Gold Saints are the most powerful, almost-invincible warriors in Athena's army, since the mythological ages, and are said to be as powerful as gods. They wear the 12 Gold Cloths that correspond to the zodiac constellations, the most powerful among the 88 Cloths. The Gold Saints have mastered the Seventh Sense, the essence of Cosmo, which grants them miraculous abilities, such as the capacity to attack at the speed of light and possess the strength to destroy a star.
Their duty at the Sanctuary is mainly to defend the 12 Zodiac Temples, one for each sign, but they are also the ultimate arsenal at the disposition of Athena and the Grand Pope to accomplish the most difficult of missions. They represent Athena's main war strength during the conflicts against the other deities' armies.
They are known for being among the most powerful characters in the Saint Seiya series. While they are all known to dominate the Seventh Sense, a few of them are so powerful that they have reached the Eighth Sense (Arayashiki) during the series. They are protected by the twelve zodiacal constellations that are on the ecliptic cycle, thus, containing the energy and light of the sun.
Generally, the elites of any army can master a Cosmo to the same extent as a Gold Saint, and sometimes beyond, although like any other Saint, the Gold Saints are capable of overcoming their limits in time of crisis to accomplish miracles. Not only the power of the Gold Saints is incomparably superior to all other Saints (except for a few cases), their notions of honesty, ethics and righteousness are also highly respected by the other Saints. This does not necessarily indicate a Gold Saint holds a righteous attitude, as there have been instances of Gold Saints acting with unrestrained lethality and self-interest, instances which were openly overlooked by others. In many cases the Grand Pope choses his successor from amongst The Gold Saints.
When the 12 Gold Cloths are near one another, they emits a shining light and produce a very loud sound: this phenomenon is called a resonance. However it is not a common event, because the reunion of all the 12 Gold Saints is a rare event, which usually only happened when Athena and the Grand Pope summons the Gold Saints to a meeting in view of an upcoming crisis.
If the Gold Saints with two equivalent forces wages a battle, the conflict can last a long time. In this confrontation, which is called the "War of a Thousand Days," they can both die or fight forever without a winner.
The Gold Saints posseses a legendary technique known as the Athena Exclamation, where 3 Gold Saints join their Cosmo to form a single blow. The Contemplative Athena Tablet represents its essence. In the manga, that tablet resides in Athena's room. The A.E. power is so immense that it releases an energy similar to the Big Bang (on a smaller scale), the explosion that gave birth to the universe. When two Athena Exclamation collide, they will not only double or multiply, but increase exponentially. Athena banned all Gold Saints to use this technique because, besides being considered a coward's technique (three Saints attacking a single enemy), they can also cause terrible damage to both the opponent and the surroundings. Whoever dares uses this technique, will be regarded as a barbaric and dishonorable person that can never be called a Saint anymore, regardless of the intent.