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(kăn'ənĭzā`shən), in the Roman Catholic Church, process by which a person is classified as a saintsaint
[O.Fr., from Latin sanctus=holy], in Christianity, a person who is recognized as worthy of veneration. Nature of Sainthood

In the Hebrew Scriptures God is "the Holy One" or "one who is holy" (Isa. 1.4; 5.19; 41.14). "His people share His holiness" (Ex.
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. 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.



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.

References in periodicals archive ?
Thomas Reese, a Vatican analyst, said the decision to canonize both popes was a "brilliant move to unify the church," given that each pope has his own admirers and critics.
If we were going to be consistent with the Second Vatican Council, we would canonize models for today's Catholics," most of whom are married, will never found a religious order, never see an apparition of the Blessed Virgin Mary and would not aspire to have the stigmata, McBrien told reporters.
Jewish leaders say they do not begrudge Benedicta's achievements as a Catholic educator and philosopher, nor the Vatican's decision to canonize her.
They appeared to be seeking some final contact with a person whom the Roman Catholic Church is almost certain to canonize in years to come.
I find it an abomination that television and print media canonize evil and diminish greatness.
Vatican City--Following the recognition of the second miracles attributed to their individual intercession, Pope John Paul II will this year canonize Blessed Juan Diego of Mexico, Padre Pio da Pietrelcina of Italy, and Josemaria Escriva of Spain.
Earl Woods, Tiger's father, wandered the ropes with the rest of the people who canonize his son.
With the Lipstick Traces CD, Marcus canonizes the little-known early days of British and Continental independent sound at a time when young musicians all over the world seem to be contributing to its revival.
If this current pope or a future pontiff canonizes Pius IX, Pius XII, and John XXIII, he will double the ranks of popes sainted since 1100 A.