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Why John Paul II Proclaimed so Many Saints

4/5/2006 - 6:00 AM PST

(Page 2 of 2)

candidate to the cause of beatification, canonization, heroic virtues, martyrdom if it is a martyr, a miracle if there is an alleged miracle.

Once the bishop has collected all the documents relative to the person who has a reputation for holiness, he sends all the documentation to Rome, to the Holy See, to this dicastery.

Then the second phase begins, the Roman. When the documentation arrives here, the task of this dicastery and of the different collegial bodies within it is to examine and study it thoroughly.

For example, there is the historical consultation if it is about a historical cause, that is, old, of which there are no living witnesses.

There is the theological commission which must study, in the light of the documentation received by the diocese, if the real holiness of the person does or does not emerge.

If it is a question of a miracle, the medical consultation must study if the cure, the alleged miracle, is or is not really inexplicable in the light of medical science. For this objective, we have 70 medical specialists at our disposition. According to the nature of the cure presented by the dicastery as an alleged miracle, we can examine the case with the specialists of that branch of medicine.

If the doctors say that that cure has no scientific explanation, the question goes to the theologians who must study the problem of the relationship between the cure and the invocation and intercession of the candidate to sainthood. For example, if the sick person has prayed to Mother Teresa of Calcutta for his cure, that is, to intercede before God so that he will be healed, as the miracle is wrought by God.

One must analyze if there is a causal nexus between this inexplicable cure and the prayer that the sick person has made to God through the intercession of Mother Teresa of Calcutta.

Then the miracle can and must be attributed to the intercession of Mother Teresa. Therefore, the theologians must say if it is or is not a miracle.

Of course, once all these phases are completed, the process goes to the cardinals of the congregation. We have the so-called ordinary, made up of 30 cardinals, archbishops and bishops. They are the ones who have the last word.

The cardinals must or must not ratify, must or must not approve, the conclusions of the historians, doctors and theologians.

If the cardinals' ordinary approves the conclusions of the theologians, doctors and historians, the prefect of the dicastery takes it all to the Holy Father.

He speaks with him, discusses the different phases of the process; and he approves or does not approve, does or does not decide to beatify this person.

Therefore, it is quite a long process with a diocesan and Roman phase. They begin to be called Servants of God once the cause has been introduced at the diocesan level.

They become Venerable Servants of God once the Church has recognized their heroic virtues.


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Pope, John Paul, Saints, Martins, Sainthood

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