1 - Is veneration Biblical?
To begin, I would like to define veneration. It can be broken into two parts; The Veneration of Images/Icons, and the Veneration of Saints. I will use the following as a working definition from The Catholic Dictionarypublished by Fr. John Hardon:
Veneration of Images:
“Honor paid to representations of Christ and the saints. Their purpose is to adorn, instruct, and excite to piety those who behold, wear, or carry images on their persons. According to the Council of Trent, images of Christ, of the Mother of God, and other canonized saints are to be kept in churches and due honor paid to them not because there is any divinity or power inherent in them as images, but because the honor shown to them is referred to the prototypes they represent. Through the worship and reverence so shown, the faithful really worship Christ and honor the saints whose likenesses they display. In other words, the veneration is relative, always being referred back to the original, never absolute as though the material object is being venerated in and for itself.”
Notice how the word “worship” is not used towards the Saints or Icons, but to Christ.
Veneration of Saints:
“Honor paid to the saints who, by their intercession and example and in their possession of God, minister to human sanctification, helping the faithful grow in Christian virtue. Venerating the saints does not detract from the glory given to God, since whatever good they possess is a gift from his bounty. They reflect the divine perfections, and their supernatural qualities result from the graces Christ merited for them by the Cross. In the language of the Church's liturgy, the saints are venerated as sanctuaries of the Trinity, as adopted children of the Father, brethren of Christ, faithful members of his Mystical Body, and temples of the Holy Spirit.”
Objection: The First Commandment would seem absolutely to forbid the making of any kind of representation of men, animals, or even plants:
“Thou shalt not have strange gods before me. Thou shalt not make to thyself a graven thing, nor the likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, or in the earth beneath, nor of those things that are in the waters under the earth. Thou shalt not adore them, nor serve them (Exodus 20:3-5).”
Answer:It is of course obvious that the emphasis of this law is in the first and last clauses — "no strange gods", "thou shalt not adore them". Still any one who reads it might see in the other words too an absolute command. The people are not only told not to adore images nor serve them; they are not even to make any graven thing or the likeness, it would seem, of anything at all. One could understand so far-reaching a command at that time. If they made statues or pictures, they probably would end by adoring them. How likely they were to set up a graven thing as a strange god is shown by the story of the golden calfat the very time that the ten words were promulgated. In distinction to the nations around, Israel was to worship an unseen God, there was to be no danger of the Israelites falling into the kind of religion of Egypt or Babylon. This is true in the case of Amos and Hosea who noticed the Jews worshipping Babylonian gods such as Baal and desired to end it. This law obtained certainly as far as images of God are concerned. Any attempt to represent the God of Israel graphically (it seems that the golden calf had this meaning — Exodus 32:5) is always put down as being abominable idolatry.
BUT… Throughout the Old Testament there are instances of representations of living things, not in any way worshipped, but used lawfully, even ordered by the law as ornaments of the tabernacle and temple. The many cases of idolatry and various deflections from the Law which the prophets denounce are not, of course, cases in point. It is the statues made and used with the full approval of the authorities which show that the words, "Thou shalt not make to thyself any graven image", were not understood absolutely and literally. It may be that the Hebrew translated "graven image" had a technical sense that meant more than a statue, and included the idea of "idol".
An example of decorative imagery in the Old Testament is the Ephod of the High Priest. The ephod is a kind of garment.
From the Catholic Encyclopedia:
“Supplementing the data contained in the Bible with those gleaned from Josephus and the Egyptian monuments, we may distinguish in the ephod three parts: a kind of waistcoat or bodice, two shoulder-pieces, and a girdle. The first of these pieces constituted the main part of the ephod; it is described by some as being an oblong piece of cloth bound round the body under the arms and reaching as far as the waist. Its material was fine-twisted linen, embroidered with violet, purple, and scarlet twice-dyed threads, and interwoven with gold (Exodus 28:6; 39:2). The ephod proper must not be confounded with the "tunick of the ephod" (Exodus 28:31-35), nor with the "rational of judgment" (Exodus 28:15-20). The tunick was worn under the ephod; it was a sleeveless frock, made "all of violet", and was put on by being drawn over the head, something in the manner of a cassock. Its skirt was adorned with a border of pomegranates "of violet, and purple, and scarlet twice dyed, with little bells set between", whose sound was to be heard while the high-priest was ministering. The "rational of judgment" was a breastplate fastened on the front of the ephod which it resembled in material and workmanship. It was a span in length and width, and was ornamented with four rows of precious stones on which were inscribed the names of the twelve tribes. It held also the Urim and Thummim (doctrine and truth) by means of which the high-priest consulted the Lord. The second part of the ephod consisted of a pair of shoulder-pieces, or suspenders, fastened to the bodices in front and behind, and passing over the shoulders. Each of these straps was adorned with an onyx stone engraved with the names of six of the tribes of Israel, so that the high-priest while ministering wore the names of all the tribes, six upon each shoulder (Exodus 28:9-12; 25:7; 35:9; 39:16-19). The third part of the ephod was the cincture, of the same material as the main part of the ephod and woven in one piece with it, by which it was girt around the waist (Leviticus 8:7). Some writers maintain that the correct Hebrew reading of Exodus 28:8, speaks of this band of the ephod; the contention agrees with the Syriac and Chaldee versions and with the rendering of Josephus (cf. Exodus 28:27 sq.; 29:5; 39:20 sq.). It must not be imagined that the ephod was the ordinary garb of the high-priest; he wore it while performing the duties of his ministry (Exodus 28:4; Leviticus 8:7; 1 Samuel 2:28) and when consulting the Lord. Thus David learned through Abiathar's ephod the disposition of the people of Ceila (1 Samuel 23:11 sq.) and the best plan of campaign against the Amalecites (1 Samuel 30:7 sqq.). In 1 Samuel 14:18, it appears that Saul wished the priest Achias to consult the Lord by means of the Ark; but the Septuagint reading of this passage, its context (1 Samuel 14:3), and the text of Josephus (Ant. Jud., VI, vi, 3) plainly show that in 1 Samuel 14:18, we must read "take the ephod" instead of "bring the ark".”
This proves that priest vestments are Biblical as well as Bells during liturgy and that these are allowed to have designs. There are plenty of times in the Old Testament that images, designs, and statues were commanded by God to be used. The key distinction here is that these were all used as aids to worship the true God, rather than as idols to false gods, which is why they were allowed, in the same way Catholic icons and statues are used to worship the True God and not themselves as idols.
Moses’ serpent staff: Here we see God literally commanding Moses to create a statue. This statue alone is not to be worshiped, but it is to be used as a symbol to show God’s power. The statue of the serpent has no healing power alone, but God’s healing power is used through it.
Numbers 21:8-9“and the Lord bade him fashion a serpent of bronze, and set it up on a staff, bringing life to all who should look towards it as they lay wounded.
And so it proved; when Moses made a brazen serpent and set it up on a staff, the wounded men had but to look towards it, and they were healed.”
Lamps, Tabernacles, and carved and moulded garlands of fruit and flowers and trees:
Numbers 8: 1-4: “The Lord gave Moses this message for Aaron, When thou dost put the seven lamps in their place, the lamp-stand must be set up on the south side of the tabernacle; and give orders that the lamps face northwards, towards the table of the loaves on the other side, the lamp-stand turned towards it, and so shedding light upon it. Such was the rule the Lord enjoined on Moses, and such was ever the rule Aaron followed, in setting out the lamps. This lamp-stand was fashioned of wrought gold, both the stem in the middle of it and the branches that sprang from either side and all their ornament; the pattern the Lord had shewn him was the pattern Moses gave it.”
Cedar Carvings, Altars, and Shrines for the Lord:
1 Kings 6:12-28: “This was a message the Lord sent to Solomon: So thou art building me a house? Follow, then, my commandments, execute my decrees, hold fast to all the laws I have given thee, and by these guide thy steps. So I will grant thee fulfilment of the promise I made to thy father David; I will come and live among the sons of Israel, and not forsake my people any more. So Solomon pressed on with the building of the house, until all was finished. Its walls within were cedar-panelled, from the floor to the top of the walls, where the rafters sprang, no panel but was of cedar; only the floor was covered with planks of fir. The furthest part of the temple was cedar-panelled to a height of twenty cubits from top to bottom; it was this inmost recess that he made into a shrine, a place all holiness, and before the doors of this shrine the remaining forty cubits of length made up the temple proper. All was cedar panelling, rounded and fitted with the craftsman’s utmost skill, embossed with carving, cedar everywhere, and no stone in the walls allowed to shew itself. And there in the midst, in the inmost part of the building, stood the shrine in which the ark of the Lord was to rest; twenty cubits in length, width, and height, and covered with plates of pure gold; plated, too, was the cedar altar. Then he covered all the rest of the building, the ante-room of the shrine, with plates of pure gold, fastened with golden nails. Nothing in the temple but was sheathed in gold, the altar that stood before the shrine with the rest. 23 Within the shrine stood two cherubim, made of olive-wood, ten cubits high; 24 each of these had wings of five cubits’ breadth, so that there was ten cubits’ distance between the tips of them. 25 The second cherub matched the first in height, no difference of size or of workmanship between them. 26 Ten cubits high they stood, 27 there in the midst of the inner shrine, either touching the wall with one wing and its fellow’s wing with the other. 28 The cherubim, too, he plated with gold.”
More Temple Deocrations for the Lord:
1 Kings 7:14-20 “A craftsman in bronze, wise, adroit and skilful at doing a brazier’s work; and to do such work king Solomon had now summoned him. 15 Two brazen pillars he made, eighteen cubits in height and twelve in girth, 16 and cast the two capitals of bronze that were to rest on them, each five cubits high, 17 with a pattern of net-work and of chains cunningly enlaced. There were seven rows of chain-work on either capital, all cast in metal. 18 The pillars, too, had their capitals covered with two rows of pomegranates, all round the net-work; both pillars alike. 19 On the base of either capital there was a chain of lily-work, four cubits long; 20 it was the remaining part of the capitals, above, that had the net-work pattern, which went the full round of the pillar; on this second part of them, too, were the rows of pomegranates, two hundred in number.”
Statues of Cherubim and Lions:
1 Kings 7:36 The rings of which I have spoken were of bronze, and around these, and at the corners about them, were cherubim and lions and palm-trees, standing out like statues, as if they had been added on, instead of being cast with the rest.
Kings throne has statues:
1 Kings 10:19-20 “six steps led up to it, and at the back the upper part of it was rounded. The seat itself had two supporters, with a lion standing by each, and on each step there was a lion at either side; no other kingdom could shew such workmanship.
Lions and bulls supported the basins in the temple
1 Kings 7:25 The basin stood on the figures of twelve oxen, three facing north, three west, three south, three east, so resting on them that their hind quarters, turned inwards, could not be seen.
1 Kings 7:29 moulding, too, between the upper and the lower rims, of lions and bulls and cherubim, and between the shafts above them the same pattern; and under the lions and oxen hung thongs, as it were, of bronze.
God Commands Moses to make a Tabernacle, Throne, Cherubim Statues, Lamp Stands, and Gold embroidery to worship Him
Exodus 25:1-40 1 And now the Lord gave Moses this message, 2 Bid the Israelites bring me gifts in kind, each man offering what his heart prompts him to offer, for your acceptance. 3 And these are the gifts you will declare to be acceptable, gold, silver and bronze; 4 threads of blue and purple and scarlet twice-dyed, and lawn, and goats’ hair, 5 and rams’ fleeces dyed red, and skins dyed violet; acacia wood, 6 and oil to feed lamps, spices for the anointing-oil, and sweet-smelling incense; 7 onyx-stones, too, and jewels, to be set in the priestly mantle and burse. 8 I mean them to build me a sanctuary, so that I can dwell among them; 9 this tabernacle-dwelling itself and the appurtenances to be used in it must be of the pattern which I will now shew thee. Listen, then, to the fashion of it. 10 Make me an ark of acacia wood, two and a half cubits long, with a breadth and height of one and a half cubits. 11 Give it a covering and a lining of pure gold, and put a coping of gold all round the top of it; 12 a ring of gold, too, at each of the four corners, two on either of the flanks. 13 Then make poles of acacia wood, gilded over, 14 and pass them through the rings on the sides of the ark, so as to carry it; 15 these poles are to remain in the rings, never taken out. 16 In this ark thou wilt enshrine the written law I mean to give thee. 17 Make a throne, too, of pure gold, two and a half cubits long, one and a half cubits broad, 18 and two cherubs of pure beaten gold for the two ends of this throne, 19 one to stand on either side of it; 20 with their wings outspread to cover the throne, guardians of the shrine. They are to face one another across the throne. And this throne is to be the covering of the ark, 21 and the ark’s contents, the written law I mean to give thee. 22 Thence will I issue my commands; from that throne of mercy, between the two cherubs that stand over the ark and its records, my voice shall come to thee, whenever I send word through thee to the sons of Israel. 23 Make a table, too, of acacia wood, two cubits long, a cubit broad, and a cubit and a half in height; 24 gild it with pure gold, and make a rim of gold about its edge, 25 with an embossed coping four inches high, and a second coping of gold over that. 26 Make four rings of gold, and fix them to the four corners of the table, one by each leg of it. 27 The rings must be below the coping, to let poles pass through, that will carry the table; 28 these poles too thou shalt make of acacia wood, and gild them over; so the table shall be carried. 29 So with the cups, too, and the bowls, and the dishes, and the goblets for pouring out libations; all of them must be of pure gold. 30 The table is to hold the loaves of bread which are to be set out continually in my presence. 31 Make a lamp-stand, too, of pure beaten gold, stem and branches, cups and bosses, and fleurs-de-lis that spring from them. 32 Six branches are to come out of the stem, three on each side; 33 and on each branch there are to be three cups shaped like almond-flowers, then a boss, then a fleur-de-lis, balanced by three cups and a boss and a fleur-de-lis on the opposite branch; such is to be the fashion of all the six branches that come out of the stem. 34 But the stem itself is to have four cups, shaped like almond-flowers, each with its boss and its fleur-de-lis; 35 there will be six branches altogether coming out of a single stem, and under each pair of them there will be an additional boss. 36 The bosses and the branches must be of a piece with the main stem, and all alike must be of pure beaten gold. 37 Make seven lamps, too, and mount them on the lamp-stand, so as to throw their light on the opposite wall. 38 Even the snuffers, and the trays for the burnt wick, must be made of pure gold. 39 The whole weight of the lamp-stand, together with its appurtenances, must be a talent of pure gold. 40 Look well, and make everything in due accord with the pattern which has been shewn to thee on the mountain.
More about the Ark Cherubim
1 Kings 8:6-7 6 So the ark that bears witness of the Lord’s covenant was borne by the priests to the place designed for it, there in the temple’s inner shrine, where the cherubim spread their wings; 7 spread them over the very place where the ark rested, to protect it and protect the poles that bore it.
At this point in time the Jews had understood the commandment to forbid the making of idolatrous statues yet they made all of these ones, meaning statues used to worship the True God are not idolatrous.
Was this tradition continued in the early Christian Church? Most certainly. The following is from the Catholic Encyclopeida:
The idea that the Church of the first centuries was in any way prejudiced against pictures and statues is the most impossible fiction. After Constantine (306-37) there was of course an enormous development of every kind. Instead of burrowing catacombs Christians began to build splendid basilicas. They adorned them with costly mosaics, carving, and statues. But there was no new principle. The mosaics represented more artistically and richly the motives that had been painted on the walls of the old caves, the larger statues continue the tradition begun by carved sarcophagi and little lead and glass ornaments. From that time to the Iconoclast Persecution holy images are in possession all over the Christian world. St. Ambrose (d. 397) describes in a letter how St. Paul appeared to him one night, and he recognized him by the likeness to his pictures (Ep. ii, in P.L., XVII, 821). St. Augustine (d. 430) refers several times to pictures of our Lord and the saints in churches (e.g. "De cons. Evang.", x in P.L., XXXIV, 1049; Reply to Faustus XXII.73); he says that some people even adore them ("De mor. eccl. cath.", xxxiv, P.L., XXXII, 1342). St. Jerome (d. 420) also writes of pictures of the Apostles as well-known ornaments of churches (In Ionam, iv). St. Paulinus of Nola (d. 431) paid for mosaics representing Biblical scenes and saints in the churches of his city, and then wrote a poem describing them (P.L., LXI, 884). Gregory of Tours (d. 594) says that a Frankish lady, who built a church of St. Stephen, showed the artists who painted its walls how they should represent the saints out of a book (Hist. Franc., II, 17, P.L., LXXI, 215). In the East St. Basil (d. 379), preaching about St. Barlaam, calls upon painters to do the saint more honour by making pictures of him than he himself can do by words ("Or. in S. Barlaam", in P.G., XXXI). St. Nilus in the fifth century blames a friend for wishing to decorate a church with profane ornaments, and exhorts him to replace these by scenes from Scripture (Epist. IV, 56). St. Cyril of Alexandria (d. 444) was so great a defender of icons that his opponents accused him of idolatry (for all this see Schwarzlose, "Der Bilderstreit" i, 3-15). St. Gregory the Great (d. 604) was always a great defender of holy pictures (see below).
Although representations of the Crucifixion do not occur till later, the cross, as the symbol of Christianity, dates from the very beginning. Justin Martyr (d. 165) describes it in a way that already implies its use as a symbol (Dialogue with Trypho91). He says that the cross is providentially represented in every kind of natural object: the sails of a ship, a plough, tools, even the human body (Apol. I, 55). According to Tertullian (d. about 240), Christians were known as "worshippers of the cross" (Apol., xv). Both simple crosses and the chi-rho monogram are common ornaments of catacombs; combined with palm branches, lambs and other symbols they form an obvious symbol of Christ. After Constantine the cross, made splendid with gold and gems, was set up triumphantly as the standard of the conquering Faith. A late catacomb painting represents a cross richly jewelled and adorned with flowers. Constantine's Labarum at the battle of the Milvian Bridge (312), and the story of the finding of the True Cross by St. Helen, gave a fresh impulse to its worship. It appears (without a figure) above the image of Christ in the apsidal mosaic of St. Pudentiana at Rome, in His nimbus constantly, in some prominent place on an altar or throne (as the symbol of Christ), in nearly all mosaics above the apse or in the chief place of the first basilicas(St. Paul at Rome, ibid., 183, St. Vitalis at Ravenna). In Galla Placidia's chapel at Ravenna Christ (as the Good Shepherd with His sheep) holds a great cross in His left hand. The cross had a special place as an object of worship. It was the chief outward sign of the Faith, was treated with more reverence than any picture "worship of the cross" (staurolatreia) was a special thing distinct from image-worship, so that we find the milder Iconoclasts in after years making an exception for the cross, still treating it with reverence, while they destroyed pictures. A common argument of the imageworshippers to their opponents was that since the latter too worshipped the cross they were inconsistent in refusing to worship other images (see ICONOCLASM).
The cross further gained an important place in the consciousness of Christians from its use in ritual functions. To make the sign of the cross with the hand soon became the common form of professing the Faith or invoking a blessing. The Canons of Hippolytus tell the Christian: "Sign thy forehead with the sign of the cross in order to defeat Satan and to glory in thy Faith" (c. xxix; cf. Tertullian, "Adv. Marc.", III, 22). People prayed with extended arms to represent a cross (Origen, "Hom. in Exod.", iii, 3, Tertullian, "de Orat.", 14). So also to make the sign of the cross over a person or thing became the usual gesture of blessing, consecrating, exorcising (Lactantius, Divine Institutes IV:27), actual material crosses adorned the vessels used in the Liturgy, a cross was brought in procession and placed on the altar during Mass. The First Roman Ordo (sixth century) alludes to the cross-bearers (cruces portantes) in a procession. As soon as people began to represent scenes from the Passion they naturally included the chief event, and so we have the earliest pictures and carvings of the Crucifixion. The first mentions of crucifixes are in the sixth century. A traveller in the reign of Justinian notices one he saw in a church at Gaza in the West, Venantius Fortunatus saw a palla embroidered with a picture of the Crucifixion at Tours, and Gregory of Tours refers to a crucifix at Narbonne. For a long time Christ on the cross was always represented alive. The oldest crucifixes known are those on the wooden doors of St. Sabina at Rome and an ivory carving in the British Museum. Both are of the fifth century. A Syriac manuscript of the sixth century contains a miniature representing the scene of the crucifixion. There are other such representations down to the seventh century, after which it becomes the usual custom to add the figure of our Lord to crosses; the crucifix is in possession everywhere.
The conclusion then is that the principle of adorning chapels and churches with pictures dates from the very earliest Christian times: centuries before the Iconoclast troubles they were in use throughout Christendom. So also all the old Christian Churches in East and West use holy pictures constantly. The only difference is that even before Iconoclasm there was in the East a certain prejudice against solid statues. This has been accentuated since the time of the Iconoclast heresy(see below, section 5). But there are traces of it before; it is shared by the old schismatical (Nestorian and MonophysiteChurches that broke away long before Iconoclasm. The principle in the East was not universally accepted. The emperors set up their statues at Constantinople without blame; statues of religious purpose existed in the East before the eighth century (see for instance the marble Good Shepherds from Thrace, Athens, and Sparta, the Madonna and Child from Saloniki, but they are much rarer than in the West. Images in the East were generally flat; paintings, mosaics, bas-reliefs. The most zealous Eastern defenders of the holy icons seem to have felt that, however justifiable such flat representations may be, there is something about a solid statue that makes it suspiciously like an idol.
Distinct from the admission of images is the question of the way they are treated. What signs of reverence, if any, did the first Christians give to the images in their catacombs and churches? For the first period we have no information. There are so few references to images at all in the earliest Christian literature that we should hardly have suspected their ubiquitous presence were they not actually there in the catacombs as the most convincing argument. But these catacomb paintings tell us nothing about how they were treated. We may take it for granted, on the one hand, that the first Christians understood quite well that paintings may not have any share in the adoration due to God alone. Their monotheism, their insistence on the fact that they serve only one almighty unseen God, their horror of the idolatry of their neighbours, the torture and death that their martyrs suffered rather than lay a grain of incense before the statue of the emperor's numen are enough to convince us that they were not setting up rows of idols of their own. On the other hand, the place of honour they give to their symbols and pictures, the care with which they decorate them argue that they treated representations of their most sacred beliefs with at least decent reverence. It is from this reverence that the whole tradition of venerating holy imagesgradually and naturally developed. After the time of Constantine it is still mainly by conjecture that we are able to deduce the way these images were treated. The etiquette of the Byzantine court gradually evolved elaborate forms of respect, not only for the person of Ceesar but even for his statues and symbols. Philostorgius (who was an Iconoclast long before the eighth century) says that in the fourth century the Christian Roman citizens in the East offered gifts, incense, and even prayers, to the statues of the emperor (Hist. eccl., II, 17). It would be natural that people who bowed to, kissed, incensedthe imperial eagles and images of Caesar (with no suspicion of anything like idolatry), who paid elaborate reverence to an empty throne as his symbol, should give the same signs to the cross, the images of Christ, and the altar. So in the first Byzantine centuries there grew up traditions of respect that gradually became fixed, as does all ceremonial. Such practices spread in some measure to Rome and the West, but their home was the Court at Constantinople. Long afterwards the Frankish bishops in the eighth century were still unable to understand forms that in the East were natural and obvious, but to Germans seemed degrading and servile (Synod of Frankfort, 794; see ICONOCLASM IV). It is significant too that, although Rome and Constantinople agree entirely as to the principle of honouring holy images with signs of reverence, the descendants of the subjects of the Eastern emperor still go far beyond us in the use of such signs.
Veneration of Saints:
The following are Biblical reference sot people prostrating themselves in front of angels to worship God. They are giving reverence and vernation to the Angels, not because of the angels themselves, but to God, which is whom the angels are represitingin in that moment.
Joshua falls prostrate in worship before an angel
Joshua 5: And when Josue was in the field of the city of Jericho, he lifted up his eyes, and saw a man standing over against him: holding a drawn sword, and he went to him, and said: Art thou one of ours, or of our adversaries?  And he answered: No: but I am prince of the host of the Lord, and now I am come.  Josue fell on his face to the ground. And worshipping, add: What saith my lord to his servant?
Daniel falls prostrate in terror before Gabriel:
Daniel 8:16-17 And I heard the voice of a man between Ulai: and he called, and said: Gabriel, make this man to understand the vision.  And he came and stood near where I stood: and when he was come, I fell on my face trembling, and he said to me: Understand, O son of man, for in the time of the end the vision shall be fulfilled.
Tobiah and Tobit prostrate before Raphael:
Tobit 12:16-17 “And when they had heard these things, they were troubled, and being seized with fear they fell upon the ground on their face.  And the angel said to them: Peace be to you, fear not.”
Angels in Heaven always behold the face of God. We venerate angels because of their great dignity, which comes from their union with God. Saints are also united with God in Heaven.
Matthew 18:10 See that you despise not one of these little ones: for I say to you, that their angels in heaven always see the face of my Father who is in heaven.
We shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is:
1 John 3:2 Dearly beloved, we are now the sons of God; and it hath not yet appeared what we shall be. We know, that, when he shall appear, we shall be like to him: because we shall see him as he is.
You become an example to all the believers, hence Saints are also examples (talk about venerating their holy lives):
1 Thess 1:5-8 For our gospel hath not been unto you in word only, but in power also, and in the Holy Ghost, and in much fullness, as you know what manner of men we have been among you for your sakes.And you became followers of us, and of the Lord; receiving the word in much tribulation, with joy of the Holy Ghost:  So that you were made a pattern to all that believe in Macedonia and in Achaia.  For from you was spread abroad the word of the Lord, not only in Macedonia, and in Achaia, but also in every place, your faith which is towards God, is gone forth, so that we need not to speak any thing.
Remember leaders (saints) and consider/imitate their faith and life
Hebrews 13:7 “Remember your prelates who have spoken the word of God to you; whose faith follow, considering the end of their conversation”
Veneration of Saint Relics:
A relic is an object, such as a piece of clothing or, more commonly, a piece of bone from a saint's body, which has spiritual value because it belonged to one of God's saints. A first class relic is part of a Saint’s body. A 2ndClass relic is something that touched his or her body such as clothing. A 3rdclass is something that touched a 2ndclass such as a cloth that touched the True Cross or a Saint’s shirt. The Bible records many accounts of the value of relics and even episodes of miraculous events connected with them. It was not uncommon for ordinary objects, like the tassel on the Lord's cloak, to have miraculous characteristics.
Jesus’ garments (2ndclass relics) heal:
Matthew 14:35-36 And when the men of that place had knowledge of him, they sent into all that country, and brought to him all that were diseased.  And they besought him that they might touch but the hem of his garment. And as many as touched, were made whole.
Mark 6:56 And whithersoever he entered, into towns or into villages or cities, they laid the sick in the streets, and besought him that they might touch but the hem of his garment: and as many as touched him were made whole.
Luke 8:43-44 And there was a certain woman having an issue of blood twelve years, who had bestowed all her substance on physicians, and could not be healed by any.  She came behind him, and touched the hem of his garment; and immediately the issue of her blood stopped.
Contact with Elisha’s bones restored life:
2 Kings 13:20-21 And Eliseus died, and they buried him. And the rovers from Moab came into the land the same year. And some that were burying a man, saw the rovers, and cast the body into the sepulchre of Eliseus. And when it had touched the bones of Eliseus, the man came to life, and stood upon his feet.
Peter’s shadow heals:
Acts 5:15-16 Insomuch that they brought forth the sick into the streets, and laid them on beds and couches, that when Peter came, his shadow at the least, might overshadow any of them, and they might be delivered from their infirmities.  And there came also together to Jerusalem a multitude out of the neighbouring cities, bringing sick persons, and such as were troubled with unclean spirits; who were all healed.
Paul’s clothing heals:
Acts 19:11-12 And God wrought by the hand of Paul more than common miracles.  So that even there were brought from his body to the sick, handkerchiefs and aprons, and the diseases departed from them, and the wicked spirits went out of them.