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Related to Beatification and Canonization: Canonization of Saints


canonization (kănˌənĭzāˈshən), in the Roman Catholic Church, process by which a person is classified as a saint. It is now performed at Rome alone, although in the Middle Ages and earlier bishops elsewhere used to canonize. Beatification, by which a person is called blessed and his or her cult is approved, requires proof of a miracle through the candidate's intercession (unless the candidate for sainthood was martyred) and proof that the candidate's life was exemplary, and must precede canonization. A candidate for sainthood may be declared venerable before beatification if the person led an exemplary life. Canonization requires proof of at least one additional miracle (occurring after beatification) attributable to the saint.

Until 1983 the process of canonization was like a trial at which the saint was said to be defended by the church; a prosecutor was appointed to attack all evidence alleged in favor of canonization. The prosecutor was popularly called advocatus diaboli [devil's advocate], his opponent the advocatus Dei [God's advocate]. The process has now been streamlined, and the position of devil's advocate eliminated.

The first solemn canonization seems to have been that of St. Ulrich late in the 10th cent. The method of formal canonization was set by the enactments of Urban VIII that came into force in 1634. In the Orthodox Eastern Church, a synod of bishops within a self-governing church has the authority to canonize.

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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.



in the Catholic and Orthodox churches the inclusion of some person in the list of saints. In Catholicism it is an act that has been strictly defined with respect to law and public worship. The church-wide method of canonization was introduced by Pope Alexander III during the second half of the 12th century and was fixed in 1200 by Innocent III; the right to canonize became the exclusive prerogative of the Roman popes. In implementing canonization the church always pursues political aims.

Orthodoxy does not have as strict a system of canonization as Catholicism. In Russia church-wide canonization was introduced in the 16th century and was placed under the tsar’s control; from the time of Peter I it was implemented by imperial decree upon the recommendation of the synod.

The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
In November, the Congregation for the Causes of Saints in the Vatican gave the green light for the second phase of Camomot's beatification and canonization.
15, 2010, Ricardo Cardinal Vidal, then the archbishop of Cebu, announced that the Holy See had approved the opening of the cause for Camomot's beatification and canonization. A diocesan inquiry was then made.
7 for the beatification and canonization of Father George Willman, the prelate behind the strengthening of the Knights of Columbus in the Philippines.
7 for the beatification and canonization of Father George Willman, the prelate behind the strengthening of the Philippines' Knights of Columbus which was established in 1905.
Tagle reminded the prelates their "great responsibility" in the cause of Willman's beatification and canonization as well as the "importance and seriousness" of their tasks.
Earlier, according to another Italian magazine, Vatican Insider, medical experts said there was no scientific explanation for the US case and theological experts of the Sacred Congregation for the Causes of Saints, the Vatican agency in charge of beatification and canonization, approved it as a miracle.
Some recent cases, however, such a those of Padre Pio and Mother Teresa, have followed an accelerated course, in part due to rule changes made by John Paul II in 1983 that dropped the required number of miracles for beatification and canonization. (In Mother Teresa's case, the pope also waived a five-year waiting period after death before the cause can begin.
Non-martyrs require miracles for beatification and canonization.