Who Was The First Saint To Be Canonized


When a Christian communion—primarily the Roman Catholic Church, but also the Eastern Orthodox Church—deems one of its departed members worthy of public cult, it adds his or her name to the canon, or approved list, of that communion’s recognized saints, this is known as canonization.


Although there was no official canonization in the early church, the veneration of local martyrs was common and was governed by the bishop of the diocese. The transfer of a martyr’s relics from their place of burial to a church was considered to be the equivalent of canonization. In the process of canonization, ecclesiastical officials became increasingly involved and involved themselves more personally. By the 10th century, petitions were being sent to the Pope. It was Ulrich, bishop of Augsburg, who died in 973 and was canonized by Pope John XV at the Lateran Council in 993, who was the first saint to be canonized by a pope.

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The process of canonization was very lengthy, but it was also surprisingly flexible and detached; a wide range of books that were in use were acknowledged.

Following this, Pope Urban VIII prohibited the public worship of any anyone who had not yet been beatified or canonized by the Catholic Church.


According to the Code of Canon Law (promulgated 1917) of the Roman Catholic Church, the law of Pope Urban VIII, coupled with later legislation by PopeBenedict XIV, set the basis for the procedures for beatification and canonization included in the Code of Canon Law. A distinction is made by the Code between formal, or ordinary, beatification and canonization, and extraordinary, or similar beatification and canonization.


There have been four main phases in the formal beatification process: an informative process, the introduction of the cause, the apostolic process, and four definitive verdicts. It is important to note that, while the first of these stages were under the authority of the bishop whose diocese it took place, the other three fell directly under that of the Congregation for Rites and the Pope. As early as 1966, Pope Paul VI proclaimed a streamlined and decentralized procedure for the beatification and canonization of saints.

The inquiry would be carried out by diocesan, provincial, or regional tribunals, with the Vatican serving as the final arbiter.

In principle, the process of establishing the sanctity of a holy man or woman cannot begin until five years after his or her death, however the pope may suspend this requirement in certain circumstances.

It is necessary to compile all relevant information about an individual’s sanctity or heroic virtue, including the candidate’s writings and information about miracles performed by the individual during his or her lifetime or after death, in order to conduct a thorough investigation of the individual.

The bishop chooses a person, known as a postulator of the cause, to promote the cause, as well as a promoter of the faith, sometimes known as the “devil’s advocate,” to ensure that the complete truth about the candidate is made public.

It is then permissible to continue the veneration in certain locations, and the candidate is referred to as “Blessed.”


It is largely the same process as for beatification, but before the cause for canonization can be submitted, at least one verifiable miracle received through invocation after beatification must occur. Extraordinary or comparable canonization is merely a confirmation by the Pope that a person is a saint in the eyes of the Church. At the reign of Pope Urban VIII, it was only applied to individuals whose reverence was immemorial at the time of his death (1634). Because of the widespread appeal of a saint, he or she may be added to the church’s general calendar as a remembrance, or as an optional memory; the date of a saint’s death is generally recognized as his or her feast day, which is celebrated on the day of his or her death.

Canonization in other churches

It is a formal statement rather than a procedure in the Eastern Orthodox Church that someone is canonized. The traditional foundation for sainthood is formed by the faithful’s spontaneous devotion to a particular individual. The petition is accepted by the bishop, who then evaluates it before delivering it to a commission that will make a final judgment. As a result, the Anglican church created a commission in 1950 that debated the issue of canonization for members of its own communion in later years (particularly during the 1958Lambeth Conference) and was ultimately successful.

Were all saints canonized, even St. Joseph & Mary?

It is a solemn statement rather than a procedure in the Eastern Orthodox Church to be canonized. The traditional ground for sainthood is formed by the faithful’s spontaneous devotion to an individual. Following acceptance of the petition, it is examined and forwarded to a commission, which will make a final judgment on the matter. As a result, the Anglican church created a commission in 1950 that debated the issue of canonization for members of its own communion in later years (particularly during the 1958Lambeth Conference) In the Encyclopaedia Britannica, the editors write about: Melissa Petruzzello has made the most recent revisions and additions to this page.

Elizabeth Ann Seton becomes first American-born saint

Elizabeth Ann Seton is canonized by Pope Paul VI in the Vatican in Rome, making her one of the first Catholic saints to be born in the United States of America. Originally from New York City, Elizabeth Bayley was the daughter of an Episcopalian physician and was born in 1774. She spent a large portion of her time to charitable work with the destitute, and in 1797 she established the Society for the Relief of Poor Widows with Small Children in New York City, which continues to this day. She married William Seton in 1803 and moved to Italy with him the following year, when she became acquainted with the Roman Catholic Church.

  1. The Sisters of Charity of St.
  2. Mother Seton and the sisters of the order relocated to an impoverished parish a few months later, where they gave free education to underprivileged children in the community.
  3. Seton Hall University was established in her honor in 1856.
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click here to find out more Exactly one week after achieving a terrible victory over the Russian army at the Battle of Borodino, Napoleon Bonaparte’s Grande Armée marches into the city of Moscow, only to discover that its populace has been evacuated and that the Russian army has been forced to retire once more.

  1. click here to find out more On September 14, 1901, President William McKinley of the United States of America died after being shot by a demented anarchist while attending the Pan-American Exposition in Buffalo, New York.
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The landing was part of a larger operation to provide support for MacArthur’s preparations. The price in terms of American lives would be high. click here to find out more


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.

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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 initially recognized, the procedure was based on widespread popular praise, 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 assistance of the local bishop was necessary, beginning in the sixth century and lasting until the twelfth century. The involvement of the local bishop was generally preceded by a request from the local community for the bishop to acknowledge someone as a saint by the local community.

  1. When a cause was established in the 10th century, the customary procedures were followed: the person’s fame would spread, a request to the local bishop for his or her declaration as saint would be made, and a biography would be produced for the bishop’s consideration.
  2. In the following step, the Pope considered the case and, if he accepted it, issued a decree designating the individual a canonized saint.
  3. Ulric was the earliest known instance of papal invention, which occurred on January 31, 993, under the authority of Pope John XV.
  4. One of its responsibilities was to aid the Pope in the process of assessing causes.
  5. The 1917 Code of Canon Law had 145 canons (cc.
  6. It was the local bishop’s responsibility to check on the person’s reputation, ensure that a biography was available, gather eye witness testimony, and examine the person’s written works as part of the episcopal process.
  7. Following the receipt of the proof, the apostolic procedure consisted in analyzing it, gathering further evidence, researching it, investigating any supposed miracles, and then presenting it to the Pope for his assent.
  8. (2007).
  9. Since the earliest decades of the Christian era, no accurate tally of persons who have been designated saints has been kept.

It is widely regarded that this book and its later additions, which were written exclusively in Latin, constitute the authoritative index of all reasons that have been brought 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.

  1. Robert Sarno is a Catholic priest.
  2. 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.
  3. Instruction The proclamation of Sanctorum Mater was issued on May 17, 2007.
  4. 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.

Blessed Carlo Acutis is set to become the first millennial saint. This isn’t the first time the Catholic Church has canonized children.

(THE CONVERSATION BEGINS WITH) At a special Mass in the city of Assisi on October 10, 2020, a young Italian named Carlo Acutis was beatified. The beatification puts the late adolescent one step closer to sainthood than he was before his death. It enables Catholics to refer to him as “Blessed Carlo Acutis,” which means “blessed Carlo Acutis.” Acutis died of leukemia in 2006, when he was just 15 years old. Like many other guys his age, he was enthralled by computers, video games, and the internet, among other things.

  1. One of his favorite projects was the creation of a website detailing miracles that have occurred across the world in connection with the bread and wine that are consecrated at Mass and are considered by Catholics to represent the flesh and blood of Christ.
  2. In his instance, the Congregation for the Causes of Saints, one of the agencies that make up the papal administrative structure – the Curia – of the Catholic Church, was enlisted to investigate the matter.
  3. Non-Catholics may find it difficult to understand why someone who died so young might be considered for sainthood.
  4. Who is chosen to be a saint?
  5. Christians who died as martyrs or were imprisoned as confessors during persecutions in antiquity were revered after their deaths because of the depth of their religious beliefs, which led to their veneration.
  6. In heaven, the martyrs were thought to be closely associated with Christ as a result of their sacrifice.
  7. Because Christians thought that the tombs of the martyrs were hallowed locations where they might access the healing power of God’s mercy, miracles were attributed to their involvement.

Bishops and priests, monks and nuns, and other laypeople of remarkable virtue were among those who were honored.


Ulrich had been the bishop of Augsburg for about 50 years, during which time he built churches, revitalized the clergy, and assisted the city’s citizens in surviving an invasion by barbarians.

993, following a request by the local bishop for the Pope to issue the proclamation of sainthood.

The method was modified during the Second Vatican Council, which took place from 1962 to 1965 and called for a fresh vision of the church’s position in the world of the twentieth century.

Claims of healing miracles are thoroughly investigated by a team of medical professionals.

What is the significance of child saints?

It was because of their mention in the gospels that one group of infant saints, the Holy Innocents, became popular in late antiquity and into the modern period.

The Holy Innocents were a group of youngsters who became well-known.

This day is honored by all Catholics on the seventh day of the week.

Among people who have been murdered in China for their Christian religion are 120 Chinese Catholics who were slain between 1648 and 1930, for example.

In 2000, Pope St.

He specifically mentioned two of them in his sermon on that particular day, praising them for their bravery: Anna Wang, 14 years old, and Chi Zhuzi, 18 years old, were both killed in a car accident in 1900.

Maria Goretti, a young Italian peasant girl who was killed in 1902, is one such modern-day example.

She was alone in the home, which her impoverished family shared with another family.

Despite having stated that she had forgiven her assailant and begged that God would forgive him as well, Maria died the next day in a hospital.

Maria was canonized in 1950, and she soon gained popularity as a patron saint for young females of all ages.

When three poor peasant children from the Portuguese village of Fatima claimed to have had visions of the Blessed Virgin Mary in 1917, the world was taken by surprise.

Lucia, the eldest child, went on to become a nun and lived into her 90s; her petition for sainthood is currently being considered.

Beatification and canonization were conferred to them by Pope John Paul II in 2000, and Pope Francis in 2017.

It was their “heroism” and “life of prayer” that were held up as examples of what was holy.

However, there were those who were removed off the official list of saints as a result of information that came to light later in the process.

A cadaver had been placed on display, and miracles were credited to Simon.

By the decree of Pope Paul VI in 1965, his name was officially removed from the Calendar of Saints.

Although this extensive history demonstrates that holiness is not restricted to people who lived in the distant past, it does demonstrate that it is. In the viewpoint of the Catholic Church, an average adolescent from the twenty-first century might be considered worthy of adoration as well.

The History of Canonization

Many people, even those inside the Church, find the Catholic procedure of beatification and canonization to be a mystery. What is the Church’s motivation for doing this? What is the Church’s method of doing this? The effects of being beatified, and the subsequent process of canonization, are not well understood. ScripturallyF First and foremost, it should be remembered that every Christian, according to the witness of Sacred Scripture, is a saint. The word thehagios appears several times in the Greek New Testament (Acts 9:32; Rom 15:25, 31; Eph 1:1; Col.

The Latin Vulgate refers to thesancti, which is represented as thesaints in some English translations and as theholy ones in others, depending on the translation.

Peter that they are “anointed people,” members of the “royal priesthood,” “a holy nation, a people of his own,” and that they are “called to proclaim the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his glorious light.” The saints are those who have been set apart by God via baptism, who have been filled with His divine life (the Kingdom of God inside), and who have been called to proclaim the existence of the Kingdom of God in the world to the entire human race.

  1. As a result, according to scriptural language, anybody who has been baptized into Christ and is in the condition of grace can legitimately be referred to as a saint.
  2. This is the circumstance when the pilgrim’s condition of earthly existence has come to an end and the holiness of life that has been gained in the pilgrim’s state has been completely realized in heaven.
  3. 4:12, James 1:4), because nothing imperfect will be allowed to enter the kingdom of God (Rev 21:27).
  4. Those who did not “pay the last cent” would be sent to the purifying fires of purgatory, where they would remain until they had “paid the last penny” (Mt 5:26, 1 Cor 3:13, 15).
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In this way, during the period of persecution (from Pentecost to 311 AD), Christians extolled the example of heroic witness to Christ that had been killed in hatred of the faith (in odium fidei), guarded and preserved their relics (trophies of victory over death), and commemorated the anniversary of their birth into eternal life.

Polycarp (155 AD).

And, if it is possible for us to reassemble, may God allow us the joy of commemorating the anniversary of his martyrdom with joy, in order to commemorate the memory of those who participated in that heroic battle, as well as to instruct and empower those who will come after us via our example.

  1. This was done on their feast day, which coincided with the day of their ascension into the afterlife.
  2. I am in communion with the entire Church.
  3. As we celebrate the feast of Sts.
  4. Linus and Clement, Sixtus and Cornelius, Lawrence and Chrysogonus, and Sts.
  5. Damian and Cosmas.” Our request is that we be allowed to participate in the fellowship of your apostles and martyrs, along with John the Baptist, Stephen and Matthias as well as Ignatius and Alexander.
  6. T Confessional Confessors of the Faith However, despite the fact that the era of martyrs has never fully ended, the relative calm that followed the Edict of Milan in 311 meant that martyrdom was a far more uncommon exemplar of perfection than it had been previously.
  7. Those whose white martyrdom of heroic virtueconfirmed to the world the triumph of light over darkness, of grace over sin, of the new man over the old one (Eph 4:17-24), and thus the triumph of Christ over Satan, were the ones who bore witness to this victory.

T hiscultus * (religious adoration) may be restricted to a single diocese at first, but as the person’s popularity grew, it may come to embrace many dioceses, and in the case of Mary, the apostles, and other prominent persons, it may become international in scope.

The First Canonical ProcessIt is believed that the first canonical process took place during the reign of Pope Urban II (1089-1099), in the “Cause” of Nicholas of Trani.

In the first instance, the “Cause” lingered on for several pontificates and did not appear to have been resolved in a favorable manner.

A critical biography of the Servant of God was necessary in all causes under Callistus II (1119-24) according to Callistus II.

Pope Alexander III ordered in 1170 that no one could be designated a saint unless the consent of the Supreme Pontiff was obtained beforehand.

Pope Gregory IX codified this prohibition into Church law in 1234, making it the first time in history.

However, while the acclamation of the faithful and the acceptance of the bishop is, in the majority of circumstances, sufficient evidence of a person’s holiness, it only gives a moral assurance, or a fair degree of believability, that the individual is in paradise.

According to Catholic doctrine, the Church, the Mystical Christ, is incapable of erring in questions of faith and morality because she is the embodiment of God (Jn 16:13).

In the case of a Council (Acts 15:28-15:28), this can be accomplished by the entire college of bishops, or by the Successor of St.

Christ, via the gift of the Holy Spirit, safeguards such judgements of global significance for the Church from being misunderstood.

It is important to remember that just as in the case of theological definition, the proclamation of a saint places that person at the core of the Church’s life, into the basic mystery of the faith, the Eucharist, and as such, it must be devoid of error by nature.

According to an ancient theological axiom, grace is built on the foundation of nature.

As previously stated, the papal canonization process swiftly evolved a set of processes that had to be followed both in the diocese and in Rome, including the gathering of evidence, the taking of witness testimony, and the preparation of a critical biography of the candidate.

Upon completion, the first allowed for some amount of veneration of the nowBlessed by the faithful, in his or her diocese, by a religious order, and by a country.

The last step of each was done in the guise of a trial, with opposing and supporting arguments presented.

Over the centuries, the Processes have undergone several adjustments and improvements, including two more recent revisions and refinements under Pope Paul VI in 1969 and Pope John Paul II in 1983, respectively.

The abolition of the antagonistic function of the Devil’s Advocate was a significant part of Pope John Paul II’s reform, however the office of the Promoter of the Faith continues to serve as a watchdog for the best interests of the Catholic Church.

Also noteworthy was the shortening of the period of time required before a cause for canonization could be established.

In order to protect against fanaticism, this long-standing norm was established in order to enable simple human excitement to calm and mature into a stable and everlasting reputation of holiness.

Many deserving but less well-known causes have withered due to a scarcity of trustworthy proof.

This would allow for a historical and theological examination of the Servant of God’s life and virtues, which would eventually prove to be more beneficial to the discovery of the truth than the fifty-year waiting time would have proven to be.

No one can be beatified or canonized unless all three of these conditions are met.

Up until the beatification of a Servant of God, Catholics are required to adhere to a strict rule of non cultus, which means that while they may privately pray to and venerate an individual whom they believe to be in heaven, they are not permitted to perform any public acts of religious veneration in honor of that individual.

In fact, the existence of acultus before the consent of the Church is provided might put a stop to a Servant of God’s candidacy for the ministry.

That a feast day, complete with a full Mass and Office (Liturgy of the Hours), can be awarded to dioceses, religious orders and communities is the most significant of these provisions.

On the 23rd of September, Franciscans and the people of his native diocese of Manfredonia commemorated St.

Other religious and diocesan groups would have required the Indult (permission) of the Holy See in order to legitimately celebrate his feast day with public adoration in order to do so legally.

After a thorough inquiry, the Pope grants localveneration, which is to say, he beatifies the man in question.

Finally, the widespread acclaim for holiness may imply that someone who has been beatified is a candidate for global adoration.

The Holy Father verifies that the person is in heaven by the discernment of reason and the practice of the Petrine charism, and that the person may be venerated throughout the Church as a result.

The term cult (a false, exaggerated religious system) has acquired a negative connotation in English, which should not be applied to the older, properly understood Latin termcultus (religious system).

It could be applied to the True God (which would be legitimate), or it could be applied to a pagan god among gods (which would be illegal) (which would be idolatry).

The Fourth Commandment, which states, “Honor thy father and thy mother,” makes this clear.


As a second category, it includes angelic spirits and human persons who have carried out the will of God, ranging from the holy prophets and monarchs through St.

We would not have the faith we have today if it were not for their cooperation with God’s plan.

It is their loyalty (or, in the Christian age, their imitation of Christ) that serves as the cornerstone of our individual and collective thankfulness for the work of God’s favor in their life, and hence the foundation of their cultus (in the way understood by the Church).

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