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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.

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia™ Copyright © 2022, Columbia University Press. Licensed from Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.
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 It might be outdated or ideologically biased.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 ?
Philippine Duchesne is a great example of how canonization can often say more about the people promoting a saint than about the life of the actual candidate.
Under the new system, a local bishop in the Philippines can gather tons of Ninoy-worshipping 'histories' to support the canonization of Ninoy.
Meulenbeld supports his arguments by particularly unravelling a specific "ritual process of consecration," Thunder Ritual, that takes place at the end of Canonization. Through this ritual, the demons and heroes who have died violently in various battles throughout the novel are sublimated to appease them.
Willmann as the Manila archdiocesan process for the Cause of Beatification and Canonization of the latter formally opens at the Manila Cathedral on Monday, Dec.
"I am not opposed to the canonization if it can truly and decisively be proven that the Pope didn't know,'' he said.
According to the Guardian, the earlier date was expected to be of July, but Pope Francis approved a second miracle attributed to John Paul, clearing the path for the fastest canonization in the modern times.
Because of our special devotion to this humble saint, I had a deep desire to go to Rome for her canonization. Unfortunately, I didn't have the funds to go.
The Palestinian News Agency (WAFA) report that anti-Arab slogans such as "death to Arabs" were inscribed on the vehicles in retaliation against Palestinians as a result of non-endorsement of a "canonization of colonization" and evacuation of "Holabnah" Colony in Bait Ail settlement.
Historians of science have often looked to the authentication of miracles at canonization trials as a way to investigate the ways in which religious and scientific understandings of the natural and the miraculous came together and, sometimes, into conflict.
Hundreds of worshippers packed the golden-domed Alexander Nevski cathedral in Sofia for the canonization of the victims of the bloody crushing of an 1876 uprising against Bulgaria s Ottoman rule.
Francis Xavier, died in 1927 and his canonization process began 20 years later.