Faith/Spirituality Forum: saints

saints QUESTION from Donna S on November 11, 2002 In reading the book, Modern Saints Their Lives and Faces by Ann Ball, some of the saints are titled Saints, some are Blessed, some are Venerable and some are Servants of God. Where did the title, Servant of God come from and is it part of the Canonization process?
ANSWER by John-Paul Ignatius, OLSM on November 19, 2002 Dear Donna:
The title Servant of God is the first step in the canonization process. When a person is proposed for consideration of sainthood the first investigation is to find proof of the candidate living a life of heroic virtue. If this is found then the person is given the title, Servant of God. This is usually done on the diocesan level.
Then the cause for sainthood is sent to the Congregation for the Causes of Saints.
Various examinations and review of the proof is analyzed by theologians, cardinals, and agreement from the Holy Father established a confirmation of this person as a person with heroic virtue.
Next comes the investigation of a miracle after the candidate's death. If all goes well, the person is beatified. With beatification the candidate receives the title of Blessed.
Then another miracle is needed AFTER becoming blessed. If all goes well the Pope makes an infallible proclamation that canonizes the person. Then the person is given the title of Saint.
A summary of this procedure can be found at: click here
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