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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.

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia™ Copyright © 2013, 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 It might be outdated or ideologically biased.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 ?
Why did it take until 1930 for any American saints to be canonized?
In Woodward's estimation, Pope John Paul II is 'the most political of modern popes,' having canonized a total of 482 Saints of the Church and beatified 1,338 in the 26 years of his papacy.
The irony is that since Gregory VII's pontificate, there have been only four: Gregory VII himself (canonized in 1606), Celestine V (canonized in 1313), Pius V (canonized in 1712), and Pius X (canonized in 1954).
This mileu has escaped historians' attention, since it emerged independently of, at times in opposition to, the state and the official practitioners of science who, Daum argues, have become canonized as the basis for "too narrow a definition of the mediators," thus obscuring significant "peculiarities in the history of popularization after 1848" (p.
For Davies the Qumran scrolls still manifest a diversity of canons within a "collection of texts in different stages of being canonized" (p.
She was later celebrated as a hero and canonized as Saint Joan of Arc.
Psychologists such as Erik Erickson, Gilligan complains, acknowledged that psychological development was different for the young woman (who must "attract the whose status she will be defined" and for whom, therefore, self is defined through relationships) yet canonized the "male" process of individuation as the norm, disregarding values rooted in female experience.
Dominic was the youngest non-martyr to be canonized by the Roman Catholic Church.
If Obviar would make it through the final step, he would be the third saint from the Philippines after Lorenzo Ruiz, who was canonized in 1987and Pedro Calungsod, who was canonized in 2012.
He was declared blessed in 1963 by Blessed Paul VI, who will be canonized together with the teen.
Francis had announced in July he would canonize two of the 20th century's most influential popes together, approving a miracle attributed to John Paul's intercession and bending Vatican rules by deciding that John XXIII didn't need a second one to be canonized.
I have just recently visited the Cathedral in Xalapa, Veracruz, Mexico, which was the home church of the first canonized bishop to be born on North American soil: Bishop Rafael Guizar y Valencia (canonized in 2006).