Beatification (from Latin beatus, "blessed" and facere, "to make") is a recognition accorded by the Catholic Church of a dead person's entrance into Heaven and capacity to intercede on behalf of individuals who pray in his or her name. Beati is the plural form, referring to those who have undergone the process of beatification.
Latin is a classical language belonging to the Italic branch of the Indo-European languages. The Latin alphabet is derived from the Etruscan and Greek alphabets and ultimately from the Phoenician alphabet.
The Catholic Church, also known as the Roman Catholic Church, is the largest Christian church, with approximately 1.3 billion baptised Catholics worldwide as of 2017. As the world's oldest and largest continuously functioning international institution, it has played a prominent role in the history and development of Western civilisation. The church is headed by the Bishop of Rome, known as the pope. Its central administration is the Holy See.
Heaven, or the heavens, is a common religious, cosmological, or transcendent place where beings such as gods, angels, spirits, saints, or venerated ancestors are said to originate, be enthroned, or live. According to the beliefs of some religions, heavenly beings can descend to earth or incarnate, and earthly beings can ascend to heaven in the afterlife, or in exceptional cases enter heaven alive.
Local bishops had the power of beatifying until 1634, when Pope Urban VIII, in the apostolic constitution Cœlestis Jerusalem of 6 July, reserved the power of beatifying to the Holy See.
Pope Urban VIII reigned as Pope from 6 August 1623 to his death in 1644. He expanded the papal territory by force of arms and advantageous politicking, and was also a prominent patron of the arts and a reformer of Church missions.
An apostolic constitution is the most solemn form of legislation issued by the Pope. The use of the term constitution comes from Latin constitutio, which referred to any important law issued by the Roman emperor, and is retained in church documents because of the inheritance that the canon law of the Roman Catholic Church received from Roman law.
The Holy See, also called the See of Rome, refers to the jurisdiction of the Bishop of Rome, known as the pope, which includes the apostolic episcopal see of the Diocese of Rome with universal ecclesiastical jurisdiction of the worldwide Catholic Church, as well as a sovereign entity of international law.
Since the reforms of 1983, as a rule, one miracle must be confirmed to have taken place through the intercession of the person to be beatified. Miracles are almost always unexplainable medical healings, and are scientifically investigated by commissions comprising physicians and theologians.
A miracle is an event not explicable by natural or scientific laws. Such an event may be attributed to a supernatural being, magic, a miracle worker, a saint, or a religious leader.
The requirement of a miracle for beatification is waived in the case of someone whose martyrdom is formally declared by the Church.
A martyr is someone who suffers persecution and death for advocating, renouncing, refusing to renounce, or refusing to advocate a religious belief or cause as demanded by an external party. In the martyrdom narrative of the remembering community, this refusal to comply with the presented demands results in the punishment or execution of an actor by an alleged oppressor. Accordingly, the status of the 'martyr' can be considered a posthumous title as a reward for those who are considered worthy of the concept of martyrdom by the living, regardless of any attempts by the deceased to control how they will be remembered in advance. Originally applied only to those who suffered for their religious beliefs, the term has come to be used in connection with people killed for a political cause.
The feast day for a beatified person is not universal, but is celebrated only by territories, religious institutes, or communities in which the person receives particular veneration. For instance, Saint Kateri Tekakwitha was especially honored in the United States and Canada during her time as Blessed. John Duns Scotus was honored among the Franciscans, in the Archdiocese of Cologne and other places. Similarly, veneration of Blessed Chiara Badano is particular to the Focolare movement; her case also demonstrates that, contrary to popular opinion, beatification may take place within a relatively short time after a person's death of an individual (for Badano, twenty years).[ citation needed ]
Veneration, or veneration of saints, is the act of honoring a saint, a person who has been identified as having a high degree of sanctity or holiness. Angels are shown similar veneration in many religions. Philologically, "to venerate" derives from the Latin verb, venerare, meaning to regard with reverence and respect. Veneration of saints is practiced, formally or informally, by adherents of some branches of all major religions, including Christianity, Judaism, Hinduism, Islam, and Buddhism.
Blessed Chiara Badano was a young Italian teenager who is currently in the process of being pronounced a saint by the Roman Catholic Church. At age nine she joined the Focolare Movement and received the nickname "Luce" by the founder Chiara Lubich. When she was 16 she was diagnosed with osteogenic sarcoma, a painful bone cancer. Chiara succumbed to the cancer on October 7, 1990, after a two-year battle with the disease. She was beatified on September 25, 2010 at the Sanctuary of Our Lady of Divine Love in Rome. Her feast day is celebrated on October 29.
Pope John Paul II (18 May 1920 – 2 April 2005) markedly changed previous Catholic practice of beatification. By October 2004, he had beatified 1,340 people, more than the sum of all of his predecessors since Pope Sixtus V (1585–1590), who established a beatification procedure similar to that used today.
Pope John Paul II was head of the Catholic Church and sovereign of the Vatican City State from 1978 to 2005.
Pope Sixtus V or Xystus V, born Felice Piergentile, was Pope of the Catholic Church from 24 April 1585 to his death in 1590. As a youth, he joined the Franciscan order, where he displayed talents as a scholar and preacher, and enjoyed the patronage of Pius V, who made him a cardinal.
John Paul II's successor, Pope Benedict XVI, personally celebrated the Beatification Mass for his predecessor at St. Peter's Basilica, on the Second Sunday of Easter, or Divine Mercy Sunday, on 1 May 2011, an event that drew more than one million people.
Canonization is the act by which a Christian church declares that a person who has died was a saint, upon which declaration the person is included in the list of recognized saints, called the "canon". Originally, a person was recognized as a saint without any formal process. Later, different processes were developed, such as those used today in the Roman Catholic Church, the Eastern Orthodox Church, Oriental Orthodox Church and the Anglican Communion.
The Congregation for the Causes of Saints is the congregation of the Roman Curia that oversees the complex process that leads to the canonization of saints, passing through the steps of a declaration of "heroic virtues" and beatification. After preparing a case, including the approval of miracles, the case is presented to the Pope, who decides whether or not to proceed with beatification or canonization. This is one of nine Vatican Curial congregations.
The advocatus diaboli is a former official position within the Catholic Church, the Promoter of the Faith: one who "argued against the canonization (sainthood) of a candidate in order to uncover any character flaws or misrepresentation of the evidence favoring canonization".
The Venerable is used as a style or epithet in several Christian churches. It is also the common English-language translation of a number of Buddhist titles, and is used as a word of praise in some cases.
The process of beatification and canonization has undergone various reforms in the history of the Roman Catholic Church. For current practice, as well as a discussion of similar processes in other churches, see the article on canonization. This article describes the process as it was in 1914, before the promulgation of the Codex Iuris Canonici of 1983.
The Forty Martyrs of England and Wales are a group of Catholic, lay and religious, men and women, executed between 1535 and 1679 for treason and related offences under various laws enacted by Parliament during the English Reformation. The individuals listed range from Carthusian monks who in 1535 declined to accept Henry VIII's Act of Supremacy, to seminary priests who were caught up in the alleged ‘Popish Plot’ against Charles II in 1679. Many were sentenced to death at show trials, or with no trial at all.
Saint Bartholomew of Braga - born Bartolomeu Fernandes and in religious Bartolomeu dos Mártires - was a Portuguese Roman Catholic and a professed member from the Order of Preachers as well as the Archbishop Emeritus of Braga. Fernandes participated in the Council of Trent and also collaborated with Saint Charles Borromeo at the council while also establishing a series of hospitals and hospices in Braga while publishing a range of works from catechism to other topics.
Blessed Ivan Merz was a Croatian lay academic, beatified by Pope John Paul II on a visit at Banja Luka, Bosnia and Herzegovina on June 22, 2003. Ivan Merz promoted the liturgical movement in Croatia and together with Ivo Protulipac created a movement for the young people, “The Croatian union of the Eagles” ”, inspired by the “Eucharistic Crusade,” which he had encountered in France.
Saint Mariana of Jesus de Paredes, O.F.S., is a Roman Catholic saint and is the first person to be canonized from Ecuador. She was a hermit who is said to have sacrificed herself for the salvation of Quito. She was beatified by Pope Pius IX in 1853 and canonized by Pope Pius XII in 1950. She is the patron saint of Ecuador and venerated at the La Iglesia de la Compañía de Jesús in Quito. Her feast day is May 26.
The Martyrs of Japan were Christian missionaries and followers who were persecuted and executed for being more loyal to Jesus than the Shogunate, mostly during the Tokugawa shogunate period in the 17th century.
Blessed Anna Maria Rubatto was an Italian Roman Catholic nun who assumed the name of Francesca Maria.
The cause for the canonization of Pope Paul VI, who died in 1978, commenced in 1993 and he was canonized on 14 October 2018. After having been proclaimed a Servant of God and declared Venerable, he was beatified on 19 October 2014, after the recognition of a miracle had been attributed to his intercession, and declared a saint by Pope Francis I on 14 October 2018.
Saint Nicola Saggio was an Italian Roman Catholic professed oblate of the Order of Minims.
Saint Jose Gabriel del Rosario Brochero was a Roman Catholic Argentinian priest who suffered leprosy throughout his life. He is known for his extensive work with the poor and the sick. He became affectionately known as "the Gaucho priest" and the "cowboy priest".
Blessed Mariana Navarro de Guevarra Romero was a Spanish Roman Catholic nun who became a member of the Mercedarian Tertiaries. Upon admittance she took the name of Mariana of Jesus. She was noted for a life of penance and the emphasis of devotion to the Eucharist.
Francesco Marinoni was an Italian Roman Catholic priest who was a member of the Theatines. He assumed the name Giovanni upon admittance into the order.
Blessed Nicola da Gesturi, born Giovanni Angelo Salvatore Medda, was an Italian Roman Catholic and a professed member of the Order of Friars Minor. Throughout his life he encouraged and led charitable works in Sardinia.
For the treatise on time written by Bede the Venerable, see The Reckoning of Time.
The Martyrs of Natal were a group of 30 Brazilian Roman Catholic individuals – two of them priests – killed in northern Brazil in massacres that a large group of Dutch Calvinists led. One priest was a Brazilian Jesuit missionary, while the other priest was an evangelizer himself. The others were all lay Catholics, most of them anonymous members of the Church, some of them children.