Beatification (from Latin beatus, "blessed" and facere, "to make”) is a recognition accorded by the Catholic Church of a deceased person's entrance into Heaven and capacity to intercede on behalf of individuals who pray in their name. Beati is the plural form, referring to those who have undergone the process of beatification; they possess the title of "Blessed" // (abbreviation "Bl.") before their names and are often referred to in English as "a Blessed" or, plurally, "Blesseds".
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.
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.
The requirement of a miracle for beatification is waived in the case of someone whose martyrdom is formally declared by the Church.
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.
The blessed, elected by popular acclamation (the vox populi) enjoyed only local worship. While the procedure of canonization was taken in hand from the twelfth century by the papacy in Rome, that of beatification continued on a local scale until the thirteenth century before settling at the Council of Trent, which reserved to the pope the right to say who could be venerated.
Pope John Paul II (1978–2005) 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.[ citation needed ]
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 declaration of a deceased person as an officially recognized saint, specifically, the official act of a Christian communion declaring a person worthy of public veneration and entering their name in the canon catalogue of saints, or authorized list, of that communion's recognized saints.
In the Catholic Church, the Dicastery for the Causes of Saints, previously named the Congregation for the Causes of Saints, is the dicastery 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.
Michael Joseph McGivney was an Irish-American Catholic priest based in New Haven, Connecticut. He founded the Knights of Columbus at a local parish to serve as a mutual aid and fraternal insurance organization, particularly for immigrants and their families. It developed through the 20th century as the world's largest Catholic fraternal organization.
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 before the promulgation of the Codex Iuris Canonici of 1983.
The Forty Martyrs of England and Wales or Cuthbert Mayne and Thirty-Nine Companion Martyrs 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.
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 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.
St. Devasahayam Pillai was an Indian layman and martyr of the Catholic Church. He was canonized as a saint of the church by Pope Francis on 15 May 2022.
The Martyrs of Japan were Christian missionaries and followers who were persecuted and executed, mostly during the Tokugawa shogunate period in the 17th century. More than 400 martyrs of Japan have been recognized with beatification by the Catholic Church, and 42 have been canonized as saints.
Pope John Paul II reigned as pope of the Roman Catholic Church and sovereign of the Vatican City State for 26 years from October 1978 to his death, on 2 April 2005. Since his death, many thousands of people have been supporting the case for beatifying and canonising Pope John Paul II as a saint. His formal beatification ceremony took place on 1 May 2011.
Anna Schäffer was a German woman who lived in Mindelstetten in Bavaria. She was canonized by Pope Benedict XVI on October 21, 2012.
María del Carmen Sallés y Barangueras – in religious Carmen of Jesus – was a Spanish Roman Catholic professed religious and the founder of the Missionary Sisters of the Immaculate Conception. Sallés is best known for being a strong advocate of both genders being equal and a staunch defender of the rights of women, since she made this the focus of her life from the beginning of her entrance into the religious life.
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 on 14 October 2018.
Jose Gabriel del Rosario Brochero was a Catholic 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".
María de la Purísima Salvat Romero, born María Isabel Salvat Romero, was a Spanish Roman Catholic nun and a member of the Sisters of the Company of the Cross. She assumed the name of "María de la Purísima of the Cross" after she entered that order. Romero was the successor of Angela of the Cross of the latter's congregation and was known for her firmness in the progress of the order and in their role as servants of God and His people. Romero was known in her order for her strong commitment to uphold the magisterium of the Church.
Francesco Marinoni was an Italian Roman Catholic priest who was a member of the Theatines. He assumed the name Giovanni upon his admittance into the order.
The Martyrs of Natal were a group of 30 Roman Catholic people of Colonial Brazil – two of them priests – killed in the northern part of the colony in massacres that a large group of Dutch Calvinists led. One priest was a Colonial 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.
Carlo Acutis was an English-born Italian Catholic youth and amateur computer programmer, who is best known for documenting Eucharistic miracles around the world and cataloguing them onto a website which he created before his death from leukemia. He was noted for his cheerfulness, computer skills, and deep devotion to the Eucharist, which becomes a core theme of his life. He was beatified on 10 October 2020.