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Respect given by men to saints because of their holiness and union in heaven with God. It can be given directly to saints or indirectly through their relics or images.
Veneration is not adoration, which is given to God alone. It does not detract from adoration of God because the holiness of the saints is a reflection of God’s glory.
Veneration is represented by the Latin word dulia. Since the Blessed Virgin Mary lived a human life of complete virtue, without stain of original or actual sin, she appropriately receives the highest veneration of all, hyperdulia, which is reserved exclusively for her.
Veneration has three principal forms: (1) We honor saints for their sanctity. (2) We imitate the saints’ love and service to God. (3) We ask the saints to intercede for us with God.
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