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~ Saints and Blesseds ~

     The papal prerogative to declare the holiness of a departed member of the faithful is rooted in Pope Gregory IX’s Decretals (1234), which asserted that Rome alone had the exclusive right to canonize saints. However, significant changes in the canonization process began only after Pope Sixtus V created the Congregation of Rites in 1588, which was tasked, among others, to conduct processes of beatification and canonization.

     In 1634, through the decree Cælestis Hierusalem Cives, Pope Urban VIII forbade the existence of any public cultus for a purported saint unless his/her martyrdom or heroic virtues had been formally recognized by the Congregation of Rites. Likewise, the cultus of anyone regarded as a saint may not be licit unless a process per viam cultus proves that he/she had been the object of an immemorial public veneration at least one hundred years before the publication of the decree.

     In 1969, Paul VI divided the Congregation of Rites into two separate offices, one of which, the Congregation for the Causes of Saints (CCS), was given complete and sole jurisdiction over all beatification and canonization proceedings from then onward. 

     Below are models of holiness who were formally beatified or canonized under the auspices of the CCS since its establishment.


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Last modified: 05/24/24