We have all heard about Saints but it’s not always clear how someone becomes a Saint or what’s involved in the process. It’s up to members of the Catholic church to ensure someone is recognized as a Saint but the process is a lot more complicated than you might think.
Below you will find details of how someone becomes a Saint and what the whole process involves.
The First Step to Sainthood
The individual’s bishop looks into their life, gathers some statements together and reads anything they have written. If the bishop thinks the individual is worthy of being made a Saint, they will submit the required information to the Vatican. More specifically, the information will be received by the Vatican’s Congregation for the Causes of Saints.
The Second Step to Sainthood
Now it’s up to the Congregation for the Causes of Saints to either reject or accept the application. If an application is accepted, they will look into the life of the individual. The person, at this stage, might be known as a “Servant of God.”
The Third Step to Sainthood
Once the application has been approved, the Congregation for the Causes of Saints could declare that the individual has lived a virtuous life. This does not mean that the person has died and gone to heaven. However, it does mean that they tried to be holy while they were alive. At this stage, the individual might be called “Venerable”.
The Fourth Step to Sainthood
To reach this step, the individual needs to be recognized as someone who is in heaven. In addition to this, the Congregation for the Causes of Saints needs to find evidence of a miracle. The Works of Saint Augustine show that he performed miracles in his life. However, it is up to the Congregation to find that the chosen individual has also performed miracles.
This process involves doctors, theologians, and the pope looking for scientifically explainable evidence of a miracle. If evidence is uncovered the individual is known as a “Blessed.” There’s a lot of difference between a Blessed and a Saint. A Saint is someone who is devoted by the Catholic church. A Blessed tends to be limited to devotion by people in specific parts of the world or a group of people.
The Fifth Step to Sainthood
Once evidence of a miracle has been found, there also needs to be evidence of another miracle. This will be examined as deeply as the first miracle. Once the required evidence has been found the individual will be confirmed as a Saint.
The process of someone becoming a Saint has changed over the years. Recently, it was decided that people who are alive can become Saints. There is a lot of work that goes into choosing someone to be called a Saint, more so than many people realize. However, the process is one that ensures only those who have performed miracles and are worthy of Sainthood are given this esteemed title.