How to become a Saint

John Paul II

Step 1: Wait 5 Years

Normally the process of becoming a saint doesn’t start until at least five years after their death. This length of time is for emotions to calm down after one’s death. This is also to make sure the case can be evaluated fairly, so emotions don’t influence the decision.

Some people have to wait even lnger before they reach Catholic sainthood. Saint Bede, the theologist, died in 735, but only declared a saint in 1899, 1,164 years after his death.

The waiting period, however, can be waived by the Pope. Pope Benedict XVI set aside the waiting period for his predecessor, John Paul II, in 2005. This waas thought to reflect the
overwhelming support John Paul II enjoyed, & the convicition than he truly was a holy man. John Paul II also dispensed the five-year period for Mother Teres, beginning the process in 1999, less than two years after her death.

Step 2: Become a ‘Servant of God’

Once the five years are up or a waiver was granted, the bishop of the diocese where the person died can open an investigation into the person’s life, to see if they’ve lived their life reverently enough to be considered for sainthood.

Religious groups in the diocese can aslo ask the bishop to open a case/investigation. The evidence is then gathered on the person’s life & deeds, including witnesses & testimonies. If there’s enough evidence, the bishop asks the Congregation for the Causes of Saints, then the Congregation recommends this to the Pope, for permission to open the case.

Once the case gets taken into consideration, the person can be called “Servant of God.”

Step 3: Show proof of ‘Heroic Virtue’

If the Congregation approves of the case, it gets passed onto the Pope.

If the Pope decides the person has lived a life of “heroic virtue”, they can be called “venerable”.

Other popes who can be given the title of “venerable” include Paul VI & Pius XII.

Other “venerable” nuns include Catherine McAuley, who founded the Sisters of Mercy congregation, & Margaret Sinclair, a Scottish nun.

Step 4: Verified Miracles

In order to reach the next stage, beatification, a miracle needs to be attributed to prayers made to the person after their death.

The praters are proof that the eprson is already in heaven, meaning they are able to interact with God on the person’s behalf.

Sometimes incidents happen, & these incidents need to be verified before they are accepted as miracles.

In John Paul II’s case, Vatican experts verified the medical evidence for a miraculous cute from Parkinson Disease of a 49-year-old French nun, Sister Marie Simone-Pierre Normand.

She & her fellow nuns prayer for the intercession of Pope John Paul II after his death. Her cure had no medical explanation, the Vatican states.

Step 5: Canonisation

Canonisation is the final step as declaring one as a saint. Normally, in order to become a saint, two miracles are required, however, martyrs only need one.

John Paul II’s second miracle is the recovery of a Costa-Rican womans, Floribeth Mora, from brain illness, tributed to Paul II’s intercession.

During canonisation, the Pope reads out a prayer in Latin that announces the person a saint. Hundreds of thousands of pilgrims are expectted to attend Sunday’s canonisation. The Vatican says more than 2,500 volunteers will be handing out water bottles & service booklets. The mass will be broadcasted on 17 screens in the city. The Vatican has also released two phone apps about John Paul II & John XXII.

~ a report by Shana (6th)