Who Can Become A Saint

How does someone become a saint?

AFP is the source of this image. Image caption, Pope John Paul II (right) has had two miracles credited to his intercession, while Pope John XXIII has only had one. Both Pope John Paul II and Pope John XXIII are set to be canonized by the Catholic Church in the near future. The BBC investigates the procedures that must be followed in order for an individual to be considered a saint in the eyes of the Vatican.

Step one: Wait five years – or don’t

It is customary for the process of canonization to begin at least five years following the death of the person being considered. This is done in order to give the individual’s emotions time to settle after the death and to guarantee that the individual’s situation can be reviewed objectively after the death. Some people will have to wait a long time before they are canonized as Catholic saints. Even though Saint Bede, a theologian, died in 735, it took 1,164 years before he was canonized as a saint.

St Bede died in 735 and was canonized in 1899, according to the image description.

The Pope, on the other hand, has the authority to waive the waiting time.

This was supposed to be a reflection of the overwhelming hierarchical support John Paul II received, as well as the widespread belief among the general public that he was a holy man.

Step two: Become a ‘servant of God’

AFP is the source of this image. Caption for the image Many Catholics look forward to the ceremony of canonization with bated breath. The bishop of the diocese where the deceased died can initiate an inquiry into their lives to see whether they led lives of sufficient holiness and virtue to be eligible for sainthood after the five-year period has expired or an exception has been granted. Religious organizations from other parts of the diocese might also approach the bishop and urge him to begin an investigation.

The bishop may request authorization to initiate a case from the Congregation for the Causes of Saints, which is the Vatican department that makes recommendations to the Pope on saints, if there is enough evidence to support it.

Step three: Show proof of a life of ‘heroic virtue’

AFP is the source of this image. Caption for the image Before a person is accorded the honor of being called “venerable,” evidence is assessed by Catholic Congregations and the Pope. The evidence of a candidate’s sanctity, work, and signals that people have been moved to prayer as a result of their example are scrutinized by the Congregation for the Causes of Saints, which is part of the Vatican. If the matter is approved by the Congregation, it is then forwarded to the Pope. If the Pope determines that a person has lived a life of “heroic virtue,” he or she might be elevated to the rank of “venerable.” Popes Paul VI and Pius XII are among those who have had the honor of being called “venerable.” Catherine McAuley, an Irish nun who created the Sisters of Mercy convent, and Scottish nun Margaret Sinclair are among the other notable figures in the world of religious women.

Step four: Verified miracles

After death, a miracle must be credited to the individual’s prayers in order for them to be elevated to the next step, known as beatification. The prayers that are granted are interpreted as evidence that the individual has already entered heaven and is therefore empowered to plead with God on behalf of others. AFP is the source of this image. Beatingification events often bring large crowds, as shown in the image description. Before an incident may be considered a miracle, it must first be “confirmed” by objective evidence.

Sister Marie stated that following Pope John Paul II’s death, she and her sister nuns prayed for the intercession of the Holy Father.

Upon being beatified, the candidate is bestowed the honor of being called “blessed.” There is one exemption to the miracle requirement: a martyr, or someone who died in the service of his religion, can be beatified even if no miracle has been proved.

Step five: Canonisation

AFP is the source of this image. According to the image description, canonization celebrations include an unique Mass in which the individual’s life biography is retold. The process of designating a deceased person a saint concludes with the canonization of that individual. In order to achieve this level, a second miracle ascribed to prayers spoken for the candidate after they have been beatified is usually required to be credited to them. Martyrs, on the other hand, simply only one verifiable miracle in order to be declared a saint.

  • Floribeth Mora, whose recovery from a brain disease has been credited to the Pope’s prayers, is depicted in the media caption.
  • This was related to the widespread support for John XXIII’s canonization as well as the great number of miracles credited to him, according to the report.
  • The ritual is broadcast live on the Vatican’s website.
  • It is predicted that hundreds of thousands of pilgrims would attend the canonization ceremony on Sunday.

On 17 video screens located across the city, the Mass will be televised live. In addition, the Vatican has created two official mobile phone applications dedicated to Pope John Paul II and Pope John XXIII.

More on this story

The BBC is not responsible for the content of any web sites linked to from this one.

How to become a saint

THE RIGHT TO BECOME A SAINTBY conferring sainthood, the Roman Catholic Church acknowledges that the saint is now in the presence of God. Worshipers will be able to pray to this saint following his or her canonization. Since the beginning of the tradition in 1234, about 3,000 persons have been canonized by the Roman Catholic Church through a process known as canonization.by the Roman Catholic Church. Mother Teresa has been formally recognized as a saint. o How does one go about becoming a saint, exactly?

  1. Furthermore, in order to be beatified, one must live a heroically virtuous life in exact accordance with the teachings of the church, embracing the virtues of charity, faith, hope, and other virtues, among other things.
  2. The canonization process must begin at least five years after a person’s death before it may be completed.
  3. Canonization is separated into four steps, each of which is described below: 12You are a God-servant.
  4. The request must include an explanation of how the individual led a life of holiness, purity, compassion, and dedication.
  5. The report of the tribunal is forwarded to the Vatican’s Congregation for the Causes of the Saints.
  6. In order to determine if a person’s life and writings are consistent with the teachings of the church, the Congregation, which is comprised of theologians, cardinals, archbishops, and bishops, examines the person’s life and works.
  7. Prudence Justice Temperance Courage FaithHopeCharity VIRTUESCardinalTheological MOTHER TERESA WAS BEATIFIED FOR THE FIRST TIME IN 2003.

AFTER DECLARATION OF CANONIZATION: A church can be dedicated to a particular saint.

The saint’s name may be commemorated by the offering of a mass.

In addition to being encased in vessels and being publicly honored, representations of the saint with a halo can now be created to commemorate him or her.

The saint has the ability to float.

Every year, on the anniversary of the saint’s death, the saint’s body or a depiction of his or her body liquefies.

When the body exhales, it exhales a sweet odor rather of the usual postmortem odors.

4Canonisation Another confirmed postmortem miracle must occur as a consequence of the person’s intercession in order for the person to be recognized as a saint.

The pronouncement is made by the Pope during a special service held in honor of the newly declared saint.

This is a locally recognized sainthood, which entitles the individual to be revered in his or her city, diocese, area, or religious community after which he or she may be canonized.

In the instance of Mother Teresa, two miracles were attributed to prayers made after her death: a man in Brazil who had brain abscesses awakened from a coma, and a lady in India who had a stomach tumor vanished as a result of her prayers.

Here are a few examples of saints and the miracles they performed. DETAILS CAN BE FOUND BY CLICKING ON A NAME.

How does someone become a saint?

Many of the world’s faiths give unique prestige on persons who live lives of nearly flawless morality, as demonstrated by their actions. Religions differ in terms of the titles given to these individuals. Saints are what the Catholic church refers to them as. The process through which someone is elevated to the status of a saint is known as canonization. The Catholic church has canonized around 3,000 persons – the precise number is uncertain because not all saints have been formally recognized as saints by the Catholic church.

  • For hundreds of years, saints were selected based on popular vote.
  • In the last 1,000 years, the process of canonization has been changed many times, most recently by Pope John Paul II in 1983.
  • The devil’s advocate was the individual who was assigned to challenge the evidence that was presented in support of the canonization process.
  • However, it may also be “accelerated,” as in the example of Mother Teresa of Calcutta, who is well-known for her work with the underprivileged in India and was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1998.
  • The Vatican refused.
  • As a result of his decision in 1999, the pope allowed the canonization process to get underway right away.

The Steps of Canonization

The following are the stages that must be completed in order for a person to be canonized:

  1. A local bishop conducts an investigation of the candidate’s life and writings to determine whether or not he possesses heroic virtue. A copy of the material obtained by the bishop is forwarded to the Vatican. In order to analyze the candidate’s life, a panel of theologians and cardinals from the Congregation for the Cause of Saints is convened. If the nominee receives approval from the panel, the Pope declares him or her to be venerable, which signifies that the individual is an example of Catholic virtues. The next stage on the path to sainthood is beatification, which permits a person to be recognized and celebrated by a specific group or geographical area. In order for a candidate to be beatified, it must be demonstrated that the individual was responsible for a posthumous miracle. Martyrs – individuals who died in the service of their religious beliefs – can be beatified without the need for a miracle to be performed. Mother Teresa was beatified on October 20, 2003, in Rome. As Blessed Mother Teresa of Kolkata, she was given the honor of being declared a saint. In order to be designated a saint, the candidate must have evidence of a second posthumous miracle. If there is, the individual is declared a saint.
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The Vatican must be notified of these supposed miracles so that they can be verified. A little girl who had consumed seven times the deadly quantity of Tylenol was miraculously cured by Sister Teresia Benedicta of the Cross, and the Vatican confirmed this in 1997. In order to obtain assistance, the girl’s family is claimed to have turned to the soul of Sister Teresia. Some “almost-miracles” occurred in Mother Teresa’s case, but they fell short of the church’s criterion that the cures be devoid of medical explanations in order to be considered miraculous.

  • During her prayer time at the Missionaries of Charity chapel, she noticed a beam of light emanating from a photograph of Mother Teresa.
  • Her tumor had vanished by the next morning, and she was no longer in need of surgical intervention.
  • His wife prayed to Mother Teresa for assistance and placed a relic of Mother Teresa on his head as a sign of respect.
  • All of the abscesses and fluid in the brain had been removed.
  • In 2016, the nun was canonized and given the name Saint Teresa of Calcutta.
  • There are certain saints who are chosen to be patron saints, special protectors or guardians for specific jobs or illnesses as well as for specific churches, nations, or causes.
  • He is widely regarded as the author of the world’s first encyclopedia.

His canonization did not take place in this instance, and he was just made a saint in 1997, without going through the formal procedure. To see a complete list of patron saints, please visit this page. The original publication date was April 20, 2001.

Sainthood FAQs

According to the Catholic Church, the pope does not confer sainthood on individuals; rather, he canonizes them in order to make official what God has already accomplished through them. It was Pope John XV who established the canonization procedure in the tenth century. For hundreds of years before that, saints were chosen based on public opinion.

What are the steps to becoming a saint?

The process by which someone is elevated to the status of a saint in the Catholic church is known as canonization. Each stage in this procedure is broken down into the following five components: 1. First, a local bishop examines the candidate’s life to determine whether or not they have demonstrated their virtue. A copy of this information is forwarded to the Vatican. 2. Following that, a group of theologians and cardinals from the Congregation for the Cause of Saints assesses the candidate’s life in greater depth and detail.

  • After receiving approval from the commission, the Pope deems the candidate venerable, which means that they are a model of Catholic virtues in general.
  • Beatification is the next stage on the path to sainthood, and it allows the individual to be recognized in other regions and by other organizations.
  • This rule does not apply to martyrs, as previously stated.
  • In order to be recognized as a saint, they must have have been responsible for a second miraculous occurrence.
What makes a person a saint?

The process through which someone is elevated to the status of a saint is known as canonization in the Catholic church. Each stage in this procedure is broken down into the following five parts: 1. A local bishop examines the candidate’s life in order to determine whether or not they have demonstrated their virtue. 2. The Vatican has been informed of this development. 2. A group of theologians and cardinals from the Congregation for the Cause of Saints evaluates the candidate’s life in further depth.

  • The candidate is declared venerable by the pope after being approved by the panel, which means that they are a model of Catholic virtues.
  • In the final stage toward sainthood, beatification allows the individual to be recognized in other regions and by other organizations.
  • Martyrs, however, are exempt from this law.
  • In order to be recognized as a saint, they must have have been responsible for a second miraculous event.
  • Afterwards, they are elevated to the level of sainthood
What does beatification mean?

It is the phase that comes immediately before being declared a saint. When a person is beatified, it indicates that they have attained eternal life and are in a position to intercede with the Lord on behalf of others if they so want.

What is considered a miracle for sainthood?

A miracle is an event that is unusual and extraordinary, and that cannot be explained by scientific and/or natural laws, and is thus referred to as such.

Lots More Information

All Christians are called to be saints in some way or another. Saints are those in heaven (whether or not they have been officially canonized) who have led heroically virtuous lives, given their lives for the sake of others, or been slain for the religion, and who are worthy of imitation. According to formal Church protocols, a candidate for sainthood goes through three stages: first, he or she becomes “Venerable,” then “Blessed,” and finally “Saint.” A deceased person who has been legally acknowledged by the Pope as having lived a heroically virtuous life or who has donated their life as a sacrifice is known as a Venerable.

After being beatified, a second miracle is required for canonization.

In order to be beatified, there is no requirement for a miracle, yet a miracle is required in order for a martyr to be canonized.

Key Terms

This is the second stage of the process of declaring a person to be a saint, and it occurs after the person’s life and writings have been thoroughly investigated by the diocese or eparchy and the Congregation for the Causes of Saints to determine whether he or she demonstrates heroic virtue, has given their life or suffered martyrdom in order to be declared a saint. Whether or if the miracle was caused by the person’s prayer must be proven. Blessed is a title granted on a person who has been beatified and is now venerated in a restricted way in the Catholic Church.

The Congregation for the Causes of Saints (also known as the Congregation of Rites) is a department of the Roman Curia that was formed by Pope Sixtus V in 1588 as the Congregation of Rites.

A few of the Congregation’s tasks include providing recommendations to the Pope on beatifications and canonizations, as well as the authenticity and protection of precious relics.

In canon law, the petitioner is the one who brings the action.

(Alternatively, a bishop may initiate a cause on his own initiative, in which case he is referred as as the petitioner.) It is customary in this setting to have two positios: one for the inquiry of a candidate’s life and heroic virtues, or for the offering of life, or for the sacrifice of one’s life, and another for any purported miracles.

A postulator is a person who has been appointed to guide and supervise the cause.

In the Roman curial congregations, a prefect is the head of the congregation, who is generally a cardinal.

An individual who has been legally canonized by the Catholic Church as sharing everlasting life with God and who is consequently presented for public adoration and imitation has been granted the title “Saint.” Prior to being pronounced Venerable, a candidate for sainthood is granted the title of Servant of God, which indicates that his or her case is still being investigated.

When a candidate for sainthood has not yet completed the stage of beatification but whose heroic virtue has been acknowledged by Pope Francis, the label “venerable” is bestowed upon him or her.


When a saint was first recognized, the process was based on widespread public acclaim, known as the vox populi et Dei (voice of the people, voice of God) (voice of the people, voice of God). There was no formal canonical procedure in the traditional sense of the term as understood today. Before someone could be canonized, the intervention of the local bishop was required, beginning in the sixth century and continuing until the twelfth century. The intervention of the local bishop was usually preceded by a request from the local community for the bishop to recognize someone as a saint by the local community.

  1. When a cause was established in the 10th century, the usual procedures were followed: the person’s reputation would spread, a request to the local bishop for his or her declaration as saint would be made, and a biography would be written for the bishop’s consideration.
  2. In the following step, the Pope reviewed the case and, if he approved it, issued a decree declaring the individual a canonized saint.
  3. Ulric was the first documented instance of papal invention, which occurred on January 31, 993, under the authority of Pope John XV.
  4. One of its responsibilities was to assist the Pope in the process of reviewing causes.
  5. The 1917 Code of Canon Law contained 145 canons (cc.
  6. It was the local bishop’s responsibility to check on the person’s reputation, ensure that a biography was available, collect eye witness testimony, and examine the person’s written works as part of the episcopal process.
  7. Following the receipt of the evidence, the apostolic process consisted in reviewing it, gathering additional evidence, studying it, investigating any alleged miracles, and finally presenting it to the Pope for his approval.
  8. (2007).
  9. Since the first centuries of the Christian era, no precise count of those who have been proclaimed saints has been kept.

It is widely regarded that this book and its subsequent supplements, which were written entirely in Latin, constitute the definitive index of all causes that have been presented to the Congregation since its founding.

American Saints, Blesseds and Venerables

We have been blessed with a large number of Saints, Blesseds, and Venerables in the American Church. Each one, in his or her own manner, bears testimony to Christ’s love, whether via martyrdom or living virtuous lives in the context of our American society. At the present time, there are eleven American Saints: St. Frances Xavier Cabrini, St. Marianne Cope, St. Katharine Drexel, St. Rose Philippine Duchesne, St. Mother Théodore Guérin, St. Isaac Jogues and the North American Martyrs, St. John Neumann, St.

Father Junipero Serra, O.F.M., St.

Both of these saints are from the United States (Teresa Demjanovich).

Cap., Venerable Cornelia Connelly, S.H.C.J., Venerable Henriette Delille, S.S.F., Venerable Father So

Stage I – Examining the Life of a Candidate for Sainthood

Phase 1: Diocesan or Eparchial Administration Before a cause of action can be filed, five years must have passed after the death of the candidate. This is done in order to allow for more balance and impartiality in judging the situation, as well as to allow for the dissipation of the emotions of the moment. The pope has the authority to waive this waiting time. The bishop of the diocese or eparchy in which the individual died is in charge of initiating an investigation into his or her death. The petitioner (which might include, for example, the diocese/eparchy, the bishop, a religious order, or an organization of the faithful) requests that the bishop initiate an inquiry by contacting the bishop through a person known as the postulator.

  1. Following the completion of these conversations and the receipt of a “nihil obstat” from the Holy See, the archbishop convenes a diocesan or episcopal tribunal.
  2. It is necessary to obtain and study materials written by and about the candidate, as well as documents written by or about the candidate’s opponent.
  3. A final report is produced by the diocesan or eparchial investigation, and the paperwork is forwarded to the Congregation for the Cause of Saints.
  4. An investigation of the “Positio” is conducted by nine theologians, who vote on whether or not the applicant led a heroic life or was martyred.

It is only if their assessment is favorable that they offer their findings to Pope Benedict XVI, who provides his assent and enables the Congregation to produce a decree designating one Venerable if they have led a life of noble deeds or Blessed if they have been slain, as appropriate.

Stage II – Beatification

A miracle attributable to the intercession of a Venerable, which has been proven after his death, is required for his or her beatification. Miracles must be demonstrated by the necessary canonical examination, which follows a method similar to that for heroic qualities, before they may be considered valid. This inquiry is also brought to a close with the issuance of the relevant decree. Once the miracle decree is issued, the pope gives the beatification, which is the concession of restricted public veneration – generally confined to the diocese, eparchy, area, or religious community in which the Blessed resided – to the person who performed the miracle.

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A miracle is not necessary in the case of a martyr.

Stage III – Canonization

It is necessary for canonization for both Blessed martyrs and Blesseds who led a virtuous life that another miracle be performed, which must be ascribed to the intercession of the Blessed and must have occurred after the Blessed’s beatification. The procedures for confirming the miracle are the same as those that are followed in the process of beatification. The process of canonization permits the Saint to be publicly venerated by the whole Church, which is known as the universal church. The Blessed is elevated to the status of Saint upon his or her canonization.

  • Robert Sarno is a Catholic priest.
  • Sources: Abridged from “Canonical process for causes of saints,” published by the Vatican Information Service on September 12, 1997, and from “Saints in the Catholic Church,” published by the Vatican Information Service on July 29, 1997, respectively.
  • Instruction The proclamation of Sanctorum Mater was issued on May 17, 2007.
  • Publisher: HarperCollinsEncyclopedia of Catholicism, edited by Richard P.

Regulations in Inquisitionibus abEpiscopis Faciendis in Causa Sanctorum were promulgated on February 7, 1983, and are still in effect today. Reports from the Vatican Information Service from May 18, 1999, July 30, 1999, and January 28, 2000, and July 31, 2000 are available.

How Does Someone Become a Saint? A 5-Step Process

The majority of the time, individuals are interested in the answer to this question because they want to know the steps involved in having someone canonized within the Catholic Church. However, it may be beneficial to first consider the Church’s goal for sainthood before proceeding. If you want a clear response, the Catholic Church believes that anybody may become a saint, which is defined as someone who makes it to the Celestial Kingdom. All men and women, regardless of their status in life (whether they are priests or single men and women, religious sisters, or anybody else) are called by the Catholic Church to seek holiness and sainthood.

Why does the Catholic Church choose one person over another to be a saint?

We might casually refer to someone as a saint while the Church is in the process of canonizing him or her. However, properly speaking, the Church does not create saints; rather, it honors someone who has died and gone to paradise. Apart from that, the Church is seeking for individuals whose lives are worthy of imitation and to such a degree that they should be held up as examples to the rest of the congregation. Individuals who are familiar with these criteria will have a better grasp of the process through which the Catholic Church recognizes saints.

What is the process of being recognized as a saint in the Catholic Church?

This is most likely the true question that most people are asking when they inquire about how someone becomes a saint: “How does someone become a saint?” The five steps are as follows.

5 Steps to Sainthood

Initially, the local bishop looks into the life of the individual, gathering information from witnesses to their life and any writings they may have left behind in their own time. If the bishop determines that they are deserving of being canonized, he presents the information he has acquired to the Vatican’s Congregation for the Causes of Saints for consideration. Second, the Congregation for the Causes of Saints has the option of either rejecting the application or accepting it and launching their own study into the person’s life and circumstances.

  • Although it is not a pronouncement that the individual is in heaven, it is a statement that they pursued holiness while on earth.
  • Fourth, in order for someone to be regarded as someone in heaven, a miracle must have occurred as a result of the intercession of that individual.
  • The healing must be quick, permanent, and full, and it must be scientifically unexplained in order to be effective.
  • If this is the case, the individual is referred to as blessed.
  • To be declared a saint, a second miracle must occur before the decision can be made.
  • For the most part, the five-step procedure serves as a rough blueprint for how someone might become a saint.
  • Astonishing Parish’s Executive Director of Programming, Kevin Cotter, is a member of the Amazing Parish team.
  • A bachelor’s degree in Religious Studies and Philosophy from Benedictine College and a master’s degree in Sacred Scripture from the Augustine Institute are among Kevin’s academic achievements.

Kevin and his family presently reside in Denver, Colorado, with his wife, Lisa, and their two sons.

The Process of Becoming a Saint

Edith Stein was just proclaimed a saint by Pope Francis. Would you be able to tell me more about the procedure of being designated a saint, if possible? Canonization is the formal procedure through which someone is declared a saint by the Catholic Church. Prior to the year 1234, there was no such thing as a formal procedure in the Catholic Church. It was customary for the Church to declare martyrs and individuals who had been acknowledged as holy saints at the time of their deaths. For centuries prior to the establishment of Christianity by Emperor Constantine in the year 313 AD, the grave sites of martyrs, such as St.

  • They were commemorated on the anniversaries of their deaths, which were noted on the local church’s calendar.
  • As time progressed, the Church recognized the need to strengthen the criteria for canonization.
  • Another instance occurred when the local church in Sweden declared a monk who had been slain in a drunken altercation to be a martyr, despite the fact that this was not a case of martyrdom.
  • The entire procedure was overseen by the Congregation of Rites (later known as the Congregation for the Causes of the Saints) after Pope Sixtus V handed it to them in 1588.
  • In today’s world, the procedure is as follows: It is customary for the Bishop of the Diocese to conduct an investigation when a person who possesses “famous of holiness” or “fame of martyrdom” passes away.
  • The Church will also look into the candidate’s writings to determine whether they include “purity of doctrine,” which means that they contain nothing that is erroneous or contrary to the faith.
  • Further inquiry is carried out once the Congregation has agreed on the cause of the problem.

In other circumstances, the congregation looks to determine if the applicant was driven by a deep love for his neighbor and if he demonstrated the virtues in an exemplary and heroic manner during his life.

Once a candidate has been determined to have lived a life of heroic virtue, he may be elevated to the rank of Venerable.

By virtue of his or her martyrdom, a martyr may be beatified and pronounced “Blessed.” Unless this is proven, the candidate will be credited with a miracle.

Once a candidate saint has been beatified, he or she may be worshipped, but only in a particular city, diocese, area, or religious family.

After beatification, a second miracle is required before canonization and the canonical proclamation of sainthood may be conferred upon the individual.

TeresaBenedicta of the Cross.” Here are just a handful of the high points of her life: She was born in Breslau, Germany, and attended both the University of Breslau and the University of Gottingen, where she worked as a teaching assistant for the great philosopher Edmund Husserl.

She was baptized and welcomed into the Catholic Church on January 1, 1922, after a period of struggle with her Jewish beliefs and being moved toward Catholicism.

Originally from Germany, she entered the Carmelite convent in Cologne in 1933, but she was transported to the monastery in Echt (Holland) in 1938 in order to safeguard the other sisters.

She was sent to Auschwitz and gassed on August 9, 1942, as a result of her dual citizenship.

However, when the sisters cleaned her cell at the monastery, they discovered a little picture on the back of which she had written: “I desire to offer my life as a sacrifice for the salvation of Jews.” She had truly surrendered her life to the Lord.

The condition of the small child continued to deteriorate.

Second, after conducting a thorough investigation into her life and works, he and his wife named their newborn daughter Teresia Benedicta.) The small child miraculously healed when her mother invoked the intercession of St.

When the cure was discovered in 1998, the Sacred Congregation for the Causes of Saints ruled that it was impossible to link it to natural causes and that it must instead be attributed to supernatural intervention via St.

Due to the fact that she was a martyr and is now acting as an intercessor for a miracle healing, Pope John Paul II declared her a saint.

VaticanII issued the following proclamation: “God manifests His presence and His face to humanity in a visceral way through the lives of those of our partners in the human situation who are more thoroughly transformed into the image of Christ.

We do not only treasure the memory of those in heaven because they serve as examples; rather, we hope that through this commitment to the exercise of brotherly love, the unity of the whole Church in the Spirit will be reinforced.” ” (“Lumen Gentium,” No. 50).


a Reverend William Saunders “The Process of Becoming a Saint” is the title of this article. The Arlington Catholic Herald is a newspaper published in Arlington, Virginia. Unless otherwise stated, this piece is reproduced with permission from the Arlington Catholic Herald.

The Author

Pastor of Our Lady of Hope church in Potomac Falls, Virginia, Father William Saunders is a native of the United Kingdom. Currently, he serves as dean of Christendom College’s Notre Dame Graduate School. The preceding item is an excerpt from a “Straight Answers” column he wrote for the Arlington Catholic Herald in Arlington, Virginia. Straight Answers, a book based on 100 of Father Saunders’ columns, and Straight Answers II are among the books written by Father Saunders. Arlington Catholic Herald (Arlington, Virginia, 2003).

Who becomes a saint in the Catholic Church, and is that changing?

Beatification, the next step behind sainthood in the Catholic Church, has been expanded to include individuals who sacrifice their lives for the benefit of others, according to Pope Francis. This is referred to as “oblatio vitae,” which literally translates as “life offer” in the context of another’s well-being. A distinct kind of saint, Martyrs, also give their life in the name of their “Christian religion,” but they do it for a different reason. As a result of the pope’s decision, the issue arises: Is the Catholic idea of sainthood evolving through time?

Who’s a ‘saint’?

When most people use the term “saint,” they are referring to someone who is particularly excellent or “holy.” In the Catholic Church, however, the term “saint” refers to someone who has lived a life of “heroic virtue,” as opposed to someone who has just done good. This definition encompasses the four ” cardinal” virtues of prudence, temperance, fortitude, and justice, as well as the three ” theological” virtues of faith, hope, and charity, as well as other virtues. A saint exemplifies these characteristics in a constant and outstanding manner.



The process of becoming a saint in the Catholic Church is referred to as “canonization,” with the word “canon” meaning “authoritative list” in the Latin language. In the Catholic calendar, those who have been designated as “Saints” are mentioned in the “canon” as saints and are assigned a particular day, known as a “feast,” to commemorate them. Prior to around the year 1000, saints were named by the bishop of the area in which they lived. For example, St. Peter the Apostle and St. Patrick of Ireland were both regarded as “saints” long before any formal protocols were in place to recognize them.

The investigation

There are now four phases in the process of canonization. Any Catholic or group of Catholics can submit a request to the bishop in order for him to initiate a case. A official mediator, known as a “postulator,” will be required to be appointed in order to advocate the cause of the saint in question. The applicant is referred to be “a servant of God” at this point in the process. The life of a “servant of God” is subjected to a formal inquiry. Interviews are conducted with those who know the candidate, and affidavits in support and opposition to the nominee are considered.

  • Upon appointment by the local bishop, a “promoter of justice” is in charge of ensuring that correct processes are followed, and a notary public confirms the papers.
  • In addition to a prefect, a secretary, an undersecretary, and an administrative staff of 23, the Congregation for the Causes of the Saints has a significant administrative staff.
  • The Congregation for the Causes of the Saints chooses a “relator” (one of five people who now serve for the congregation) who supervises the postulator while he or she writes a position paper, known as a “positio,” on a topic of interest to the congregation.
  • The congregation considers the situation and then votes “yes” or “no” on whether or not to support the cause.
  • The final say, however, rests with the Pope.
  • Throughout most of Catholic history, the process of canonization was quite thorough.
  • In this context, the commonly used English term “take a stance” refers to someone who takes a stand and challenges another to prove a point more completely.
  • Even the famed German spiritual writer Thomas à Kempis, who lived in the 15th century, failed to make it through the procedure.
  • The inside of his coffin was said to have scratch marks on it, as well as splinters of wood beneath his fingernails, according to some accounts.

The discovery of these items showed that an effort to escape had been made after being buried alive. The problem would have been that Thomas à Kempis did not embrace death in the manner that a saint should have done. His case was thrown out without a hearing.

Changes to the process

Pope Paul VI updated the canon of saints in the early 1970s, excluding individuals whose historical existence could not be proven. He was the first pope to do so. For example, St. Christopher, the patron saint of travelers, was removed from the list, despite the fact that many Catholics still carry a St. Christopher medal in their cars. The glass reliquary carrying the blood of Pope John Paul II, who passed away in 2005. Reuters photo by Stefano Rellandini When Pope John Paul II, who would go on to become a saint himself, shortened the waiting time from 50 to five years following a candidate’s death in 1983, it was considered revolutionary.

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This expedited procedure, on the other hand, has not lowered the six-figure expenditures that individuals who support the cause must incur in order to fund an inquiry and engage a postulator.

Types of saints

Saints are divided into numerous groups, such as martyrs and confessors, despite the fact that the term “saint” is used to refer to everyone who has been canonized. A “martyr” is someone who has died as a result of his or her Christian convictions; a “confessor” is someone who has been tortured or tormented as a result of his or her faith, but has not been murdered. If a saint had been a bishop, a widow, or a virgin, those characteristics are incorporated into their title as well as their name.

Blaise, who was both a bishop and a martyr.

Katherine Drexel, Virgin,” and she is the patron saint of Philadelphia.

Katherine Drexel was also the founder of Xavier University of Louisiana, which was the first American Catholic university to be created solely for African-Americans.

Miracles and martyrs

The miracles performed during the process of canonization are significant. A miracle is an occurrence that cannot be explained by reason or natural causes and is thus referred to as such. One miracle must be proven to have occurred under the influence of the candidate for sainthood in order for him or her to be referred to be “blessed.” The practice begins with a person praying to a saint who “intercedes” with God on their behalf, generally in order to heal them of a disease. A medical board of nine individuals, all of whom are sworn to secrecy, then investigates the possibility of a miracle occurring.

The title of “blessed” will be changed to “saint” if the occurrence of a second miracle has been confirmed for the applicant.

John Paul II in the record-breaking span of nine years.

Then there was the miraculous recovery of a Costa Rican woman who had suffered a brain aneurysm.

When the Pope issues a “Decree of Martyrdom,” they are considered “holy.” Upon the performance of a single miracle, martyrs are ” exalted to the splendor of the Altars,” which is a phrase that refers to the public event in which someone is officially recognized as a saint.

A new kind of saint?

In light of the long and complicated history of Catholic sainthood, it’s reasonable to wonder if Pope Francis is doing anything new. The pope’s pronouncement makes it plain that a person who offers his or her life for the sake of others should display virtue “at least as typically possible” during his or her whole life, regardless of the circumstances. In other words, someone might be “blessed” not just by leading a life of heroic virtue, but also by engaging in a single heroic act of self-sacrifice in the name of others.

It is still necessary to perform a single miracle after death in order to be declared a saint.

As a Catholic researcher of religion, I see this as an enlargement of the Catholic notion of sainthood, as well as yet another step in Pope Francis’s efforts to make the papacy and the Catholic Church more accessible to the lives of everyday people.

How Do You Become a Saint?

You might question how people become Saints if you haven’t thought about it. Alternatively, why do we continue to formally recognize new Saints in modern times? It may appear that the stages to become a publicly recognized Saint are old and obscure, but canonization is actually a well-organized process that serves to both reinforce and honor our Catholic heritage. Learn more about how a person becomes a canonized Saint and why the Saints play such an essential part in our daily lives in this informative video.

The Basics of Sainthood

All souls who are in heaven are Saints in the most fundamental and comprehensive sense. Many of these Saints have been formally recognized and named by the Catholic Church via the process of canonization. In spite of the fact that only a small number of Saints have been canonized, these persons serve as outstanding models of how we might serve God and strive to Sainthood throughout our lifetime. People who have lived out the commandment to “love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your mind” are an excellent source of inspiration.

How Do You Become a Saint?

There are four stages in the process of being a canonized Saint for either a man or a woman. A Servant of God is designated in the first step, and successive phases decide their eligibility for the designations of Venerable, Blessed, and eventually Saint.

  1. An official Cause for Beatification and Canonization is launched, and the candidate is referred to as a “Servant of God.” An official position (or case) is made to chronicle the person’s Heroic Virtue, and they are then elected to become Venerable. An investigation and verification of evidence of a first miracle is conducted, and they are pronounced blessed. Following the demonstration of a second miracle, the individual is designated as a Saint and is canonized by the Pope.

Servant of God

The first of several conditions is that the individual has been dead for at least five years before being considered for inclusion. The obligatory waiting period aids in ensuring that the candidate’s reputation among the faithful remains strong for a long length of time. Once this period of time has expired, an official Cause or procedure for canonization can be initiated, and the individual is designated as a “Servant of God.”


By conducting interviews with witnesses, studying publications, and evaluating how they lived, the Church delves deeply into the life of the person who has been named as the subject of the Cause. To give an example, Mother Theresa’s life of service to the underprivileged in Calcutta helped to advance her Cause. The candidate’s case is subsequently brought to the Congregation for the Causes of Saints, which will determine whether or not there is sufficient proof of the candidate’s Heroic Virtue to warrant consideration.

If the Pope agrees, the individual is designated as a “Venerable Servant of God,” which signifies that the individual’s life serves as an example for all of the faithful to follow.


The evidence of a miracle performed by God via the prayer of the specific candidate is required for the following stage in the process of beatification. The Church must properly research each miracle, collaborating with the scientific community and medical experts—including non-believers—in order to ascertain that there is no natural explanation for the event in question. Once the Pope has confirmed that a miracle has occurred, the candidate is declared to be “Blessed” and to be in a state of grace.


It is only after a second miracle has been validated via the same thorough study as the first that the process of canonization may be completed. The rite of Canonization is performed by the Pope, who certifies that the individual is now in the presence of God in heaven. Roman Catholics are now able to openly revere the Saints and petition for their assistance via religious intercession on behalf of others. They are also designated a specific feast day, which is celebrated by all Catholics via the celebration of Mass.

A Growing Community of Saints

The number of Saints who have publicly declared their faith is always fluctuating. Pope Francis has just canonized eight new Saints, and many more are now undergoing the different phases of the canonization process under his direction. The Venerable Bruno Lanteri, the founder of the Oblates of the Virgin Mary, is included in this list of notables. His teachings and writings continue to remain relevant centuries after his death, and they are reflected in the ministries we provide. The sentiments of optimism and the possibility for all of us to “begin anew” conveyed by Ven.

(We’ll go into further detail on his Cause in a subsequent piece.) Venerable Carlo Acutis, an Italian youngster who died at the age of 15 after succumbing to leukemia, is another candidate who has contemporary appeal as well as a devoted following.

In terms of the number of Saints, there is no limit; God desires that everyone of us follow His intentions for us and strive for Sainthood during our lifetimes so that we might live with Him in paradise as Saints.

Saints in Everyday Life

It is a prevalent misperception that saints who have been canonized led faultless lives. The reality is that many of them encountered enormous difficulties and moments of uncertainty, which they were able to overcome by the grace of God, which is something that many of us can identify to. ‘Every Saint has a past; and every sinner has a future,’ said St. Augustine. In the presence of canonized Saints, we may see God’s love and intention for each and every one of us reflected back at us. As Father Bill explains, they have the potential to play a crucial role in helping us navigate through this life with hope and encouragement.

They are similar to me.

“They assist me in being the finest version of myself,” I say.

BillBy Trelio, Creative Commons BY-SA 2.0 de Celebrating remarkable people of religion and turning to them to express what’s in our hearts are both important aspects of the renaissance of spirituality today.

Do you have any questions concerning the process of becoming a Saint who has been canonized? Do you have any candidates for canonization in mind that you would want to see become Saints within your own lifetime? We’d love to hear your ideas in the comments section below.

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