Requirements for Sainthood?


I was watching a documentary and it said that two requirements of how the person lived his/her life is consecrated virginity and poverty.

Does that mean anyone married cannot be canonized as a saint? And also anyone that is middle class economically?


Either the documentary got it wrong or you misunderstood something they said. Neither consecrated virginity nor a vow of poverty is required to be canonized a saint.


It’s at 13:24


I think she’s just saying these are possible qualities that would be used for sainthood, not that they are requirements. She mentions poverty and obedience. If someone had to take those vows, sainthood would be limited to consecrated religious. Considering that our two latest saints – John XXIII and John Paul II – were not consecrated religious, they would not have qualified.

The USCCB has a document explaining the process of canonizing a saint at The way they describe the initial process regarding a virtuous life is this:

Witnesses are called before the tribunal to recount concrete facts on the exercise of Christian virtues considered heroic, that is, the theological virtues of faith, hope, and charity, and the cardinal virtues of prudence, justice, temperance, and fortitude, and others specific to his or her state in life. In addition, all documents written by and about the candidate must be gathered and examined.

State in life is a key idea. The virtues of a wife and mother like Gianna Molla are different from those of a religious, a priest, a single person, a widow, etc.


What of the married parents of the Little Flower? They were both married and middle class.


Actually, the virtues required are the same for every canonized saint! Perhaps the way the virtues are lived may differ, but all of us are called to live all the virtues (both theological and cardinal).


They are now Blessed Louis and Zélie Martin.

On October 19, 2008, World Mission Sunday, Louis Martin and Marie Zélie Guérin, the parents of St. Thérèse of the Child Jesus, were declared blessed in Lisieux, France, by Cardinal Jos*é Saraiva Martins, retired prefect of the Congregation for the Cause of Saints. It was only the second time in history that a married couple has been beatified. (The first couple being Luigi and Maria Quattrocchi of Italy, in 2001.) *

Pontifical Mass of Beatification, October 19, 2008: (The Rite of Beatification and Homily by Cardinal José Saraiva Martins begins at about 1:00) (In French)

Cardinal Martins’s homily in English: **


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