The Venerable is used as a style or epithet in several Christian churches. It is also the common English language translation of a number of Buddhist titles.


Roman Catholic

In the Roman Catholic Church's Latin rite, The Venerable is the style used for a person who has been posthumously declared "heroic in virtue" during the investigation and process leading to canonization as a saint. Before a person is considered to be venerable he or she must be declared as such by a proclamation, approved by the pope, of having lived a life that was "heroic in virtue" -- the virtues being the Theological Virtues of faith, hope and charity and the Cardinal Virtues of prudence, justice, fortitude and temperance. The next step is beatification, at which point the person is referred to as The Blessed, and then finally canonization, at which point the person is referred to as Saint.

The 7th century English monk St Bede was referred to as being venerable soon after his death and, by tradition, is therefore often referred to as "The Venerable Bede" despite his also having been canonized. St Bede was the first person to be recorded as The Venerable.

Eastern Orthodox

In the Eastern Orthodox Church, venerable (Greek: "Όσιος" for men and "Οσία" for women; ) is a title attributed to saints who had lived a monastic or eremitic life, and it is considered equal or sometimes superior to the usual "Saint".


In the Anglican Communion "The Venerable" (abbreviated as "the Ven") is the style given to an archdeacon.


In Buddhism, the Western style of Venerable (also abbreviated as Ven.) is entitled to ordained Buddhist monks and nuns. The title of Master may be followed for senior members of the Sangha. Venerable is used as a western alternative to Maha Thera in the Theravada branch and Shì (釋, as in "Sakya") in Chinese Mahayana branch.

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