American Saints and Potential Saints Introduction

About the American saints and potential saints, introduction and definition, process of canonization.

American Saints and Potential Saints

Achieving canonization is usually a long and rigorous process. Being a worker for the Catholic faith is not enough. A "fame of sanctity" must be present, one great enough to induce the local bishop to introduce the candidate's "cause." The candidate must also be possessed of "heroic virtue." After his or her writings and actions are judged to be without "defect in faith or morals," the candidate may be declared "Venerable."

In the case of nonmartyrs (there need be none for martyrs), 4 miracles are sought. When 2 are discovered, the candidate is beatified and is then called "Blessed." After 2 more miracles, the candidate is declared a Saint by the Pope, which affirms that the candidate is now in heaven, and is worthy of devotions from and imitation by all of the faithful.

The canonization ceremony is held in Rome, at St. Peter's Basilica, at a cost to the Saint's backers of $10,000. This fee provides for the use of the church, the Vatican's Swiss Guard, and the Holy See's choir.

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