The Catholic church has appointed more than three thousand people the honored distinction of Sainthood and most of those appointed were martyrs.
What is the Definition of a Saint? – A Saint is any person who have been recognized by the Catholic church as holy. A Saint is classified someone who will answer prayers and look over you throughout their life.
The early Catholic church did not have a formal process by which they named someone a Saint. The present process has been in place for at least two hundred years.
What is a Martyr Saint? A martyred Saint is a Saint who was killed in the name of religion. Saint Valentine, Saint Basil and Saint. Peter are all considered martyred Saints.
These Saints are usually chosen many years after their death because of the way they chose to live their life. Becoming a Saint is not a quick process and for some, centuries passed before they were recognized as Saints.
Pope John Paul II made an unprecedented move in 1983 and canonized 300 qualified people as Saints. He also made some significant changes to the entire process of how to become a Saint.
These changes were responsible for giving people all over the world hope that maybe someday, someone they held in high esteem would recognized as a Saint.
There are many saints of the Catholic church who are recognized by the public:
* St. Christopher
* St. Mary Magdalene
* St. Rose of Lima
* St. Valentine
* St. Nicholas
* St. Francis of Assisi
In 1997, when Mother Teresa died, the whole world mourned the great loss. Her untimely death sent an immediate flood of calls and letters to the Vatican. Each caller begged the Pope to allow her to be considered a Saint.
The callers wanted her to be recognized as a Saint immediately, because of all of the charity work and humanitarian work she dedicated her entire life to.
After much consideration, the Pope did allow the canonization to begin earlier than usual and in 1999, two years after her death, the process of Sainthood began.
Six years after her death, in 2003, Mother Teresa was beautified and her official name was changed to Blessed Mother Teresa of Kolkata.
Steps to Becoming a Saint
Live An Exemplary Life
When a person is considered for Sainthood, every aspect of their life will be investigated. Everything that has been publicly said, written, every recording and every detail of their life will be uncovered so that the true character of the person inside can be revealed.
The local Bishop will be in charge of a thorough look into the life of the person being considered. There will be a search for evidence that will determine if they will be given any further consideration.
Things That Will Be Considered:
There cannot be any moral blemishes in the life of the prospective Saint that will cause someone to question his or her character. This does not necessarily mean the person had to be perfect, but it does mean the person should have a reputation of living a good, Holy life with an strong emphasis on helping mankind.
All writings from and about the person should be the reflections of a soul that stay has stayed focused on God and doing good work. If there were any books, articles or other writings by the person of consideration, the writing should be completely respectable and honorable.
The candidate should have had the pure virtues that are in line with the ideals of the Catholic church.
After an intrusive investigation and a complete background check, all of the findings will be gathered and sent directly to the Vatican, for even more scrutinizing.
At the Vatican, a panel of theologians and cardinals, who are present members of The Congregation for Cause of Saints, will look over all of the gathered facts that were uncovered to determine if the person in question is truly worthy of the title of Saint.
The first part of the process may take anywhere from a few years to a few decades and all of the findings are sent to the Vatican for further review by the panel.
After a lengthy investigation, all of the evidence is gathered and the findings are taken to the Vatican where the Congregation for the Causes of Saints will go over all of the materials gathered.
This is where the life of the person being considered is looked at very closely and all of their contributions to society and the Holy works are looked into and discussed.
A person is considered (or not) based on the stories told during interviews, talking character witnesses and from the evidence of the Holy life the person lived.
After all of this is finished and the finding are considered worthy of further investigation, the congregation will probe even deeper.
There must be evidence that is previously recorded and other historical evidence that he or she was an important part of society who gladly offered their life to serve God.
There must also be solid proof of a miracle that was performed by the person in question and the facts of this miracle must be recorded and verified by experts.
After the miracle has been proven to be true and the life of the candidate is deemed worthy of Sainthood, the cardinals and theologians in the Vatican will finally give their approval. The Pope gives his acceptance of the evidence presented and the process continues.
Beautification is then recognized and the beautification is now official. The candidate can now be considered Blessed and they person is well on their way to becoming an official Saint.
If the candidate was a martyr when they died, special consideration is given and there is no need for a recorded miracle. The fact that they died while they were serving God is accepted in place of a miracle.
There are further requirements that must be met before a person will be declared a Saint. Now that the person is
considered Blessed by the Pope, there has to be another miracle performed in their name. This is in addition to the first miracle that was performed and recorded.
This second miracle will need the same verification as the first one and after there is enough evidence, the Pope will allow the canonization to be complete.
The candidate is now an official Saint who can be prayed to and asked for protection to look over people. There is a recognized day of feasting for each Saint that the Catholic church appoints.
Even though the day is official, there is no obligation for the faithful followers to celebrate by having an actual feast. The Saint can have churches built in their honor and there are no restrictions on those who want to worship the Saint.
Now that the canonization is complete and the new Saint has been named. This new Saint may now be considered a Patron Saint who will be a guardian as well a protector – in times of trouble.
Patron Saints are officially named by the Catholic church but, this is not the only way they are named. Any church, individual or group can appoint any Saint as their protector.
Unlike the Catholic church, in the Christian church, Saints are named because they follow the Bible and they are living the life of a Holy Christian.
There are also Hindu Saints. All Saints in all religions follow some of the same criteria while they are alive: they
must try hard to live a life that is a role model and one that is given to help others in their times of need. Saints are expected live a life that is always a shining example of a servant of God.