All Christians are called to be saints. Saints are persons in heaven (officially canonized or not), who lived heroically virtuous lives, offered their life for others, or were martyred for the faith, and who are worthy of imitation.

In official Church procedures there are three steps to sainthood: a candidate becomes “Venerable,” then “Blessed” and then “Saint.” Venerable is the title given to a deceased person recognized formally by the pope as having lived a heroically virtuous life or offered their life.  To be beatified and recognized as a Blessed, one miracle acquired through the candidate’s intercession is required in addition to recognition of heroic virtue or offering of life. Canonization requires a second miracle after beatification.  The pope may waive these requirements. A miracle is not required prior to a martyr’s beatification, but one is required before canonization.   Read more…