How do people become Catholic saints?

1. Ordinary people recall how someone extraordinary once lived among them.

2. People pray to this extraordinary person asking them to intercede (talk to God) for them. Maybe they are sick and want to be healed.  Maybe they are poor and want a way to earn money. Maybe they are sad and want to be happy.

3. People’s prayers are answered and, after awhile, a church official such as a bishop decides to look into the matter.  Are miracles really occuring?  Is someone who has died really helping bring goodness into the world?

4. If the official has enough evidence, he sends it all to the Vatican in Rome for the process of beatification.

5. More questions are asked:
a. Did the extraordinary person face exceptional challenges and difficulties in life?
b. Did the extraordinary person show the goodness and love of God in life?

6. If the pope is convinced, then the person is called ‘blessed’ and one more question might be asked: Is there one more authentic miracle that can be attributed to the person?

7. If so, and if the person’s reputation for holiness continues to grow around the world, the pope may declare the person a ‘saint’.

[This page may be copied for use with students if the following credit is provided: ©2013 Sophie Rosen.]

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