Saints - Why?
The Church canonizes holy people not for their sakes, but to present them to the faithful as models of the Christian life and as powerful intercessors. In their triumph over the challenges of life through faith, we are inspired to trust God more fully and to serve others more generously.
Saints - How?
The Church studies the life and works of those who are being proposed for canonization for evidence of the gifts and fruits of the Holy Spirit, for humility and prudence and prayerfulness, and for the theological virtues of Faith, Hope and Charity.
The Church also wants evidence that after their deaths the memory of these individuals continues to inspire the faithful to pursue holiness and to seek their intercession, so reports of favors requested and received must be kept. Extraordinary healings must have medical records, doctor’s assessments, and proof that the healing is attributable to the person being proposed for Canonization.
Stages of Sainthood
- Promoter group asks the bishop to open an investigation. If granted, Servant of God describes someone at this stage of the process. Then a diocesan inquiry begins:
a. Testimony is gathered to examine heroic virtue
b. Candidate’s historical and theological writings gathered and reviewed
c. If approved, all collected documentation is sent to Rome. The Postulator writes a formal summary of the heroic virtues and life of holiness of the candidate (positio), which is sent to the Congregation for the Causes of Saints at the Vatican for review.
- The candidate is declared Venerable after a favorable judgment of the documentation by the Congregation for the Causes of Saints and Papal approval.
- The candidate is declared Blessed by the Holy Father once a miracle is investigated and attributed to the intercession of the Venerable.
- The Holy Father declares the candidate to be a Saint after a second miracle is attributed to the intercession of the Blessed.
To report a favor received through the intercession of Servant of God Father Patrick Peyton, CSC, or if you have any questions about the Cause for Sainthood, please email the Office of the Vice Postulator at firstname.lastname@example.org