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.

Stcyprian
Icon of St. Cyprian of Carthage, who urged diligence in the process of canonization

Historical development

The first persons honored as saints were the martyrs. Pious legends of their deaths were considered affirmations of the truth of their faith in Christ.

The Roman Rite's Canon of the Mass contains only the names of martyrs, along with that of the Blessed Virgin Mary and, since 1962, that of St. Joseph her spouse.

By the fourth century, however, "confessors"—people who had confessed their faith not by dying but by word and life—began to be venerated publicly. Examples of such people are Saint Hilarion and Saint Ephrem the Syrian in the East, and Saint Martin of Tours and Saint Hilary of Poitiers in the West. Their names were inserted in the diptychs, the lists of saints explicitly venerated in the liturgy, and their tombs were honoured in like manner as those of the martyrs. Since the witness of their lives was not as unequivocal as that of the martyrs, they were venerated publicly only with the approval by the local bishop. This process is often referred to as "local canonization".[2]

This approval was required even for veneration of a reputed martyr. In his history of the Donatist heresy, Saint Optatus recounts that at Carthage a Catholic matron, named Lucilla, incurred the censures of the Church for having kissed the relics of a reputed martyr whose claims to martyrdom had not been juridically proved. And Saint Cyprian (died 258) recommended that the utmost diligence be observed in investigating the claims of those who were said to have died for the faith. All the circumstances accompanying the martyrdom were to be inquired into; the faith of those who suffered, and the motives that animated them were to be rigorously examined, in order to prevent the recognition of undeserving persons. Evidence was sought from the court records of the trials or from people who had been present at the trials.

Saint Augustine of Hippo (died 430) tells of the procedure which was followed in his day for the recognition of a martyr. The bishop of the diocese in which the martyrdom took place set up a canonical process for conducting the inquiry with the utmost severity. The acts of the process were sent either to the metropolitan or primate, who carefully examined the cause, and, after consultation with the suffragan bishops, declared whether the deceased was worthy of the name of 'martyr' and public veneration.

Acts of formal recognition, such as the erection of an altar over the saint's tomb or transferring the saint's relics to a church, were preceded by formal inquiries into the sanctity of the person's life and the miracles attributed to that person's intercession.

Such acts of recognition of a saint were authoritative, in the strict sense, only for the diocese or ecclesiastical province for which they were issued, but with the spread of the fame of a saint, were often accepted elsewhere also.

Anglican Communion

The Church of England, the Mother Church of the Anglican Communion, canonized Charles I as a saint, in the Convocations of Canterbury and York of 1660.[3]

Roman Catholic Church

Nature

In the Roman Catholic Church, both Latin and constituent Eastern churches, the act of canonization is reserved to the Apostolic See and occurs at the conclusion of a long process requiring extensive proof that the candidate for canonization lived and died in such an exemplary and holy way that they are worthy to be recognized as a saint. The Church's official recognition of sanctity implies that the person is now in Heaven and that they may be publicly invoked and mentioned officially in the liturgy of the Church, including in the Litany of the Saints.

In the Roman Catholic Church, canonization is a decree that allows universal veneration of the saint in the liturgy of the Roman Rite. For permission to venerate merely locally, only beatification is needed.[4]

Procedure prior to reservation to the Apostolic See

For several centuries the Bishops, or in some places only the Primates and Patriarchs,[5] could grant martyrs and confessors public ecclesiastical honor; such honor, however, was always decreed only for the local territory of which the grantors had jurisdiction. Only acceptance of the cultus by the Pope made the cultus universal, because he alone can rule the universal Catholic Church.[6] Abuses, however, crept into this discipline, due as well to indiscretions of popular fervor as to the negligence of some bishops in inquiring into the lives of those whom they permitted to be honoured as saints.

In the Medieval West, the Apostolic See was asked to intervene in the question of canonizations so as to ensure more authoritative decisions. The canonization of Saint Udalric, Bishop of Augsburg by Pope John XV in 993 was the first undoubted example of Papal canonization of a saint from outside of Rome; some historians maintain further that the first Papal canonization was of St. Swibert by Pope Leo III in 804.

Thereafter, recourse to the judgment of the Pope was had more frequently. Toward the end of the eleventh century the Popes judged it necessary to restrict episcopal authority regarding canonization, and therefore decreed that the virtues and miracles of persons proposed for public veneration should be examined in councils, more specifically in general councils. Pope Urban II, Pope Calixtus II, and Pope Eugene III conformed to this discipline.

Exclusive reservation to the Apostolic See

Hugh de Boves, Archbishop of Rouen, canonized Walter of Pontoise, or St. Gaultier, in 1153, the final saint in Western Europe to be canonized by an authority other than the Pope:[7][8] "The last case of canonization by a metropolitan is said to have been that of St. Gaultier, or Gaucher, [A]bbot of Pontoise, by the Archbishop of Rouen. A decree of Pope Alexander III [in] 1170 gave the prerogative to the [P]ope thenceforth, so far as the Western Church was concerned."[7] In a decretal of 1173, Pope Alexander III reprimanded some bishops for permitting veneration of a man who was merely killed while intoxicated, prohibited veneration of the man, and most significantly decreed that "you shall not therefore presume to honor him in the future; for, even if miracles were worked through him, it is not lawful for you to venerate him as a saint without the authority of the Catholic Church."[9] Theologians disagree as to the full import of the decretal of Pope Alexander III: either a new law was instituted,[10] in which case the Pope then for the first time reserved the right of beatification to himself, or an existing law was confirmed.

However, the procedure initiated by the decretal of Pope Alexander III was confirmed by a bull of Pope Innocent III issued on the occasion of the canonization of Cunigunde_of_Luxembourg in 1200. The bull of Pope Innocent III resulted in increasingly elaborate inquiries to the Apostolic See concerning canonizations. Because the decretal of Pope Alexander III did not end all controversy and some bishops did not obey it in so far as it regarded beatification, the right of which they had certainly possessed hitherto, Pope Urban VIII issued the Apostolic letter Caelestis Hierusalem cives of 5 July 1634 that exclusively reserved to the Apostolic See both its immemorial right of canonization and that of beatification. He further regulated both of these acts by issuing his Decreta servanda in beatificatione et canonizatione Sanctorum on 12 March 1642.

Procedure from 1734–38 to 1983

In his De Servorum Dei beatificatione et de Beatorum canonizatione of five volumes the eminent canonist Prospero Lambertini (1675-1758), who later became Pope Benedict XIV, elaborated on the procedural norms of Pope Urban VIII's Apostolic letter Caelestis Hierusalem cives of 1634 and Decreta servanda in beatificatione et canonizatione Sanctorum of 1642, and on the conventional practice of the time. His work published from 1734–38 governed the proceedings until 1917. The article "Beatification and canonization process in 1914" describes the procedures followed until the promulgation of the Codex of 1917. The substance of De Servorum Dei beatifιcatione et de Beatorum canonizatione was incorporated into the Codex Iuris Canonici (Code of Canon Law) of 1917,[11] which governed until the promulgation of the revised Codex Iuris Canonici in 1983 by Pope John Paul II. Prior to promulgation of the revised Codex in 1983, Bl. Pope Paul VI initiated a simplification of the procedures.

Since 1983

The Apostolic constitution Divinus Perfectionis Magister of Pope John Paul II of 25 January 1983[12] and the norms issued by the Congregation for the Causes of Saints on 7 February 1983 to implement the constitution in dioceses, continued the simplification of the process initiated by Pope Saint Paul VI.[13] Contrary to popular belief, the reforms did not eliminate the office of the Promoter of the Faith (Latin: Promotor Fidei), popularly known as the "Devil's Advocate", whose office is to question the material presented in favor of canonization. The reforms were intended to reduce the adversarial nature of the process. In November 2012 Pope Benedict XVI appointed Monsignor Carmello Pellegrino as Promoter of the Faith.[14]

Candidates for canonization undergo the following process:

  • "Servant of God" ("Servus Dei"): The process of canonization commences at the diocesan level. A bishop with jurisdiction, usually the bishop of the place where the candidate died or is buried, although another ordinary can be given this authority, gives permission to open an investigation into the virtues of the individual in response to a petition of members of the faithful, either actually or pro forma.[15] This investigation usually commences no sooner than five years after the death of the person being investigated.[16] The Pope, qua Bishop of Rome, may also open a process and has the authority to waive the waiting period of five years, e. g., as was done for St. Teresa of Calcutta by Pope John Paul II,[17] and for Lúcia Santos and for Pope John Paul II himself by Pope Benedict XVI.[18][19] Normally, an association to promote the cause of the candidate is instituted, an exhaustive search of the candidate's writings, speeches, and sermons is undertaken, a detailed biography is written, and eyewitness accounts are collected. When sufficient evidence has been collected, the local bishop presents the investigation of the candidate, who is titled "Servant of God" (Latin: "Servus Dei"), to the Congregation for the Causes of the Saints of the Roman Curia, where the cause is assigned a postulator, whose office is to collect further evidence of the life of the Servant of God. Religious orders that regularly deal with the Congregation often designate their own Postulator General. At some time, permission is then granted for the body of the Servant of God to be exhumed and examined. A certification "non cultus" is made that no superstitious or heretical worship, or improper cult of the Servant of God or his tomb has emerged, and relics are taken and preserved.
  • "Venerable" ("Venerabilis"; abbreviated "Ven.") or "Heroic in Virtue": When sufficient evidence has been collected, the Congregation recommends to the Pope that he proclaim the heroic virtue of the Servant of God; that is, that the Servant of God exercised to a heroic degree the theological virtues of faith, hope, and charity and the cardinal virtues of prudence, justice, fortitude, and temperance. From this time the one said to be "heroic in virtue" is entitled "Venerable" (Latin: "Venerabilis"). A Venerable does not yet have a feast day, permission to erect churches in his honor has not yet been granted, and the Church does not yet issue a statement on his probable or certain presence in Heaven, but prayer cards and other materials may be printed to encourage the faithful to pray for a miracle wrought by his intercession as a sign of God's will that the person be canonized.
  • "Blessed" ("Beatus" or "Beata"; abbreviated "Bl."): Beatification is a statement of the Church that it is "worthy of belief" that the Venerable is in Heaven and saved. Attaining this grade depends on whether the Venerable is a martyr:
    • For a martyr, the Pope has only to make a declaration of martyrdom, which is a certification that the Venerable gave his life voluntarily as a witness of the Faith or in an act of heroic charity for others.
    • For a non-martyr, all of them being denominated "confessors" because they "confessed", i. e., bore witness to the Faith by how they lived, proof is required of the occurrence of a miracle through the intercession of the Venerable; that is, that God granted a sign that the person is enjoying the Beatific Vision by performing a miracle for which the Venerable interceded. Presently, these miracles are almost always miraculous cures of infirmity, because these are the easiest to judge given the Church's evidentiary requirements for miracles; e. g., a patient was sick with an illness for which no cure was known; prayers were directed to the Venerable; the patient was cured; the cure was spontaneous, instantaneous, complete, and enduring; and physicians cannot discover any natural explanation therefor.

The satisfaction of the applicable conditions permits beatification, which then bestows on the Venerable the title of "Blessed" (Latin: "Beatus" or "Beata"). A feast day will be designated, but its observance is ordinarily only permitted for the Blessed's home diocese, to specific locations associated with him, or to the churches or houses of the Blessed's religious order if he belonged to one. Parishes may not normally be named in honor of beati.

  • "Saint" ("Sanctus" or "Sancta"; abbreviated "St." or "S."): To be canonized as a saint, ordinarily at least two miracles must have been performed through the intercession of the Blessed after his death, but for beati confessors, i. e., beati who were not declared martyrs, only one miracle is required, ordinarily being additional to that upon which beatification was premised. Very rarely, a pope may waive the requirement for a second miracle after beatification if he, the Sacred College of Cardinals, and the Congregation for the Causes of Saints all agree that the Blessed lived a life of great merit proven by certain actions. This extraordinary procedure was used in Pope Francis' canonization of Pope John XXIII, who convoked the first part of the Second Vatican Council.

Canonization is a statement of the Church that the person certainly enjoys the Beatific Vision of Heaven. The title of "Saint" (Latin: "Sanctus" or "Sancta") is then proper, reflecting that the Saint is a refulgence of the holiness (sanctitas) of God Himself, which alone comes from God's gift. The Saint is assigned a feast day which may be celebrated anywhere in the universal Church, although it is not necessarily added to the General Roman Calendar or local calendars as an "obligatory" feast; parish churches may be erected in his honor; and the faithful may freely celebrate and honor the Saint.

Although recognition of sainthood by the Pope does not directly concern a fact of Divine revelation, nonetheless it must be "definitively held" by the faithful as infallible pursuant to, at the least, the Universal Magisterium of the Church, because it is a truth related to revelation by historical necessity.[20][21]

Regarding the Eastern Catholic Churches, individual sui juris churches have the right to "glorify" saints for their own jurisdictions, though this has rarely happened.

Equipollent canonization

Popes have several times permitted to the universal Church, without executing the ordinary judicial process of canonization described above, the veneration as a saint, the "cultus" of one long venerated as such locally. This act of a pope is denominated "equipollent" or "equivalent canonization" and "confirmation of cultus". According to the rules Pope Benedict XIV (regnat 17 August 1740 - 3 May 1758) instituted, there are three conditions for an equipollent canonization: (1) existence of an ancient cultus of the person, (2) a general and constant attestation to the virtues or martyrdom of the person by credible historians, and (3) uninterrupted fame of the person as a worker of miracles.

As examples, prior to his pontificate, of this mode of canonization, Pope Benedict XIV himself enumerated the equipollent canonizations of Saints:

Later equipollent canonizations include those of Saints:

Pope Francis added Saints:

Eastern Orthodox Church

Пиотровский. батакская резня. 1889 год.jpeg
The Turkish atrocities in Bulgaria (1876). On 3 April 2011, Batak massacre victims were canonized as saints.

The following terms are used for canonization by the autocephalous national Orthodox Churches: канонизация[26] or прославление[27] "glorification"[28] (Russian Orthodox Church), კანონიზაცია kanonizats’ia (Georgian Orthodox Church), канонизација (Serbian Orthodox Church), canonizare (Romanian Orthodox Church), and Канонизация (Bulgarian Orthodox Church). The following terms are used for canonization by other autocephalous Orthodox Churches: αγιοκατάταξη[29] (Katharevousa: ἁγιοκατάταξις) agiokatataxi/agiokatataxis, "ranking among saints" (Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople, Church of Cyprus, Church of Greece), kanonizim (Albanian Orthodox Church), kanonizacja (Polish Orthodox Church), and kanonizace/kanonizácia (Czech and Slovak Orthodox Church).

The Orthodox Church in America, an Eastern Orthodox Church partly recognized as autocephalous, uses the term "glorification" for granting official recognition to someone as a saint—see glorification.[30]

Oriental Orthodox Church

Within the Armenian Apostolic Church, part of Oriental Orthodoxy, there had been discussions since the 1980s about canonizing the victims of the Armenian Genocide.[31] On April 23, 2015, all of the victims of the genocide were canonized.[32][33][34]

United Methodist Church

The General Conference of the United Methodist Church has formally declared individuals martyrs, including Dietrich Bonhoeffer (in 2008) and Martin Luther King Jr. (in 2012).[35][36]

See also

Notes

  1. ^ Kemp (1948).
  2. ^ For the history of such canonization, see Kemp.[1]
  3. ^ Mitchell, Jolyon (29 November 2012). Martyrdom: A Very Short Introduction. Oxford University Press. p. 99. ISBN 9780191642449. In 1660 the convocations of Canterbury and York canonized King Charles.
  4. ^ "Beatification, in the present discipline, differs from canonization in this: that the former implies (1) a locally restricted, not a universal, permission to venerate, which is (2) a mere permission, and no precept; while canonization implies a universal precept" (Beccari, Camillo. "Beatification and Canonization". The Catholic Encyclopedia. Vol. 2. New York, New York: Robert Appleton Company, 1907. Accessed 27 May 2009.).
  5. ^ August., Brevic. Collat. cum Donatistis, III, 13, no. 25 in PL, XLIII, 628.
  6. ^ Gonzalez Tellez, Comm. Perpet. in singulos textus libr. Decr., III, xlv, in Cap. 1, De reliquiis et vener. Sanct.
  7. ^ a b "William Smith and Samuel Cheetham, A Dictionary of Christian Antiquities (Murray, 1875), p. 283". Retrieved 4 October 2014.
  8. ^ "Pope Alexander III". Archived from the original on 15 October 2013. Retrieved 4 October 2014.
  9. ^ Pope Gregory IX, Decretales, 3, "De reliquiis et veneratione sanctorum". It is alternatively quoted as follows: "For the future you will not presume to pay him reverence, as, even though miracles were worked through him, it would not allow you to revere him as a saint unless with the authority of the Roman Church". (C. 1, tit. cit., X, III, xlv.)
  10. ^ St. Robert Bellarmine, De Eccles. Triumph., I, 8.
  11. ^ Aimable Musoni, "Saints without Borders", pp. 9-10.
  12. ^ "DIVINUS PERFECTIONIS MAGISTER". Retrieved 4 October 2014.
  13. ^ "Divinus Perfectionis Magister". Retrieved 4 October 2014.
  14. ^ "Devil's Advocate Is Puglia: 'It will test the virtues of aspiring saints'", la Repubblica, 5 November 2012.
  15. ^ Pope John Paul II, Divinus Perfectionis Magister (25 January 1983), Art. 1, Sec. 1.
  16. ^ Pietro Cardinal Palazzini, Norms to be observed in inquiries made by bishops in the causes of saints, 1983 Archived 22 October 2006 at the Wayback Machine, §9(a).
  17. ^ Mother Teresa of Calcutta (1910–1997), Biography, Office of Papal Liturgical Celebrations, Internet Office of the Holy See
  18. ^ "Sister Lucia's Beatification Process to Begin". ZENIT - The World Seen from Rome. Archived from the original on 27 September 2012. Retrieved 4 October 2014.
  19. ^ Cardinal José Saraiva Martins, CMF, Response of His Holiness Benedict XVI for the Examination of the Cause for Beatification and Canonization of the Servant of God John Paul II, 2005 Archived 5 January 2009 at the Wayback Machine
  20. ^ Doctrinal Commentary on the Concluding Formula of the Professio Fidei, by Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger (later Pope Benedict XVI), Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith.
  21. ^ "Beatification and Canonization", The Catholic Encyclopedia, Vol. 2. New York, New York: Robert Appleton Company, 1907. P. 366.
  22. ^ Angelo Amato, "La canonizzazione equipollente della mistica Angela da Foligno" in L'Osservatore Romano (12 October 2013).
  23. ^ "Pope Canonizes Jose de Anchieta, Known as Brazil's Apostle". Fox News Latino. Archived from the original on 6 October 2014. Retrieved 4 October 2014.
  24. ^ "P. E. Hallett, "The Canonization of Saints"". Retrieved 4 October 2014.
  25. ^ J. R. MacMahon, "Beatification and Canonisation"
  26. ^ "Почему был канонизирован Николай Второй?" by Protodeacon Andrey Kuraev at Pravmir.ru (17 July 2009)
  27. ^ "Прославление святых – это не дело узкого круга специалистов, это дело всей Церкви" by Julija Birjukova at Pravmir.ru (9 Dec. 2013)
  28. ^ "On the Glorification of Saints" by Protopresbyter Michael Pomazansky
  29. ^ Georgios Babiniotis. Dictionary of Modern Greek, Athens: Lexicology Centre, 1998, p. 53.
  30. ^ "The Glorification of Saints in the Orthodox Church" Archived 8 April 2016 at the Wayback Machine by Fr. Joseph Frawley
  31. ^ Roberta R. Ervine, Worship Traditions in Armenia and the Neighboring Christian East, St Vladimir's Seminary Press, 2006, p. 346 n. 17.
  32. ^ Davlashyan, Naira. "Armenian Church makes saints of 1.5 million genocide victims – Yahoo News". News.yahoo.com. Retrieved 2015-04-23.
  33. ^ "Armenian Genocide victims canonized in Holy Etchmiadzin". Panarmenian.Net. Retrieved 2015-04-23.
  34. ^ "Canonized: Armenian Church proclaims collective martyrdom of Genocide victims – Genocide". ArmeniaNow.com. Retrieved 2015-04-23.
  35. ^ Hodges, Sam (2008). "Dietrich Bonhoeffer first martyr officially recognized by United Methodists". Dallas News. Retrieved 4 May 2018.
  36. ^ Mulenga, Maidstone (1 May 2012). "United Methodists declare MLK Jr. a modern-day martyr". United Methodist Church. Retrieved 4 May 2018.

References

  • Kemp, Eric Waldram (1948), Canonization and Authority in the Western Church, Oxford: Oxford University Press

External links

Catholic Church
Beatification

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.

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.

Canonization of Pope John XXIII and Pope John Paul II

Pope John XXIII (25 November 1881 – 3 June 1963) and Pope John Paul II (18 May 1920 – 2 April 2005) reigned as popes of the Roman Catholic Church and the sovereigns of Vatican City (respectively from 1958 to 1963 and 1978 to 2005). Their canonizations were held on 27 April 2014. The decision to canonize was made official by Pope Francis on 5 July 2013 following the recognition of a miracle attributed to the intercession of John Paul II, while John XXIII was canonized for his merits of opening the Second Vatican Council. The date of the canonization was assigned on 30 September 2013.The Canonization Mass was celebrated by Pope Francis (with Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI concelebrating), on 27 April 2014 (Divine Mercy Sunday), in St. Peter's Square (Pope John Paul had died on the vigil of Divine Mercy Sunday in 2005). About 150 Cardinals and 700 bishops concelebrated the Mass, and at least 500,000 people attended the Mass with an estimated 300,000 others watching from video screens placed around Rome.

Canonization of Pope Pius XII

The canonization process of Pope Pius XII dates to shortly after his death in 1958. He was declared a Servant of God in 1990 and Venerable in 2009. Father Peter Gumpel is currently the relator of Pius XII's cause for canonization.

Canonization of the Romanovs

The canonization of the Romanovs was the elevation to sainthood of the last Imperial Family of Russia – Tsar Nicholas II, his wife Tsarina Alexandra, and their five children Olga, Tatiana, Maria, Anastasia, and Alexei – by the Russian Orthodox Church. The family was killed by the Bolsheviks on 17 July 1918 at the Ipatiev House in Yekaterinburg; the site of their execution is now beneath the altar of the Church on Blood. They are variously designated as new martyrs by the Russian Orthodox Church Abroad and as passion bearers by the church inside Russia.

The family was canonized on 1 November 1981 as new martyrs by the Russian Orthodox Church Abroad. Their servants, who had been killed along with them, were also canonized. The canonized servants were their court physician, Yevgeny Botkin; their footman Alexei Trupp; their cook, Ivan Kharitonov; and Alexandra's maid, Anna Demidova. Also canonized were two servants killed in September 1918, lady in waiting Anastasia Hendrikova and tutor Catherine Adolphovna Schneider. All were canonized as victims of oppression by the Bolsheviks. The Russian Orthodox Church did not canonize the servants, two of whom were not Russian Orthodox: Trupp was Roman Catholic, and Schneider was Lutheran.

Alexandra's sister, Grand Duchess Elizabeth Fyodorovna, who was murdered by the Bolsheviks on 18 July 1918, was canonized on 1 November 1981 as New-Martyr Elizabeth by the Russian Orthodox Church Abroad, along with Prince Ioann Konstantinovich of Russia, Prince Igor Konstantinovich of Russia, Prince Konstantine Konstantinovich of Russia, Grand Duke Sergey Mikhaylovich of Russia, and Prince Vladimir Pavlovich Paley, and Elizabeth's faithful companion, Sister Varvara Yakovleva, who were all killed with her. Fyodor Remez, Grand Duke Sergei's personal secretary, who was killed as well, was not canonized. They are known as the Martyrs of Alapaevsk.

In 1992, Grand Duchess Elizabeth Fyodorovna and Varvara Yakovleva were canonized as New-Martyr Elizabeth and New-Martyr Barbara by the Moscow Patriarchate. The grand dukes and others killed with them were not canonized.

On 20 August 2000, after much debate, the Romanov family was canonized as passion bearers by the Moscow Patriarchate.

On 3 February 2016, the Bishop's Council of the Russian Orthodox Church canonized Botkin as a righteous passion bearer.

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.

Devil's advocate

The Advocatus Diaboli (Latin for Devil's Advocate) is the popular name for a former official position within the Catholic Church, the Promoter of the Faith: one who "argued against the canonization (sainthood) of a candidate in order to uncover any character flaws or misrepresentation of the evidence favoring canonization".In common parlance, the term devil's advocate describes someone who, given a certain point of view, takes a position he or she does not necessarily agree with (or simply an alternative position from the accepted norm), for the sake of debate or to explore the thought further. Despite being ancient, this idiomatic expression is one of the most popular present-day English idioms used to express the concept of arguing against something without actually being committed to the contrary view.

Forty Martyrs of England and Wales

The Forty Martyrs of England and Wales are a group of Catholic men and women executed between 1535 and 1679 for treason and related offences under various laws enacted by Parliament during the English Reformation. The individuals listed range from Carthusian monks who in 1535 declined to accept Henry VIII's Act of Supremacy, to seminary priests who were caught up in the alleged ‘Popish Plot’ against Charles II in 1679. Many were sentenced to death at show trials, or with no trial at all.

Fulton J. Sheen

Fulton John Sheen (born Peter John Sheen, May 8, 1895 – December 9, 1979) was an American bishop (later archbishop) of the Catholic Church known for his preaching and especially his work on television and radio. Ordained a priest of the Diocese of Peoria in 1919, Sheen quickly became a renowned theologian, earning the Cardinal Mercier Prize for International Philosophy in 1923. He went on to teach theology and philosophy at the Catholic University of America as well as acting as a parish priest before being appointed Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of New York in 1951. He held this position until 1966 when he was made the Bishop of Rochester from October 21, 1966, to October 6, 1969, when he resigned and was made the Archbishop of the titular see of Newport, Wales.

For 20 years as Father Sheen, later Monsignor, he hosted the night-time radio program The Catholic Hour on NBC (1930–1950) before moving to television and presenting Life Is Worth Living (1951–1957). Sheen's final presenting role was on the syndicated The Fulton Sheen Program (1961–1968) with a format very similar to that of the earlier Life is Worth Living show. For this work, Sheen twice won an Emmy Award for Most Outstanding Television Personality, and was featured on the cover of Time Magazine. Starting in 2009, his shows were being re-broadcast on the EWTN and the Trinity Broadcasting Network's Church Channel cable networks. Due to his contribution to televised preaching Sheen is often referred to as one of the first televangelists.The cause for his canonization was officially opened in 2002. In June 2012, Pope Benedict XVI officially recognized a decree from the Congregation for the Causes of Saints stating that he lived a life of "heroic virtues" – a major step towards beatification – and he is now referred to as "Venerable."

Glorification

Glorification may have several meanings in Christianity. From the Catholic canonization to the similar sainthood of the Eastern Orthodox Church to salvation in Christianity in Protestant beliefs, the glorification of the human condition can be a long and arduous process.

Investiture of the Gods

The Investiture of the Gods or The Creation of the Gods, also known by its Chinese names Fengshen Yanyi and Fengshen Bang, is a 16th-century Chinese novel and one of the major vernacular Chinese works in the gods-and-demons (shenmo) genre written during the Ming dynasty (1368–1644). Consisting of 100 chapters, it was first published in book form between 1567 and 1619. Another source claims it was published in 1605. The work combines elements of history, folklore, mythology, legends and fantasy.The story is set in the era of the decline of the Shang dynasty (1600–1046 BC) and the rise of the Zhou dynasty (1046–256 BC). It intertwines numerous elements of Chinese mythology, including deities, immortals and spirits. The authorship is attributed to Xu Zhonglin.

Martyrs of Natal

The Martyrs of Natal were a group of 30 Brazilian Roman Catholic individuals – two of them priests – killed in northern Brazil in massacres that a large group of Dutch Calvinists led. One priest was a Brazilian Jesuit missionary, while the other priest was an evangelizer himself. The others were all lay Catholics, most of them anonymous members of the Church, some of them children.The 30 individuals were beatified in Saint Peter's Square on 5 March 2000. Pope Francis – on 23 March 2017 – signed a decree that approved their canonization while waiving the miracle required for sainthood; the date was formalized at a gathering of cardinals on 20 April and the group was canonized as saints on 15 October 2017.

Miles Jesu

Miles Jesu is a Catholic institute of consecrated life founded on January 12, 1964 in Phoenix, Arizona, whose membership comprises lay people and clerics who take religious vows and in addition, since it is structured as an ecclesial family of consecrated life, it also has people in other states of life as members. Miles Jesu is thus a new form of consecrated life in the Church which has been approved by the Holy See in accordance with canon 605 of the Code of Canon Law, which reserves to the Holy See approval of forms of consecrated life other than the traditional forms.

Philomena

Saint Philomena was a young consecrated virgin whose remains were discovered on May 24/25 1802 in the Catacomb of Priscilla. Three tiles enclosing the tomb bore an inscription, Pax Tecum Filumena (i.e. "Peace be unto you, Philomena"), that was taken to indicate that her name (in the Latin of the inscription) was Filumena, the English form of which is Philomena. Philomena is the patron saint of infants, babies, and youth.

The remains were translated (moved) to Mugnano del Cardinale in 1805. There, they became the focus of widespread devotion; several miracles were credited to the saint's intercession, including the healing of Venerable Pauline Jaricot in 1835, which received wide publicity. Saint John Vianney attributed to her intercession the extraordinary cures that others attributed to himself.

In 1833, a Neapolitan nun reported that Philomena had appeared in a vision to her, and the Saint had revealed that she was a Greek princess, martyred at 13 years of age by Diocletian, who was Roman Emperor from 284 to 305.

From 1837 to 1961, celebration of her liturgical feast was approved for some places, but was never included in the General Roman Calendar for universal use. The 1920 typical edition of the Roman Missal included a mention of her, under August 11, in the section headed Missae pro aliquibus locis ("Masses for some places"), with an indication that the Mass to be used in those places was one from the common of a virgin martyr, without any collect proper to the saint.

Pierre Toussaint

Venerable Pierre Toussaint (27 June 1766 – June 30, 1853) was a slave from the French colony of Saint-Domingue who was brought to New York City by his owners in 1787. There he eventually gained his freedom and became a noted philanthropist to the poor of the city. Freed in 1807 after the death of his mistress, Pierre took the surname of "Toussaint" in honor of the hero of the Haitian Revolution which established that nation.

After his marriage in 1811 to Juliette Noel, Toussaint and his wife performed many charitable works. Among those works included opening their home as an orphanage, employment bureau, and a refuge for travelers. He contributed funds and helped raise money to build Saint Patrick's Cathedral on Mulberry Street. He was considered "one of the leading black New Yorkers of his day." His ghostwritten memoir was published in 1854.

Due to his devout and exemplary life, the Roman Catholic Church has been investigating his life for possible canonization and in 1996 he was declared "Venerable" by Pope John Paul II, the second step in the process. Toussaint is the first layperson to be buried in the crypt below the main altar of Saint Patrick's Cathedral on Fifth Avenue, normally reserved for bishops of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of New York.

Pope John XXIII

Pope John XXIII (Latin: Ioannes; Italian: Giovanni; born Angelo Giuseppe Roncalli, Italian pronunciation: [ˈandʒelo dʒuˈzɛppe roŋˈkalli]; 25 November 1881 – 3 June 1963) was head of the Catholic Church and sovereign of the Vatican City State from 28 October 1958 to his death in 1963; he was canonized on 27 April 2014. Angelo Giuseppe Roncalli was the fourth of fourteen children born to a family of sharecroppers who lived in a village in Lombardy. He was ordained to the priesthood on 10 August 1904 and served in a number of posts, as nuncio in France and a delegate to Bulgaria, Greece and Turkey. In a consistory on 12 January 1953 Pope Pius XII made Roncalli a cardinal as the Cardinal-Priest of Santa Prisca in addition to naming him as the Patriarch of Venice.

Roncalli was unexpectedly elected pope on 28 October 1958 at age 76 after 11 ballots. Pope John XXIII surprised those who expected him to be a caretaker pope by calling the historic Second Vatican Council (1962–1965), the first session opening on 11 October 1962. His passionate views on equality were summed up in his statement, "We were all made in God's image, and thus, we are all Godly alike."John XXIII made many passionate speeches during his pontificate. He made a major impact on the Catholic Church, opening it up to dramatic unexpected changes promulgated at the Vatican Council and by his own dealings with other churches and nations. In Italian politics, he prohibited bishops from interfering with local elections, and he helped the Christian Democratic Party to cooperate with the socialists. In international affairs, his "Ostpolitik" engaged in dialogue with the Communist countries of Eastern Europe. He especially reached out to the Eastern Orthodox churches. His overall goal was to modernize the Church by emphasizing its pastoral role, and its necessary involvement with affairs of state. He dropped the traditional rule of 70 cardinals, increasing the size to 85. He used the opportunity to name the first cardinals from Africa, Japan, and the Philippines. He promoted ecumenical movements in cooperation with other Christian faiths. In doctrinal matters, he was a traditionalist, but he ended the practice of automatically formulating social and political policies on the basis of old theological propositions.He did not live to see the Vatican Council to completion. His cause for canonization was opened on 18 November 1965 by his successor, Pope Paul VI, who declared him a Servant of God. On 5 July 2013, Pope Francis – bypassing the traditionally required second miracle – declared John XXIII a saint, based his virtuous, model lifestyle, and because of the good which had come from his having opened the Second Vatican Council. He was canonised alongside Pope John Paul II on 27 April 2014. John XXIII today is affectionately known as the "Good Pope" and in Italian, "il Papa buono".

Saint

A saint is a person who is recognized as having an exceptional degree of holiness or likeness or closeness to God. Depending on the context and denomination, the term also retains its original Christian meaning, as any believer who is "in Christ" and in whom Christ dwells, whether in Heaven or on Earth. In Roman Catholic, Eastern Orthodox, Anglican, Oriental Orthodox, and Lutheran doctrine, all of their faithful deceased in Heaven are considered to be saints, but some are considered worthy of greater honor or emulation; official ecclesiastical recognition, and consequently veneration, is given to some saints through the process of canonization in the Catholic Church or glorification in the Eastern Orthodox Church.While the English word saint originated in Christianity, historians of religion now use the appellation "in a more general way to refer to the state of special holiness that many religions attribute to certain people", with the Jewish tzadik, the Islamic walī, the Hindu rishi or Sikh guru, and the Buddhist arhat or bodhisattva also being referred to as saints. Depending on the religion, saints are recognized either by official ecclesiastical declaration, as in the Catholic faith, or by popular acclamation (see Folk saint).

Servant of God

"Servant of God" is a term used for individuals by various religions for people believed to be pious in the faith's tradition. In the Catholic Church, it designates an individual who is being investigated by the Church for possible canonization as a saint. In the Eastern Orthodox Church, this term is used to refer to any Eastern Orthodox Christian. The Arabic name Abdullah (from عبد الله, ʿAbd Allāh, "slave of God"), the Hebrew name Obadiah (עובדיה), the German name Gottschalk, and the Sanskrit name Devadasa are all variations of "servant of God".

The Venerable

The Venerable is used as a style or epithet in several Christian churches. It is also the common English-language translation of a number of Buddhist titles, and is used as a word of praise in some cases.

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