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 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, the Holy See, is in the Vatican City, an enclave within the city of Rome in Italy.
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, is the apostolic episcopal see of the bishop of Rome, known as the Pope, ex cathedra the universal ecclesiastical jurisdiction of the worldwide Catholic Church, and a sovereign entity of international law. Founded in the 1st century by Saints Peter and Paul, by virtue of Petrine and Papal primacy according to Catholic tradition, it is the focal point of full communion for Catholic bishops and Catholics around the world organised in polities of the Latin Church, the 23 Eastern Catholic Churches, and their dioceses and religious institutes.
Since the reforms of 1983, one miracle must be believed to have taken place through the intercession of the person to be beatified, though the medical investigations of the Church are conducted privately and are therefore subject to speculation about their methods.
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 who died as a martyr.
A martyr is someone who suffers persecution and death for advocating, renouncing, refusing to renounce, or refusing to advocate a belief or cause as demanded by an external party. This refusal to comply with the presented demands results in the punishment or execution of the martyr by the oppressor. 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 Blessed person is not universal, but is celebrated only in regions where the person receives particular veneration. For instance, Saint Kateri Tekakwitha was especially honored in the United States and Canada during her time as Blessed. The person may also be honored in a particular religious order, diocese, or organization, such as John Duns Scotus among the Franciscans, 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).
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.
The word diocese is derived from the Greek term dioikesis (διοίκησις) meaning "administration". Today, when used in an ecclesiastical sense, it refers to the ecclesiastical district under the jurisdiction of a bishop.
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. John Paul II's successor, Pope Benedict XVI, removed the custom of holding beatification rites in the Vatican with the Pope presiding; they now can be held where the subject lived with the Cardinal Prefect of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints designated to preside over the ceremony as Papal Delegate. The Pope himself still can preside, as happened on 19 September 2010, when Benedict XVI beatified John Henry Newman in Cofton Park, Birmingham, on the last day of his visit to the United Kingdom. Benedict XVI also personally celebrated the Beatification Mass for his predecessor, John Paul II, 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.
Pope John Paul II was the 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.
Pope Benedict XVI is a senior prelate of the Catholic Church who served as its head and sovereign of the Vatican City State from 2005 until his resignation in 2013. Benedict's election as pope occurred in the 2005 papal conclave that followed the death of Pope John Paul II. Benedict chose to be known by the title "Pope Emeritus" upon his resignation.
Cultus confirmation is a somewhat different procedure, wherein the church recognizes a local cult of a person, asserting that veneration of that person is acceptable. Such a confirmation is more an official sanctioning of folk Catholicism than an active step in a canonization procedure, but the object of the cult may equally be addressed as "Blessed".
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 "canon", or list, of recognized saints. 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 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.
Saint Józef Bilczewski was a Polish Roman Catholic prelate who served as the Archbishop of Lviv from 1900 until his death. He served as a theological and dogmatics professor in the Lviv college after himself having earned two doctorates in the course of his own studies. He earned a reputation as a learned and cultured man; these qualities led to Emperor Franz Joseph I nominating him for the Lviv archdiocese as its head. Pope Leo XIII named him as its archbishop and he set to work prioritizing a range of different pastoral initiatives aimed at revitalizing the faith within people and also prioritizing ecumenical cooperation with other denominations.
Glorification may have several meanings in Christianity. From the Catholic canonization to the similar sainthood of the Eastern Orthodox Church to salvation in Christianity in Protestant beliefs, the glorification of the human condition can be a long and arduous process.
Saint Szymon of Lipnica was a Polish Roman Catholic priest and a professed member from the Order of Friars Minor. He became a sought after and noted preacher and took as his preaching inspiration Saint Bernardine of Siena and also was a strong proponent of popular devotions that he worked to spread.
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.
The canonization process of Pope Pius XII dates to shortly after his death in 1958. He was declared a Servant of God in 1990 and Venerable in 2009. Father Peter Gumpel is currently the relator of Pius XII's cause for canonization.
Stanisław Kazimierczyk was a Polish Roman Catholic priest and a professed member from the Canons Regular of the Lateran. He became noted for his ardent devotions to both the Eucharist and to his personal patron Saint Stanisław as well as for his charitable dedication to the ill and poor of Kraków.
The cause for the canonization of Pope Paul VI, who died in 1978, commenced in 1993 and he was canonized on October 14, 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 October 14, 2018.
Blessed Jakov Varingez was a Croatian Roman Catholic professed religious of the Order of Friars Minor. He later assumed the name of "Giacomo of Bitetto" after his profession into that order.
Blessed Jakov Varingez was a Croatian Roman Catholic professed religious from the Order of Friars Minor.
Blessed Camilla Gentili was an Italian Roman Catholic from Macerata. She was married to the anti-religious and abusive Battista Santucci, who murdered her in cold blood in opposition to her faith and her perceived disobedience.
Blessed Elena Duglioli was an Italian Roman Catholic aristocrat from Bologna noted for her devotion to Christian life and social teachings. Duglioli wanted to become a nun for the Poor Clares but instead married in order to please her parents. Duglioli is best known for commissioning a chapel with an image of Saint Cecilia to whom she was devoted.
Blessed Giacomo Benefatti was an Italian Roman Catholic priest and professed member of the Order of Preachers who ascended to the position of Bishop of Mantua. Benefatti became noted for his tender care of the ill during epidemics of plague and both Pope Benedict XI - a close personal friend - and Pope John XXII held him in high esteem.
Blessed Giovanna Scopelli was an Italian Roman Catholic from Reggio Emilia who was a religious from the Carmelites and established her own convent as its first prioress. Scopelli was forbidden to enter the third order branch of that order during her adolescence and waited until her parents died to embrace the religious life.
Blessed Angelo da Foligno - born Angelo Conti - was an Italian Roman Catholic priest and a professed member of the Order of Saint Augustine. Conti was part of the order of John the Good though became a mainstream Augustinian in 1256 after the Grand Union of the order. He was a close friend of both Saint Nicholas of Tolentino and Blessed Ugolino da Gualdo Cattaneo.