I am a Protestant evangelical who would like to run something by you that I heard on a local Catholic radio station where I live (Oklahoma) that puzzles me. I was hoping you could shed some light on it and help me better understand the context and meaning.
On the Catholic radio station, at least a couple times a day a recording comes on where a local priest asks for prayer for the canonization of a former Oklahoma priest – Stanley Rother – who was murdered in 1981 in Guatemala. In short, the priest asks God to allow him to be proclaimed as a martyr and saint by the Universal Church.
Why would this issue be considered so important for people to publicly ask for such an action to take place?
I presume the priest was a true man of God who loved the Guatemalan people so much that he risked his life to serve them and was killed while doing so. I also presume he is with God in heaven now and has received his heavenly reward.
I guess I am trying to understand why it is so important to proclaim him a saint. Do Catholics believe that he will receive a higher reward in heaven than he already has if the Catholic Church proclaims him to be a saint? Just trying to understand the context of this request a little better from the Catholic perspective. Forgive my ignorance on this matter.