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'Quick Help' Page: Verifying Saints Prayers

 

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Prayers of Saints

Saints' Prayers

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Arrow Question / Issue:

"I'm interested in good prayers written by saints. I have noticed a lot of discrepancy between various sites on what text was written by what saint and some prayers are drastically changed. I noticed you had some on your website. How can I verify that these are written by the saints as you have listed. Do you have any references?"

 

Arrow Answer / Resources:

[click link(s) below, as applicable]

Prayers of the saints on our site have been compiled using multiple sources so it wouldn't be possible to provide references for all these prayers. Concerning discrepancies, please do keep in mind that many of the saints may not have written in English, so many/most may be translations. And prayers of saints from hundreds of years ago that have survived may even be 'translations of translations'. It is possible that various sites have used different translations and that this explains many of the differences. Two translators who sincerely attempt to be faithful to original texts can nevertheless produce very different results. Furthermore, most saints have written before copy machines, computers & printing presses were available. Some may be taken from various eyewitness accounts. Some may have been changed over time by copyists. Some may even be of questionable authenticity. Some may be attributed to the wrong person. Some may be based on poor reference materials. Unless original texts were well preserved, it may be impossible to be absolutely certain about any given text. Clearly these writings are not scripture, so the same painstaking care that the Church exercised to preserve biblical writings would most likely not have been extended to saints' prayers.

That being said, I generally wouldn't think credible sites would intentionally 'drastically' change prayers written by saints on their own whim. That is not to say that no changes may be made [for example, we may change spelling, punctuation, capitalization, shorten prayers, etc.], but it would seem strange to me for credible sites to intentionally make drastic changes to saints' prayers without a good reason (e.g. a new translation, corrections due to new scholarly research, etc.). That's not to say it can't happen, but rather it seems less likely to me that credible sites would do this. Of course sites that aren't credible or sites with an agenda may be more likely to make drastic changes.

Lastly, if you want to confirm 'authenticity' of a specific prayer, perhaps the following may help...

* Input some key phrases into a major search engine to see if you can find a number of reliable sources for the prayer

* See if you can locate the prayer in reference texts such as those you might be able to find online or at a library

* Contact the religious order of the saint (if applicable) to see if they have reliable text for the prayers in question

You may also want to consider acquiring books of saints' prayers that contain references.


Reminder: We make no guarantee whatsoever regarding any item herein. Items herein may be the opinions of their authors and do not necessarily reflect our views. All applicable items may be subject to change at any time without notice. Utilize any link(s) appearing on this page at your own risk. For more terms information, see "Important Notice" below.

  

Other Resources:

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Prayers of the Saints

Quotes From Saints

Prayers (Topic Page)

Saints (Topic Page)

 

  

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