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
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.
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