings
For the antichrist to do that, the saints would have to be alive. He could never make war against people already in heaven. Again, the Biblical evidence reveals that a real saint or a true saint is a Bible-defined Christian – one who is alive and holy. That is solidly and consistently taught in various ways in Scripture and is the only sound legitimate definition. In contrast to that established Biblical definition of a saint, is the mythical and counterfeit ‘Catholic saint’ of Roman Catholicism.
Catholicism requires two miracles from the intercession of a deceased Catholic to qualify for sainthood, with the pope being the final word on that decision! The process goes from venerable to blessed to saint! For example, in the USA, former Syracuse nun Marianne Cope (1838-1918) became venerable in 2004, blessed in 2005 and on October 21, 2012 was canonized a Catholic saint! Since that decision by the Vatican for Marianne Cope to be a saint, a prayer for her intercession has been written for Catholic people to pray. This is the same process that has started for the late Fr. Ngobya and Sr. Amadeus. Suffice to note this Catholic process of ‘saint creation’ is bogus according to the Bible. Unlike Roman Catholics, real Christians base all their beliefs and doctrine on the Bible ONLY as final authority (2 Tim. 3:16, 17).
Catholics struggle to touch the statues of catholic Martyrs who were declared saints by Rome
Catholics struggle to touch the statues of catholic Martyrs who were declared saints by Rome
God’s Holiness and Man’s False Traditions
Catholics do not usually pray to God directly, as Christians did in the Scriptures (Luke 18:13 - 14; Acts 4:24-30; etc.) and as Jesus commanded his followers to do (Matthew. 6:6-8; John. 14:14; etc.). NEVER in the Bible did the Christians ever pray to a deceased person, Mary or angels! (Revelation 19: 9 – 10; Revelation 22: 8 – 9; Acts 10: 25, etc). They always prayed to God or the Lord Jesus and relied only upon God. Unfortunately, Catholics often rely upon their counterfeit Catholic saints and their alleged intercession, such as Jude, Anthony, Michael, Uganda Martyrs, etc.
Another contrast is, the Holy Spirit intercedes for the saints, while the canonized Catholic saints allegedly already in heaven supposedly intercede for people’s needs:
And he who searches our hearts knows the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for the saints in accordance with God’s will. (Rom 8:27)
So, what is a saint? Here’s more proof. Real saints pray for other saints:
And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the saints. (Eph 6:18)
The living prays for the living. To call on a deceased person for their intercession is to imply they are omniscient, an attribute that only God has. They would have to be all-knowing to hear various people requesting prayer at the same time. Hence, it is not only unscriptural, but irrational to pray to anyone other than the Father or the Lord Jesus.
Catholics Pilgrims pray at Charles Lwanga’s statue during the vigil of Uganda Martyrs’ Day in Namugongo. PHOTO BY Abubaker Lubowa
Finally, many of the people canonized as saints by Catholicism are not sound in doctrine. Two examples are Alphonsus Ligouri and Louis De Montfort, both categorized as ‘apostles of Mary’! Both promoted trusting in the mythical, fabricated Mary of Catholicism (who in reality does not exist and is not the same as the real Mary of the Bible). Salvation and eternal life are found ONLY in Jesus Christ (John 14:6; Acts 4:12; John 10:9, etc). If you know the Biblical message and read the writings of Alphonsus Liguori and Louis De Montfort, you will be shocked at how deeply their writings contradict the Bible. To know what a real saint is, therefore, real Christians only need to go to the Bible. A Catholic saint is not the same as a Bible-defined saint. A Catholic saint is unknown by the Bible, and therefore does not exist in reality.
God bless you.
Gerald Tushabe is a former Catholic who converted to Christianity after learning the truth in the Bible.
Catholicism and the Worship of the Dead: Rev. Fr. Ngobya remains exhumed after 26 years
Julius Nyerere (RIP), the first President of Tanzania set on road to sainthood
YOU ARE SIMPLY WRONG ABOUT THE CATHOLICS: OH! REALLY
EVEN THE DEVIL PERFOMS MIRACLES: Deceived Catholics talk of miracles they received after praying to dead Fr.Aloysius Ngobya
Is Msgr.Ngobya really in heaven?
Publish Date: Apr 07, 2012
Eddie Makumbi from Kyengera in Wakiso district was tired of walking the streets looking for jobs. One day, a friend told him to first seek blessings from Msgr. Ngobya’s grave.
“He told me about Msgr Ngobya, whose grave in Kitovu gives blessings. I took it as a joke because I am not Catholic. Some weeks later, I decided to give it a try. I found there some people praying and joined them. I prayed, wrote down my wishes and dropped them in the box besides the grave and left. Six days later, I was called for an interview. It was a miracle.”
Ngobya has been revered by many people. The priest, who died in 1986 at the age of 89, was popular for his dedication to the Virgin Mary, miracles and prophecy. Even after he died, people still travel to Masaka to seek miracles. His grave, built with blue and white marble with a big concrete cross, is next to the chapel of the Virgin Mary, beside the Cathedral. There is a sizeable wooden box for the pilgrims to offer money that helps maintain the place.
Makumbi became a believer because later, when his mother was dying with a heart problem, he mobilised the whole family to return to Kitovu.
“We had tried many hospitals; Mulago, Masaka and others in vain. My mother would spend nights in agony, without sleep. As a family, we started praying through Ngobya and today, she is fine and can sleep for hours. She is better and I know, with more prayers, she will continue improving,” he says.
Ngobya’s body exhumed
However, on Tuesday, the body of the miracle priest was exhumed by the Catholic Church in the presence of Bro. Reginald D. Cruz, who was specially sent from Rome. Bishop John Baptist Kaggwa of Masaka Diocese explained to the believers during mass that the process of declaring Ngobya as saint had taken a very serious turn. A team to investigate the acts of Ngobya and Byabari for the canonisation project was announced. He said when his body was exhumed, the heart, lungs, part of the brain, the kidney and his clothes were found intact.
This is a process by which the Catholic Church recognises its departed members who are in heaven. When people talked of miracles they had received from Ngobya, his grave became a permanent place of prayer.
Bishop Kaggwa appointed a committee to study ways of starting the canonisation process. This was in 2002.
It was done and the file was sent to the Vatican for further investigation. After verification, the Vatican declared him and Sr Byabari Servants of God.
Dr. Wadray Rudman was appointed to investigate the issues and Bro. Reginald D. Cruz, to deputise him. During the mass on Tuesday, the two committees in charge of the investigations were swon in. Fr. John Baptist Kintu is the chairperson for Ngobya’s committee, while Sr. Sebastian from Bwanda is the chairperson for Byabari’s committee.
The next step is for the committee to record miracles that occur with the intercession of the Servants of God.
“I call upon anybody, Catholic and non-Catholic, who has received a verifiable miracle, to come and report it to us. These will help the late Msgr. Ngobya to be elevated to the level of Venerable,” Bishop Kaggwa said during the mass.
Sister Angelica of Gogonya Convent, who knew Ngobya for a long time has many wonderful stories to tell about his prophecies and miracles.
“He told me when I was still young that I would become a nun. I still remember I had gone to pray at Kabula-Kijaguzo Parish,” she said. “In 1977, soldiers arrested him from Kabula Parish and locked him up at the barracks. He refused to eat until the OC of the barracks released him without any charge. The soldiers, who had detained him, decided to kill him before he could report them to their commanders, but their vehicle overturned in Namajjuzi swamp killing them all.”
How he died
In 1983, Ngobya fell sick and was transferred to Rubaga at the residence of Emmanuel Cardinal Nsubuga. Many people followed him there for prayers. According to Bishop Kaggwa, people asked him to pray for a change of Milton Obote’s government and he told them to thank God instead because the Government would fall soon. One month later, Obote was overthrown.
Sr Angelica also said when Amin fell and Prof. Yusuf Lule became president, Ngobya prophesied that Lule’s government would not last. It fell after 68 days.
She said some NRA rebels, (now in government) asked for his blessings. He told them not to fear. “You will triumph. God will not allow me to see your government, but, I request you to be friends to all people of God. If you take them like enemies, your government will be destroyed too,” he said.
Before Ngobya died, he asked to be buried at Kitovu. He died on January 9, when Masaka was cut off by the war. It was decided that they bury him in Rubaga. But towards the end of the requiem mass, Cardinal Nsubuga announced that he had decided to cancel the burial and wait for chance to return the body to Masaka. His body displayed many amazing signs. His glass coffin produced fog as if the body was sweating, a thing that puzzled the doctors who tried to treat it, but failed.
It is said that on the day he was to be buried, his body ‘bled’ and soaked the bedsheets in which it had been wrapped. He was buried on February 20, 1986.