Why do you celebrate saints in the Church Year? Isn't that idolatry?
Early on in the life of the Church Christians began to remember and celebrate martyrs as part of the Church Year. Much as our culture celebrates birthdays or lives of figures in our country's history through President's Day or Martin Luther King Day, so too the Church marks days to remember the life, ministry, and witness of someone God raised up in His Church during their generation. We recall the apostles (i.e. St. Peter, St. Paul), the evangelists (i.e. St. Luke, St. Matthew), the martyrs (St. Justin Martyr, St. Laurence), the teachers (St. Augustine, St. Basil), and those who serve as exemplary models of holiness in their own lifetime (i.e. St. Teresa of Avila, St. Francis of Assisi).
The Church remembers saints not merely to mark the life of one lived a faithful and visible Christian witness in their generation, but also to provide encouragement and instruction for others to follow. Biography is a very effective means to learn and grow. We are all called to a life of holiness as we grow daily, by God's grace, in the likeness of our Lord Jesus Christ. The writings, stories, and lives of those who have gone before us help spur us on toward this goal.
Within the Anglican tradition we do not have a process for canonization, or assigning sainthood to individuals, like the Roman Church. Instead, we recall those from the early days in the life of the unified visible Church, those from our tradition, and those exemplary models throughout the ages.
As we celebrate the lives of those giants in the Faith who have gone before, we take heart as we are also called to no less a standard. Our lives are to reflect such surrender, dedication, and selflessness to the world in our time as well. It is through such models that others see Christ today and the Faithful are strengthened. May Jesus be manifest in all of us as His Kingdom comes.