canonization

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canonization

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 It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Canonization

 

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 ?
He will be the second American-born male to be beatified, after Fr.
John Paul II, the first non-Italian Pope since Hadrian VI (1522-1523), beatified more individuals than all of his predecessors combined over the previous four centuries (when we look at blessed persons who are non-martyrs).
Romero, whose defense of the poor made him an icon for many Roman Catholics in Latin America, was beatified as a martyr for the faith.
VATICAN CITY: Pope Francis praised Sunday a Syriac Catholic bishop who has been beatified in Lebanon, a century after he his beheading by Ottoman forces during a wave of religiously motivated killings in Syria.
A: Once a person is beatified, there needs to be an official certification of a second miracle.
"They were taken as sheep to the slaughter amid a chaos of hatred and confusion." These emotional words were spoken recently by the nephew of one of the 22 newly beatified martyrs in Madrid, Spain.
--Alan Garcia, the outgoing president of Peru, claiming that the fact that Osama bin Laden was found and killed on the same day that Pope John Paul II was beatified was no coincidence.
Pope John Paul II was beatified by Pope Benedict XVI on Sunday
POPE Benedict XVI beatified Pope John Paul II before a million people who jammed into St Peter's Square and surrounding streets, moving the beloved former pontiff one step closer to possible sainthood.
AS POPE JOHN PAUL II IS BEATIFIED MAY 1 BEFORE hundreds of thousands in St.
The pontiff, who died in 2005, will be beatified on 1 May and the page on the social-networking site will link to video highlights of his 27-year papacy, The Independent reports.
THE Pope has approved a miracle attributed to the late Pope John Paul II and set May 1 as the date for him to be beatified.