Beatification (from Latin beatus, "blessed" and facere, "to make") is a recognition accorded by the Catholic Church of a dead person's entrance into Heaven and capacity to intercede on behalf of individuals who pray in his or her name. Beati is the plural form, referring to those who have undergone the process of beatification.
Since the reforms of 1983, one miracle must be believed to have taken place through the intercession of the person to be beatified, though the medical investigations of the Church are conducted privately and are therefore subject to speculation about their methods.
The feast day for a Blessed person is not universal, but is celebrated only in regions where the person receives particular veneration. For instance, Saint Kateri Tekakwitha was especially honored in the United States and Canada during her time as Blessed. The person may also be honored in a particular religious order, diocese, or organization, such as John Duns Scotus among the Franciscans, the Archdiocese of Cologne and other places. Similarly, veneration of Blessed Chiara Badano is particular to the Focolare movement; her case also demonstrates that, contrary to popular opinion, beatification may take place within a relatively short time after a person's death of an individual (for Badano, twenty years).
Pope John Paul II (18 May 1920 – 2 April 2005) markedly changed previous Catholic practice of beatification. By October 2004, he had beatified 1,340 people, more than the sum of all of his predecessors since Pope Sixtus V (1585–1590), who established a beatification procedure similar to that used today. John Paul II's successor, Pope Benedict XVI, removed the custom of holding beatification rites in the Vatican with the Pope presiding; they now can be held where the subject lived with the Cardinal Prefect of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints[note 1] designated to preside over the ceremony as Papal Delegate. The Pope himself still can preside, as happened on 19 September 2010, when Benedict XVI beatified John Henry Newman in Cofton Park, Birmingham, on the last day of his visit to the United Kingdom. Benedict XVI also personally celebrated the Beatification Mass for his predecessor, John Paul II, at St. Peter's Basilica, on the Second Sunday of Easter, or Divine Mercy Sunday, on 1 May 2011, an event that drew more than one million people.
Cultus confirmation is a somewhat different procedure, wherein the church recognizes a local cult of a person, asserting that veneration of that person is acceptable. Such a confirmation is more an official sanctioning of folk Catholicism than an active step in a canonization procedure, but the object of the cult may equally be addressed as "Blessed".
Blessed Adolph Kolping (8 December 1813 — 4 December 1865) was a German Roman Catholic priest and the founder of the Kolping Association. He led the charge for providing and promoting social support for workers in industrialized cities while also working to promote the dignities of workers in accordance with the social magisterium of the faith.The beatification for the late priest commenced on 21 March 1934 and he was later titled as Venerable in 1989. His beatification was celebrated under Pope John Paul II on 27 October 1991 in Saint Peter's Square; his liturgical feast is not affixed to the date of his death as is the norm but rather on 6 December.Anton Martin Slomšek
Blessed Anton Martin Slomšek (26 November 1800 – 24 September 1862) was a Slovene Roman Catholic prelate who served as the Bishop of Lavant from 1846 until his death. He served also as an author and poet as well as a staunch advocate of the nation's culture. He served in various parishes as a simple priest prior to his becoming a bishop in which his patriotic activism increased to a higher degree since he advocated writing and the need for education. He penned textbooks for schools including those that he himself opened and he was a vocal supporter of ecumenism and led efforts to achieve greater dialogue with other faiths with an emphasis on the Eastern Orthodox Church.His beatification had its origins in the 1930s, when petitions were lodged for a formal cause to commence; this all culminated on 19 September 1999, when Pope John Paul II presided over the late bishop's beatification in Maribor.Beatification of Pope John Paul II
Pope John Paul II reigned as pope of the Roman Catholic Church and sovereign of the Vatican City State for 26 years from October 1978. Since his death on 2 April 2005, many thousands of people have been supporting the case for beatifying and canonising Pope John Paul II as a saint. His formal beatification ceremony took place on 1 May 2011.Birmingham Oratory
The Birmingham Oratory is an English Catholic religious community of the Congregation of the Oratory of St. Philip Neri, located in the Edgbaston area of Birmingham. The community was founded in 1849 by the Blessed John Henry Newman, Cong.Orat., the first house of that congregation in England.
Part of the complex of the Oratory is the Parish Church of the Immaculate Conception, commonly referred to as the Oratory Church. It now also serves as the national shrine to Newman.Canonization
Canonization is the act by which a Christian church declares that a person who has died was a saint, upon which declaration the person is included in the "canon", or list, of recognized saints. Originally, a person was recognized as a saint without any formal process. Later, different processes were developed, such as those used today in the Roman Catholic Church, the Eastern Orthodox Church, Oriental Orthodox Church and the Anglican Communion.Canonization of Josemaría Escrivá
Canonization of Josemaría Escrivá de Balaguer discusses John Paul II's decision to canonize Josemaría Escrivá, founder of the Prelature of the Holy Cross and Opus Dei, more commonly known as Opus Dei.Congregation for the Causes of Saints
The Congregation for the Causes of Saints (Latin: Congregatio de Causis Sanctorum) is the congregation of the Roman Curia that oversees the complex process that leads to the canonization of saints, passing through the steps of a declaration of "heroic virtues" and beatification. After preparing a case, including the approval of miracles, the case is presented to the Pope, who decides whether or not to proceed with beatification or canonization. This is one of nine Vatican Curial congregations.Dom Justo Takayama
Blessed Iustus Takayama Ukon (高山右近) or Dom Justo Takayama (born Hikogorō Shigetomo) (1552 – 3 or 5 February 1615) was a Japanese Roman Catholic kirishitan daimyō and samurai who lived during the Sengoku period that witnessed anti-religious sentiment. He abandoned his status to devote himself to his faith and was exiled to Manila where he lived a life of holiness until his death. Ukon had been baptized into the faith in 1564 when he was twelve though over time neglected his faith due to his actions as a samurai, but later rekindled his faith just after his coming-of-age ritual.His cause for sainthood began when he was declared a Servant of God. Reports in 2014 indicated that he would be beatified sometime in 2015 but Pope Francis later approved it on 21 January 2016; the beatification celebration occurred on 7 February 2017 in Osaka with Cardinal Angelo Amato presiding over the beatification on the pope's behalf.Elena Aiello
Blessed Elena Aiello (10 April 1895 – 19 June 1961) was an Italian Roman Catholic professed religious and the founder of the Minim Sisters of the Passion of Our Lord Jesus Christ. Aiello joined the Sisters of the Most Precious Blood but was forced to leave due to grave health that soon kept her confined to her home where she began experiencing visions of both Jesus Christ and the Madonna as well as saints such as Saint Francesco di Paola.Her beatification was celebrated on 14 September 2011.Jacques Sevin
Jacques Sevin (7 December 1882 in Lille – 19 July 1951 in Boran-sur-Oise) was a French Jesuit known for his role in the introduction of Scouting to France.List of pastoral visits of Pope John Paul II
During his reign, Pope John Paul II ("The Pilgrim Pope") made 104 foreign trips, more than all previous popes combined. In total he logged more than 1,167,000 km (725,000 mi). He consistently attracted large crowds on his travels, some among the largest ever assembled. While some of his trips (such as to the United States and the Israel) were to places previously visited by Paul VI (the first pope to travel widely), many others were to countries that no pope had ever previously visited.Marthe Robin
Venerable Marthe Robin (13 March 1902 in Châteauneuf-de-Galaure – 6 February 1981) was a French Roman Catholic mystic and stigmatist and foundress of the Foyers de Charité. She became bedridden when she was 21 years old, and remained so until her death. According to witnesses she ate nothing for many years apart from receiving Holy Eucharist.A file of documents supporting Robin's beatification was submitted to the diocesan authorities in 1987, and transmitted to the Vatican in 1996. On 6 May 2010 a "Positio" was signed in Rome by the Congregation for the Causes of Saints. This file was made up of all the documents that support Robin's reputation for holiness. It culminated in her recognition for heroic virtues on 7 November 2014.Martyrs of Laos
The Blessed Martyrs of Laos are seventeen Catholic priests and professed religious as well as one lay young man venerated as martyrs killed in Laos between 1954 and 1970 during a period of anti-religious sentiment under the Pathet Lao communist political movement.The cause for their canonization was opened as two parallel processes with one for Mario Borzaga – an Italian Missionary Oblate of Mary Immaculate – and his companion Paul Thoj Xyooj – a Laotian catechist – and another for a group of fifteen martyrs that included ten French missionaries as well as five Laotian Catholics. The Borzaga cause commenced under Pope Benedict XVI on 22 December 2006 and the Tiěn cause commenced on 18 January 2008 in a move that accorded both sets of martyrs the title of Servant of God. Pope Francis approved both beatifications in 2015 and their beatification took place in Vientiane Cathedral on 11 December 2016 in which Cardinal Orlando Quevedo presided on the pope's behalf.Martyrs of the Spanish Civil War
Martyrs of the Spanish Civil War is the name given by the Catholic Church to the people who were killed by Republicans during the Spanish Civil War because of their faith. More than 6,800 clergy and religious were killed in this "Red Terror". As of November 2018, 1,891 Spanish martyrs have been beatified; 11 of them being Canonized. For some two thousand additional martyrs, the beatification process is underway.Postulator
A postulator is the person who guides a cause for beatification or canonization through the judicial processes required by the Roman Catholic Church. The qualifications, role and function of the postulator are spelled out in the Norms to be Observed in Inquiries made by Bishops in the Causes of Saints, which has been in effect since 7 February 1983. A petitioner seeking the beatification may appoint as postulator anyone, cleric or not, who is an expert in theological, canonical and historical matters, and versed in the practice of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints, subject to the approval of the bishop. The major religious orders, such as the Franciscans, Dominicans and Jesuits, appoint members of their orders as postulators-general who are available to act for petitioners in causes and who develop reputations as experts in their field. The later stage of a cause requires the postulator to reside in Rome, which also favors the assignment of the postulator's role to such a postulator-general, since most religious orders maintain their headquarters in Rome.Solanus Casey
Solanus Casey (November 25, 1870 – July 31, 1957) – born Bernard Francis Casey was an American Roman Catholic priest and a professed member of the Order of Friars Minor Capuchin. He was known during his lifetime as a wonderworker, for his great faith, and for his abilities as a spiritual counselor - but especially for his great attention to the sick, for whom he celebrated special Masses. The friar was much sought-after and came to be revered in Detroit where he resided. He was also a noted lover of the violin, a trait he shared with his eponym, Saint Francis Solanus.
His cause for beatification commenced over a decade after his death, and he received the title of Venerable in mid-1995. As a miraculous healing attributed to him was approved by Pope Francis in mid-2017, he was beatified in Detroit at Ford Field on November 18, 2017.Stanley Rother
Blessed Stanley Francis Rother (March 27, 1935 – July 28, 1981) was an American Roman Catholic priest from Oklahoma who was murdered in Guatemala. Ordained as a priest for the Archdiocese of Oklahoma City in 1963, he held several parish assignments there until 1968 when he was assigned as a missionary priest to Guatemala where he was murdered in 1981 in his Guatemalan mission rectory.
On December 1, 2016, Pope Francis issued a decree confirming that Rother had been killed "in odium fidei" (in hatred of the faith) which would allow him to be beatified. Rother was beatified on September 23, 2017, during a Mass at the Cox Convention Center in Oklahoma City. He is the first US-born priest and martyr to be beatified by the Catholic Church and the second person to be beatified on US soil following the 2014 beatification of New Jersey-born nun Miriam Teresa Demjanovich.Three Martyrs of Chimbote
The Blessed Three Martyrs of Chimbote were a group of two Polish Franciscan priests and one Italian missionary priest murdered in Peru in 1991 by the Shining Path communist guerillas. Michał Tomaszek and Zbigniew Adam Strzałkowski, and Alessandro Dordi were murdered on 9 August and 25 August 1991 respectively.Both Polish Franciscans dedicated their work to the faithful of Peru in charitable and merciful acts that appealed to their Franciscan charism, taking as their models for their work both Saint Francis of Assisi and Saint Maximilian Kolbe. In response to a drought in 1989, the two friars brought with them food from Caritas to cater to the immediate needs of the people. Yet the two also catechized the faithful and preached on various saints, in the process, revitalizing the faith of the Peruvian people.
Dordi served in Peru since 1980 and tended to the social needs of the Peruvian people while assisting with rural development programs and for his esteemed preaching abilities.
Pope Francis gave approval on 3 February 2015 to their beatification after affirming their martyrdom, and the celebration of beatification was celebrated in Peru by Cardinal Angelo Amato on 5 December 2015. A miracle attributed to the three will be required for their eventual canonization.Óscar Romero
Saint Óscar Arnulfo Romero y Galdámez (15 August 1917 – 24 March 1980) was a prelate of the Catholic Church in El Salvador who served as the fourth Archbishop of San Salvador. He spoke out against poverty, social injustice, assassinations, and torture. In 1980, Romero was assassinated while celebrating Mass in the chapel of the Hospital of Divine Providence. Though no one was ever convicted for the crime, investigations by the UN-created Truth Commission for El Salvador concluded that the extreme right-wing politician, founder of ARENA and death squad leader Roberto D'Aubuisson had given the order.During Romero's beatification, Pope Francis stated, "His ministry was distinguished by his particular attention to the most poor and marginalized." Hailed as a hero by supporters of liberation theology inspired by his work, Romero, according to his biographer, "was not interested in liberation theology" but faithfully adhered to Catholic teachings on liberation and a preferential option for the poor, desiring a social revolution based on interior reform. Up to the end of his life, his spiritual life drew much from the spirituality of Opus Dei. While seen as a social conservative at his appointment as archbishop in 1977, he was deeply affected by the murder of his friend and fellow priest Rutilio Grande a few weeks after his own appointment and subsequently developed into an outspoken social activist.
In 2010, the United Nations General Assembly proclaimed 24 March as the "International Day for the Right to the Truth Concerning Gross Human Rights Violations and for the Dignity of Victims" in recognition of the role of Archbishop Romero in defence of human rights. Romero actively denounced violations of the human rights of the most vulnerable people and defended the principles of protecting lives, promoting human dignity and opposing all forms of violence.
In 1997, Pope John Paul II bestowed upon Romero the title of Servant of God, and a cause for beatification and canonization was opened for him. The cause stalled, but was reopened by Pope Benedict XVI in 2012. He was declared a martyr by Pope Francis on 3 February 2015, paving the way for his beatification on 23 May 2015. Pope Francis canonized Romero as a saint on 14 October 2018.
His successor, the incumbent Metropolitan Archbishop of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of San Salvador, El Salvador, Archbishop Jose Luis Escobar Alas, has asked Pope Francis to proclaim Archbishop Saint Romero a Doctor of the Church, which is an acknowledgement from the Church that his religious teachings were orthodox and had a significant impact on its philosophy and theology.Latin American church groups often proclaim Romero an unofficial patron saint of the Americas and El Salvador; Catholics in El Salvador often refer to him as "San Romero", as well as "Monseñor Romero". Outside of Catholicism, Romero is honored by other Christian denominations including Church of England and Anglican Communion through the Calendar in Common Worship, as well as in at least one Lutheran liturgical calendar. Archbishop Romero is also one of the ten 20th-century martyrs depicted in statues above the Great West Door of Westminster Abbey in London. In 2008, Europe-based magazine A Different View included Romero among its 15 Champions of World Democracy.