Old Testament Prophets.
Im very much gratified with the high quality of answers to the Theological Wonk question why arent Old Testament prophets saints? We really clocked some quality answers. Probably the best was from Daniel Arquilla who gave a four-pronged answer: that, he says, the Eastern Rite which is in communion with Rome honors the prophets
that the Carmelites, he says, have feast days for St. Elijah and St. Elishasomething I never knew
and the traditional Roman rite honors the Seven Holy Maccabees. A correspondent named Hank says the Old Testament saints have been recognized by common acclamation so there is no need for special treatment
and Leon Dixon says that while no one doubts their sanctity, theyre from B. C. anyhow and the calendar is crowded.
Excellent responses. It is true that there are no feast days for Old Testament saints in the Churchs universal calendar. In the early days of the Church only martyrs for Christ were honored on the anniversaries of their deaths. In 1600 a liturgical book, the Roman Martyrology listed all the saints who up to that time were recognized including these Old Testament prophets: Habakuk (Jan. 15), Isaiah (July 6), Daniel and Elias/Elijah (July 20 and 21), the seven Maccabees and their mother (Aug. 17), Abraham (Oct. 9) and King David (Dec. 29). In the litanies of the saints we remember all holy patriarchs and prophets who are Old Testament. The first Eucharistic prayer reminds us: Look with favor on these offerings and accept them as one you accepted the gifts of your servant Abel, the sacrifice of Abraham, our father in faith and the bread and wine offered by your priest Melchisedech.
In the funeral liturgy we pray: Hear our prayers and command the soul of our servant [N] to dwell with Abraham, your friend and be rfasied at last on the great day of judgment.
And ratifying Daniel Arquillas erudite comment: While the Church in the West recognizes Old Testament saints in these ways, in the Eastern churches, both Catholic and Orthodox, veneration of these holy people is more prominent, as Daniel has reported. There are a number of eastern churches named St. Elias. Finally since due to a lack of witnesses and information it is very unlikely a pope would canonize a person from the Old Testament. But that doesnt mean there arent saints from the OT. (References from Fr. Edward McNamara, professor of liturgy at the Regina Apostolorum Pontifical University, Rome and Fr. Raymond Ryland, chaplain, Franciscan University of Steubenville, Ohio).
Question 2: Are Heaven and Hell Physical Places?
We all know souls are spiritual entities and do not need physical spaces to exist. However since it is the nature of man to have a material body, it would seem that when our bodies are united with our souls at the end of the world, there would be a physical space to accommodate those bodies. This question is worthy of The Angelic Doctor, Thomas Aquinas so it is not a dumb question. Remember that in John 14:2-3 Jesus twice refers to heaven as a place. Without looking up the Summa, can you give me your reflection?