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 his or her name. ''Beati'' is the plural form, referring to those who have undergone the process of beatification; they possess the title of "Blessed" 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
Practices under the popes
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
, 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.
(delineates the process of beatification)
* Chronological list of saints and blesseds
* List of saints
* List of venerated Catholics
* List of Servants of God
* List of beatified people
* List of people beatified by Pope Francis
* List of people beatified by Pope John Paul II
* De Meester, A., J.C.D., ''Juris Canonici et Juris Canonico-Civilis Compendium'' Nova Editio, Tomus Tertius, Pars Secunda (Brugis: Desclée de Brouwer et Sii, 1928)
* Saunders, Rev. William (2003).The Process of Becoming a Saint
. Reprinted from ''Arlington Catholic Herald''. Via Catholic Education Resource Center. catholiceducation.org.
Category:Catholic theology and doctrine