Confessor of the Faith

The title Confessor, the short form of Confessor of the Faith, is a title given by the Christian Church to a type of saint.

Western Christianity

The word confessor is derived from the Latin confiteri, to confess, to profess. Among the early church fathers, it was a title of honor, designating those individuals who had confessed Christ publicly in time of persecution and had been punished with imprisonment, torture, exile, or labour in the mines, remaining faithful until the end of their lives. The title thus distinguished them from the martyrs, who were so called because they underwent death for their faith. Among writers St. Cyprian is the first in whose works it occurs. [1]

In the Roman Catholic Church, the title is given to male saints and blesseds who were not martyred. Historically, the title Confessor was given to those who had suffered persecution and torture for the faith but not to the point of martyrdom. As Christianity emerged as the dominant religion in Europe by the fifth century, persecutions became rare, and the title was given to male saints who lived a holy life and died in peace. Perhaps the best-known individual associated with the title is the English king St. Edward the Confessor. It is possible for Confessors to have another title or even two other titles, for example, Bishop and Confessor; Pope and Confessor; or Bishop, Confessor, and Doctor of the Church, among others: St Jerome is known as Priest, Confessor, Theologian, Historian and Doctor of the Church.

Other Languages
беларуская: Вызнаўца
čeština: Vyznavač
Deutsch: Bekenner
Bahasa Indonesia: Pengaku Iman
italiano: Confessore
Nederlands: Belijder
日本語: 証聖者
polski: Wyznawca
português: Confessor
русский: Исповедник
svenska: Bekännare
українська: Сповідник (святий)
中文: 精修聖人