Saints We Love Path to Sainthood

The Journey to Sainthood: Unveiling the Sacred Path of Canonization

Among the Catholics, there is a culture of giving praise to holy people that have been able to do extraordinary things in believing God.

These are the saints, and becoming one is not easy at all. The process involves investigations for many years, identification of miracles, and approvals from several church organs before one can be referred to as a saint.

Therefore, what is the path followed by a saint-to-be? We shall examine the arduous course which turns an ordinary person into a most holy saint.


Understanding the definition of a Saint in Catholicism: Saints are men and women who are highly holy and virtuous in the Catholic Church. Although some people regard saints as mythological beings or those who lived in the past, they were normal human beings like all of us.

Becoming a saint is a process that takes many years, even centuries, of investigation and contemplation through prayers by the church. By this means, the process ensures that only the most-worthy people become saints.

However, what characterizes a saint? The word itself provides a clue: saint is derived from Latin “sanctus,” meaning holy or set apart. Through their dedication to following Christ and living a life of selflessness, saints have become holy at a different level from all of us.


The Process of Canonization: From Servant of God to Blessed to Saint

The Catholic Church has a rigorous and sacred process for declaring individuals as saints.

This journey, known as canonization, is only for people who have lived very holy lives and are honored by believers. But what exactly does this process entail?


  1. Servant of God

The first step towards sainthood is being declared a Servant of God after one’s death.

Did the candidate truly follow the theological virtues of faith, hope and charity which can be seen from an evaluation of his life and works?


  1. Venerable

Should the aspirant manifest heroic virtue by means of selfless acts towards the neighbor’s well-being, he or she will be called “venerable” by the Congregation for the Causes of Saints.


  1. Blessed

For one to become blessed, it should be evident that there was at least a single wonder done through praying for help from, or calling on the name of, the venerable party after he or she had ceased to live.


  1. Sainthood

The last stage is the occurrence of a third miracle obtained through the prayer of the faithful addressed to the intercession of the blessed party or by the blessed party itself.

After this occurs, they can finally be canonized and celebrated as an official saint in the eyes of the Church.


This thorough and meticulous process ensures that only those who deeply embody Christian values and have shown extraordinary piety are raised up as examples to inspire us all on our own spiritual journeys towards holiness.


Papal Authority and Infallibility in the Canonization Process

A lot of investigations, historical research, theological reviews, and rigorous scrutiny are carried out during the process of trying to see who becomes a saint in the Catholic Church. Nevertheless, there is something unique about the function of the papal authority and infallibility in this process.

The papal authority is important in every stage of the canonization process whereby the “Servants of God” are approved as saints. Simply put, it is the duty of the Pope to give his seal of approval in order to declare somebody a saint or holy person.

This authority is derived from the statement of Jesus in Matthew 16:18-19 recorded in the Bible which reads: “And I tell you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church…I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven; whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven…”

Also, through Canon Law (no. 1403), when the Pope is seen exercising his infallible power and some bishops performing their duties under similar circumstances, at the formal declaration ceremony held in St. Peter’s Square for the recognition of new saints.

It demonstrates truly divine intervention on sages’ part that certain exceptional deceased persons were able to overcome resistance from church authorities who relied upon papal leadership for making their decisions.


Controversies and Criticisms Surrounding Sainthood

There are many issues and disapprovals that come with the process of being made a saint in the Catholic Church. For centuries this tradition has had many people asking questions about its sense.

One of the criticisms is that politics and power can easily affect the declaration of someone as a saint. Throughout history, powerful individuals have been named saints even if they had moral flaws or did things that were questionable. Such events cast doubt on the genuineness as well as honesty of the process followed in conferring sainthood upon individuals.

The other debate concerning this matter regards the alleged miracles that occur during the process of beatification. Some people claim that these miracles are mere tricks of fate or natural events given spiritual meanings, while others have faith in the intervention of God. As a result, it has been a topic of discussion posing questions on what should be taken for real miracle and can it really serve as evidence of being a saint.

Nonetheless, despite all these controversies and criticisms, the worship of saints remains an integral part of the Catholic faith. There are over millions of followers who draw consolation from these saints and follow their teachings!


Challenges and Perseverance on the Path to Sainthood

Becoming a saint is a tough journey that is characterized by numerous challenges and obstacles that put to the test one’s faith, determination as well as resilience.

Within the Catholic Church, saints refer to people who have gone an extra mile in giving themselves to God and humanity, and who have demonstrated outstanding moral character.

However, these individuals earn their titles through a difficult process that is characterized by many other challenges and temptations that they had to overcome and surpass so as to become deserving of this honor.


  1. Withstanding contradiction and hostility remains among the toughest obstacles towards becoming a saint.


  1. A good number of Catholics declared saints had gone against what was acceptable then or encountered resistance from those in authority.


For instance, Saint Joan of Arc remained loyal to her beliefs about her mission and she was condemned as a heretic for that; however, she became justified in the end.


  1. The third challenge revolves around how one can stay assured in the presence of questioning and spiritual insensitivity.


A lot of saints experienced the “dark night of the soul” during which they had a feeling that they are completely empty inside from a spiritual point of view and sometimes even questioning their faith.


The famous St. Mother Theresa went through this problem for many years, but she continued serving the poorest of the poor without ceasing in her mission.


In spite of these challenges, these saints continue in their way depending on God’s grace and commandments of holiness. They encourage us to remain on the right path even if we encounter opposition and doubts.


The call to sainthood is for all people: The call to sainthood is meant for everyone, even though it may appear as an impossible objective achievable by only the most privileged or exceptional individuals.

Some saints perhaps came from rich backgrounds or went through extraordinary things, but most of them were normal people like us who tried to follow Jesus faithfully and serve others.

By looking at them, we see what we could be and this makes us want to be like that too – loving manifestations of the divine. Let us not forget that there are saints among us, even if they are not recognized as such by the church.

However, we should all remember that we can lead holy lives, which will be able to bring hope and miracles in this world, because Jesus Christ is with us all the time, helping to guide our every step forward!

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