Today (November 1st), our church celebrates All Saints. Saints were once regular men and women like ourselves but their Love for God was so pure and deep that they never allowed anything or anyone to steal their joy from God and their commitment to him. After living righteous lives here on earth, God saw them fit to be admitted in heaven and made saints. Earlier this year, our Catholic Church welcomed two new saints who were also previous popes, Pope John XXII and Pope John Paul II, now called St. John XXII and St. John Paul II through a process called Canonization. The official process of becoming a saint goes as follows:
- This process of determining a man or woman as a saint cannot begin until 5 years after their death.
- After the 5 year period has expired, the Holy See opens up the Cause to be Beatified and Canonized.
- Once the Cause has begun, they are now called 'Servant of God'.
- The Diocesan Tribunal gathers testimonies and writings of the 'Servant of God' and examines it. This process can take many years to complete.
- After the documents are examined, they are now voted on by the College of Bishops who decides if the Cause lives or dies. If the Cause lives, it is then taken to the Holy Father for final judgement.
- Once the Cause is approved by the Pope, they are now called 'Venerable Servant of God'.
- After approval from the Pope, the approval of a miracle must take place. This miracle simply means the intercessory power of the Venerable Saint of God. In order for the miracle to be accepted, it must have no natural evidence and they must be well-documented. After the scientific commission agrees that the miracle took place without any natural evidence, the theological commission must now rule it as a Miracle. The theological commission must also determine whether the miracle took place through the intercession of the Venerable Servant of God.
- After this, the cardinals are now informed via a General Meeting which is then forwarded to the Supreme Pontiff.
- When the Holy Father approves this miracle, the Venerable Servant of God is now in line to be beatified.
- Following the Beatification process, they are now called 'Blessed'.
- In order for the Beatified to be made Canonized, a second miracle of the same nature must take place and be documented. Once the miracle is acknowledged and accepted, the Beatified is now in line for Canonization where they are made a Saint.
We must all strive for Sainthood because is pushes us to be better Catholics through a life of prayer, self sacrifice and discipline. On this most Holy Day for our church, let us thank all of our Saints for their inspirational lives and their intercessions. May we join with them once day in rejoicing in heaven with our Lord, Jesus. God be Praised.
-- B. Durham, 2014