FAQ's - Canonization

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1) What is canonization?
2) What is the purpose of canonization?
3)The main phases of canonization
4)What is required?

What is canonization?

Canonization is a process by which the Catholic Church recognizes the sanctity of a deceased person and includes his or her name in the liturgical calendar, proposing devotion to this individual by believers throughout the world.

What is the purpose of canonization?

The main phases of canonization

The canonization process begins in the diocese where the person died. Then, the Holy See, under the jurisdiction of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints, takes charge of this process which follows a centuries-old procedure, modernized only in 1983. A long period of time -- sometimes many years -- may take place before one is recognized as Blessed. Only a few will reach sainthood.

What is required?

  1. Identification of a new miracle, usually an act of healing, linked to this devotion.
  2. Presentation of a case before a tribunal of the diocese in which the individual on the road to sainthood died.
  3. The 1st favourable ruling must be given by the Holy See's Medical Commission after a thoroughly documented process calling upon numerous witnesses and experts. This commission is charged with confirming that the act of healing is authentic and that it cannot be explained by present medical science.
  4. The 2nd favourable ruling must be given by the Holy See's Theological Commission. These proceedings serve to determine whether the act of healing can be directly attributed to the devotion toward the "Blessed" on the part of the person who received the miracle (or his or her loved ones).
  5. The 3rd favourable ruling must be given by the ordinary Commission of Cardinals and Bishops, who are to decide if it is desirable and relevant to extend devotion toward the "Blessed" to the Universal Catholic Church. The Commission's recommendation is then submitted to His Holiness the Pope.

In the end, the Holy Father prayerfully discerns and decides as to whether or not there is a new saint declared in the Universal Church.

Last Updated on Wednesday, November 03 2010