• Diocesan Inquiry
  •  
  • The Roman Process
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  • Inquiry into a Miracle
  •  
  • Steps of the Process
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  • Why a Process in France ?
  •  
  • The Historical Commission
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Beatification

a.      God Alone is Holy.
      
As we pray in the Gloria, God alone is holy. The light of God may be hidden by our sins, or it may be reflected as the moon reflects the light of the sun if we live sufficiently in conformity with the life of Christ within us through the Holy Spirit. The moon does not emit light, it reflects it and acts as a mirror to the light of the sun, the only source in the Father. We adore only God (latria), but we venerate saints (dulia) and the Virgin Mary, the most perfect of all saints (hyperdulia). A saint is therefore someone who not only is certainly in Heaven contemplating God face to face, but also someone worthy of being imitated. He is also an efficacious intercessor to God for us who are living and on the journey (Viatores) to Him, obtaining for us graces and favors from God. Contrary to other religions (e.g. Roman pagan types), the Church has never pronounced whether a particular person has been damned to Hell (damnatio memoriæ). The Church only makes pronouncements for those whom She asserts are definitely in Paradise.

b.      Definitions: Blessed and Saints; Martyrs and Confessors
      
Completed processes involve two main steps:
       - beatification (blessed, beatus in Latin. At this step, the cult is only local, and restricted to a diocese or religious congregation)[1].
       - lanonization (saints are registered in the canon, kanon in Greek, of saints. The first list is Eucharistic Prayer I, or the Roman Canon. The cult then becomes universal. A form of magisterial authority involving infallibility is involved at this point: the Church commits Herself to the fact that the saint is truly in Heaven).

       There are two categories this process may take for a Servant of God which is determined by the manner of their death:
       - martyr: the person has died for Jesus Christ because of his faith or because of virtues linked to the exercise of his or her faith. Judgment is based on the martyrdom (act). This is the noblest category as it imitates Christ even unto death.
       -
non-violent death. In this case, the process is concerned with the heroic exercise of virtues. They are confessors of the faith (because he or she confesses the faith by his or her life).


[1] Some cases may reach beyond the borders of a local diocese or particular religious order. For instance, in the case of Blessed Karl who reigned over a multinational empire (comprised of 11 nationalities, today comprising 12 separate nations), who then lived in exile in two different countries (Switzerland and Portugal – Madeira) until his death. The process was initiated by the Archdiocese of Vienna, but it was the Bishop of Funchal who submitted the request to the Holy Father at the beatification. Further illustrating the point is the miracle that was accepted for the beatification happened in Brazil, to a Polish nun.