saint cannonization


How do Catholics decide who to cannonize and who not to? I saw a thread that was talking about maybe cannonizing the late John Paul II. What makes someone worthy of considering cannonization? Does that mean you believe that person is also a saint in Heaven? Why do you wait until they’re dead to cannonize them? :confused:
Sorry for all the questions. It’s just something I’ve always wondered about. :o


This might help:


When a person is Canonized as a Saint, that means that that person is in Heaven. This discovered by attributing miracles to the person with the idea that if you ask so and so to pray for you to help with an issue that doesn’t have a human solution and the problem is solved then they asked God to help you.

A person can only be canonized after they are dead because the last time I checked there is no way to be alive on this Earth and be in Heaven.

Here is an article on Canonization.


This is something from that website you gave me:

*The Catholic Church canonizes or beatifies only those whose lives have been marked by the exercise of heroic virtue, and only after this has been proved by common repute for sanctity and by conclusive arguments. The chief difference, however, lies in the meaning of the term canonization, the Church seeing in the saints nothing more than friends and servants of God whose holy lives have made them worthy of His special love. *

It still doesn’t tell me why some are cannonized and others aren’t. Is it just whoever does something worthy enough to snatch media attention, like Mother Teresa, or being someone recently in power, like a pope?
Why do you wait til they’re dead to cannonize them?


mommyof2green gave me that article. It defines canonization can only be for someone who exercised heroic virtue and then it has to be verified by lots of people as the truth. That’s a basic definition, I know, but quite frankly that website has a lot of wording and is hard to follow (not interesting, to say the least). A person could be alive and be canonized, according to the definition from that website.


There are many, many good souls in heaven who will never be canonized. Canonization merely means that the person is listed as a friend of God whose intercession may be relied upon. Naturally, the Church canonizes those who lives have the odor of holiness and who demonstrated herioc virtue, especially that of love, but that doesn’t mean others who lived exemplary lives aren’t worthy of being good examples for us. The Church celebrates “All Saints Day” especially to honor these unnamed, unknown saints.

The Church waits until a person dies for the simple reason that once a person is dead he can no longer commit any grievous sins. If the Church listed someone as a saint worthy of imitation in their virtues and then they were to cause scandal by some awful sin, it would be, to say the least, a bad thing. Yes?


This might help also:
It is from the book Catholicism for Dummies <–clickable link

[quote=Catholicism for Dummies page 279]From the Catholic viewpoint, you don’t have to be canonized a saint to be a saint. Billions and billions of people are saints in heaven, but they aren’t publicly recognized as saints. Canonized saints are merely those who are known, proven, recognized, and publicly honored for their holiness.

This is just a small quote from the book Catholicism for Dummies. Chapter 15 is just on this topic alone.

Maybe you have a library around and you can borrow a copy of the book. It’s written in very easy to read and a follow.

The cover on the book states: “A gold mine of insight on the Catholic faith for people of all ages AND BELIEFS”

In my opinion it’s the truth!

God Bless.


Catholicism for Dummies . . . yep, sounds like the book I need. :smiley: Judging from that excerpt you posted, it looks easy to read. :thumbsup:
Thanks for trying to explain it. I always wondered about the tradition of canonizing saints. Why do they wait so long to canonize saints after they die? Does it take that long to make a decision about that?


Yes, it makes sense looking at it that way. :slight_smile: Thanks Della! :thumbsup:


Mainly because these are exemplary people who have come to the attention of the body of Christ for their holy lives.

There are many causes for different people to be canonized (which actually just means recognized and affirmed) as saints. Bishop Fulton J. Sheen is one, Mother Therese, and Pope John Paul the Great are just a few, but it is wrong to say that they grab media attention because the fact is that most have never had much media. Remember that the Media is a modern phenomena.

I suggest that you perhaps avail yourself of the lives of some of the saints like Francis of Assisi, Therese Martin , (better known as The little Flower), Maximilian Kolbe, Augustine of Hippo, Ignatius of Antioch, Polycarp, or even Catherine of Sienna. You’ll have a much better concept of why these people have been especially recognized by the church as saints.

Why wait til they’re dead? Well most people aren’t going to wander around alive proclaiming themselves to be saints… It also takes a while for word to spread of this person’s life.
Pax Domini sit semper vobiscum.


One more quote from the Catholicism for Dummies:

[quote=Catholicism for Dummies page 278-279]First of all we want to make a clarification: The Catholic Church doesn’t make saints like Hollywood makes movie stars. So, too, people can make chocolate chip cookies or Italian cannoli, but they can’t make saints. However the Church does recgnize them.

Catholics say that saints are men and women who lived holy lives in obedience to God’s will, and they became saints at the moment they entered heaven. Getting to heaven involves faith, hope, and love–the three theological virtues given at Baptism. A person must have faith and hope in God and must love God in order to go to heaven.

A thorugh investigation take place, and after strict criteria are met, the case ends up on the pope’s desk. He alone decides who’s in and who’s out. By, that we don’t mean that the pope decides who is a saint. That’s a judgment that only God can make. We mean that the pope, as the supreme head of the
Chruch, as the authority to decide who is publicly recognized as a saint in churches all over the world…

OP, I hope this helps.


I know you don’t like to read long post - just like me :smiley:
I googled and found this:

It is easier to read. :slight_smile:
God bless.


Just to follow up on what others have said, the term “canonization” itself refers to the legal recognition within the Church that the person who has been canonized may be offered public veneration within the official liturgical texts of the Church.


It does. Thanks for the link and the source. It’s easy to read for folks with A.D.D. like myself. :stuck_out_tongue:


You’re right. :slight_smile: I like the numbered processes and usually you can get the main point in the first couple of sentences. :thumbsup:
You always seem to help me out when I need it. Thanks, water! :smiley:


:slight_smile: There is a lot more in the book, Catholicism for Dummies, but I don’t feel I could quote much more.

Like I said in a earlier post you might be able to borrow the book from a a local library. I know the whole chapter (chapter 15) would answer a lot of your question re: Cannonization.

And there might be answers to other things you have been wondering about the Catholic Church and/or Catholic Faith.

God Bless!


I will seriously look into it. I have relatives who are Catholic so I think it might help give me some insight into them and their beliefs. I don’t understand holy days of obligation either but that’s a whole other topic. :stuck_out_tongue:


That’s in the book too! (page 154) :stuck_out_tongue:

I have the book it has a index in the back :slight_smile:

So you can either read the book cover to cover, or read the topics that you are interested in. :wink:


If nothing else, I’ll try and track down the book and spend my nights reading it. I love reading to wind down after my 3 and 1 year olds go to bed. :smiley:
I’ll end up reading it cover to cover probably, unless I find some stuff that I already know. :slight_smile:
Are you a convert to Catholicism?


I’m short of a revert (I don’t know if you know what that means) if not ask.

However, my hubby is a convert and my sister-in-law is in the RCIA process. So I got the book that way I could help explain things to my sister-in-law :slight_smile:

My hubby converted Easter 2001 and the book has a copyright is 2003 (so it wasn’t around then)

My hubby got all his questions answered by the priest that married us in 2000 and from my Dad who at the time was in the deaconate program (My Dad was on his way to being a Deacon; however sadly that never happen for him. He had a heart attack/stroke in summer of 2001 that left him in a comma until he died summer of 2004)

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