St. Paul used the word Saint to refer to all the believing Christians, even those still living on earth. We usually reserve it for those who have left this world in God's friendship and are now in heaven forever. It is most likely there are countless millions of these in heaven.

The Pope and the bishops sometimes nominate a particular saint who lived an exceptionally holy life, and propose him or her for public honour and imitation. We call these canonised saints. They are people who lived Christian virtues to a heroic degree.

A feast day is kept in their honour each year either in that country and part of the world where they lived, or by Catholics everywhere. A new name may be added to that list at any time. Saints are sometimes nominated as patrons of some work or occupation or class of people in which they were particularly interested or involved during their lifetime.

Catholics give their child the name of a saint at baptism so that the child can regard that particular person as his or her patron saint.