Which passage of Scripture says we should study the lives of the saints and imitate them?


Full Question

My husband and I homeschool our children. We give them a thorough education in areas such as the lives of the saints, the sacraments, and Church doctrine, but we strive to do it as much as possible in a Bible-centered way. We want to teach them to discover their Catholic faith as it's rooted in Scripture. One thing we haven't found verses for is the Church's teaching that Christians should study the lives of the saints and imitate their virtues. Is this biblical?

Answer

Very. Paul said:

  • "Be imitators of me, as I am of Christ" (1 Cor 11:1);
  • "So they glorified God because of me" (Gal 1:24);
  • "I implore you, brothers, be as I am, because I have also become as you are" (Gal 4:12);
  • "Join with others in being imitators of me, brothers, and observe those who conduct themselves according to the model you have in us" (Phil 3:17);
  • "Keep on doing what you have learned and received and heard and seen in me. Then the God of peace will be with you" (Phil 4:9);
  • "And you became imitators of us and of the Lord, receiving the word in great affliction, with joy from the Holy Spirit, so that you became a model for all the believers" (1 Thes 1:6-7);
  • "We instruct you, brothers, in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, to shun any brother who conducts himself in a disorderly way and not according to the tradition they received from us. For you know how one must imitate us" (2 Thes 3:6-7).

Perhaps the author of the Letter to the Hebrews said it best when he exhorted all Christians to "Remember your leaders who spoke the word of God to you. Consider the outcome of their way of life and imitate their faith" (13:7).


Catholic Answers Staff