Will Pope Francis jump over the regular process and declare Pius XII is a saint?

In related news see my post: REVIEW: Great book of documentary evidence about the Pontificate of Ven. Pius XII

From CNA:

Pope Francis thinking about declaring Pius XII a saint
By Andrea Gagliarducci

Vatican City, Jul 31, 2013 / 11:05 am (CNA/EWTN News).- Pope Francis is considering whether he will make Pope Pius XII a saint, in the same way that he approved the cause of John XXIII.

A source who works at the Vatican’s Congregation for Causes of Saints, who asked for anonymity, told CNA July 25 that “just as Pope Francis moved ahead with John XXIII’s canonization, he is considering the same thing for Pius XII.”

According to the normal procedures, Pius XII would be beatified once a miracle attributed to his intercession is officially certified by a team of doctors and recognized by a commission of cardinals.

But if Pope Francis decides to go ahead without a miracle, [Please, Lord, let there be a miracle!] he could “even canonize him with the formula of scientia certa (certainty in knowledge), thereby jumping over the step of beatification,” the source said. [The procedure we have… or at least had … was pretty darn good.]

“Only the Pope is able to do it, and he will, if he wants to.”

Pope Francis is very interested in Pius XII because “he considers him ‘a great,’ in the same way as John XXIII is, even if for different reasons,” the source explained.

But there is also a historical reason that Pope Francis is interested in Pius XII.

When Pope Paul VI started the beatification and canonization process in 1967, nine years after Pius XII’s death, he formed a committee of historians to conduct an in-depth study of his predecessor’s life and behavior, giving particular attention to the events of World War II.

The committee was made up of four Jesuits: Fathers Pierre Blet (France), Angelo Martini (Italy), Burkhart Schneider (Germany), and Robert A. Graham (United States).

Their work led to the publication of “Actes et Documents du Saint Siège relatifs à la Seconde Guerre Mondiale” (Acts and Documents of the Holy See related to the Second World War), an 11-volume collection of documents from the Vatican’s Secret Archive about Pius XII’s papacy during that tumultuous time.

Yet, the remainder of the documents from Pius XII’s papacy is not expected to be released until 2014 – the time it will take to organize the papers.

The completed catalog will include approximately 16 million documents from Pius XII’s papacy (1939-1958).

Pope Benedict XVI initially decided to postpone Pius XII’s cause for sainthood and advocated waiting until the archives would be open for researchers in 2014.

But Benedict changed his mind and declared Pius XII Venerable on Dec. 19, 2009, based on the recommendation of the committee investigating his cause.

[…]

There is quite a bit more, but you can read it there.

What I want to see are two miracles through the intercession of Ven. Pius XII before a Beatification and Canonization and I would also hope to see, soon, is Pius XII, Eugenio Pacelli, declared by the State of Israel to be a חסידי אומות העולם‎ … khassidey umot ha-olam … “Righteous Among The Nations”.

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42 Responses to Will Pope Francis jump over the regular process and declare Pius XII is a saint?

  1. Lori Pieper says:

    Of course, the Pope can do as he likes, but for reasons of prudence, I don’t think he should canonize Pius XII until those documents have been made public — otherwise, the cry of “you are only doing it now because you are afraid of what the documents will reveal” will just overwhelm everything else. Silly, yes, but this is what will happen.

    I realize this is difficult since the number of documents is so enormous, and it will take decades before the full story is known. How long should we wait then, to satisfy everyone? —

    The ultimate answer is that we don’t really need to because we already have a good part of the story, and Pope Pius XII’s heroism in his record on the war and the Jews is already abundantly clear to those ready to listen. Still, a year or two more will not harm anything.

    I also think a saint shouldn’t be canonized without at least one miracle — even all the Popes beatified or canonized so far have had to have at least one, like anyone else, including John XXIII.

    It’s odd that there is no miracle for Pope Pius XII. He certainly has a great deal of veneration. Has no miracle ever been investigated? Or has one or more been investigated and found wanting?

  2. Robbie says:

    If someone should jump the line, it’s Pius XII. However, I worry that the Vatican is becoming a “saint factory”. During the pontificate of JPII, the number of people declared saints in his 26 years was equal the number of saints declared since the beginning of the Church. I, too, would prefer the normal process be followed.

    Francis has already decided John XXIII and John Paul II should be canonized and according to traditional Catholic writer, Michael Dougherty, he has also touted the causes of Paul VI and John Paul. That’s completely within his power, but are we to really believe every recent Pope was a Saint? After Pope Pius V was made a Saint, the next Pope to be made a Saint was Pius X some three hundred years later.

  3. Susanna says:

    Lori, The following is quoted from the CNA article:
    Since there are several miracles attributed to Pius XII’s intercession, the source explained that Pope Francis might decide that he will sidestep the normal process and declare him a saint.

  4. gracie says:

    If the State of Israel declares Pope Pius XII to be “Righteous Among the Nations” it should be counted as one of the miracles you’re looking for.

  5. Quanah says:

    Robbie,
    I’ll never forget the first time I saw a poster listing with pictures every pope from Peter to John Paul II. The reason it left such an impression on me was two-fold: 1) the incredible number of popes in the early Church with “St.” before their name and 2) the incredible number of popes throughout the Middle Ages up to Modern times without “St.” before their name. According to the Catholic Encyclopedia (http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/12272b.htm) the first pope who wasn’t canonized was Liberius who reigned from 352-366. That’s 35 popes in a row before him who are all saints! The next pope not to be canonized comes almost 150 years after: Anastasius II (496-498). After Anastasius II there are still a decent number of canonized popes for the next few hundred years, but it starts to lessen until after Pope St. Nicholas (858-867) when the long centuries (with the exception of a few saints and blesseds here and there) of saintless popes begin. I find it interesting that as the Church was coming into, enjoying, and losing Her earthly height the number of canonized popes are very few. I have no problem believing that every pope (or at least the majority) since Pius IX is a saint. I would argue that the increase of canonizations, not least significantly among popes, is an indicator of the state of the Church and Her relation to the world.

    Also, where did you get the figure that JPII declared as many saints during his pontificate as had been declared in the time before him? I suppose possibly when you include the “and companions,” but still… The Church has a lot of saints, a great many of whom have become obscure and largely forgotten.

  6. Bob B. says:

    It’s amazing how one disreputable incident (the play, “The Deputy”) affected the reputation of a holy man and his legacy. Subsequent movies and the media sought to capitalize on these lies.
    When Pius XII died, Israeli Prime Ministers Golda Meir and Moshe Sharett, and Chief Rabbi Isaac Herzog praised him as a “righteous gentile,” as did Albert Einstein.
    These Jewish opinions were apparently not enough to stem the tide of denunciations against Pius XII, which continue today.
    There is a preponderance of compelling evidence that Pius XII provided help to those suffering from Nazi oppression, all of which put the Church in great danger.
    It won’t matter if we wait for all the documents to be opened, there will always be his skeptics and those who will say he didn’t do enough. This is one time the Church should not appear to be so ecumenical: Pius XII is a saint.

  7. Chris Garton-Zavesky says:

    In one form of the process for the canonization of a saint, 50 years have to elapse before the investigation can begin. As of 2013, 55 years have elapsed since the death of Pius XII.

    Sure, there will be skeptics if Pius XII is declared a saint (by any process whatsoever) but surely there is a different group of skeptics who are mourning the impending canonization of John Paul II, and the process is part of the reason for this group’s skepticism.

    As to the massive quantity of early popes who were also saints, this can partly (?largely) be attributed to the fact that most of them were martyrs: those who die because their executioners exhibit odium fidei are considered saints, if memory serves.

    Would it be outside the bounds of right practice to begin a novena to Pope Pius XII for the conversion of Catholics in public office, and to ask for that conversion in some manner that made his intercession clear?

  8. I want Pius XII to be canonized. But on the other hand, I can’t stand the constant set-asides of law! It’s bad enough our civil governments are doing that day in and day out.

  9. Dennis Martin says:

    John Paul II did NOT canonize as many saints as in the entire history of the Church. He canonized as many as had been canonized during about 300 years of the most rigorous process, which was put in place initially by Urban VIII and then definitively (in response to Enlightenment fuss) by Benedict XIV in the 1740s.

    In the centuries before that, thousands upon thousands were canonized by general acclamation, ancient practice etc. John Paul did not equal those numbers.

    An effort to establish more rigorous process under papal aegis began in the 1100s but was widely ignored locally until Urban VIII and Benedict XIV managed, successfully, to locate the entire process, with double-review etc., in Rome. That slowed down the number of canonizations greatly and it favored founders and members of religious orders.

    John Paul rightly thought things had been bottlenecked too much. He loosened things up, perhaps too much, and thus already part way through his pontificate, had canonized a number equal to the preceding 3 centuries with many more in the pipeline. But he did not equal the 2000 previous years and the 3 centuries preceding him were unusually low in the number of canonizations compared to the entire sweep of church history.

    But all of these canonizations, whether before John Paul’s reforms in 1983 or after, always involved miracles as a divine confirmation of human research into the life of the saint.

    I think the Holy Father would be most unwise not to wait for a properly investigated and approved miracle for beatification and another for canonization. I see no reason at all to hurry things up. Let Our Lord determine the timing. He’s pretty good at that sort of thing.

    [Consider, at the same time, is that travel and communications and reproduction and transferral of documents is now much faster. Also, people are more easily able to learn the procedure. If you are well organized and have the funds for the research and personnel, you can get from 0 to 60 pretty fast.]

  10. Polycarpio says:

    The canonization process as it exists was a reaction to perceived excesses of earlier centuries, when local canonization traditions yielded unwieldy quantities of saints. The idea was to establish uniform standards and central control. However, over the years, the formal process has revealed its own limitations. What we have now is basically a legal process (canonization comes from “canon” as in canon law), which necessarily has some built-in arbitrariness. Let’s look at it objectively, as a system, rather than looking at individual causes, which often clouds the analysis with subjective issues. One “arbitrariness” is the requirement of miracles: 1 for a martyr, 2 for a confessor. And not just any miracle (so, Israel proclaiming “Righteous Among the Gentiles” would not count), but only medical cures. So, this requires that someone pray for a cure invoking the would-be saint, and follow all the procedures for documenting and certifying the cure. Probably a lot of people pray for cures but fail to document them. Too bad. It may have counted to God (if you were cured), but it does not count for the actual beatification. Like any legal system, the canonization system has critics (usually at the non-benefitting end of it, i.e., the followers of a cause that has not prospered), who critique things like “fast tracking.” To critics, and perhaps rightly so, “fast tracking” smells of favoratism–it’s who you know. Also, it’s costly to start and keep up a canonization process. There has to be a diocesan investigation, a roman investigation, there have to be experts reports, medical reports. This is all easier to do for famous Catholics with international clout than for the little old lady who lived a perfectly saintly life, but maybe was not chummy with the monsignors at the Congregation for Causes of Saints. Beyond these criticisms, there are others which I will only mention in passing, because I think they are not as meritorious, including, that it’s political, that there are built-in biases (e.g., clericalism: favoring clerics over lay people), economic disparities, etc., etc. Given all that, I guess my point is that the Roman Pontiff should have a hand in clearing a path for noteworthy causes. First of all, that’s already going on, as we have seen with cases like Mother Theresa and Pope John Paul, and with many other cases we don’t hear about because they’re not as well known. Let’s just be up front about it and accept it’s not the end of the world, after all, we have faith in the Pope. Second, it’s altogether appropriate that the Pope have a hand because canonization is entirely his prerogative. In fact, under the current system, he has to give the final approval and the decrees go out under his name. Finally, and this is a related point, having the Pope more involved would imbue the whole process with a larger sense of accountability. If somebody made it through who wasn’t up to par (though faith would give us some assurance that this wouldn’t happen), we’d know who to blame.

  11. Random Friar says:

    God will it so, and in His good time!

  12. Robbie says:

    Quanah

    Here is a link to an article that references my statistic. The second paragraph contains the information.

    http://wwrn.org/articles/15212/?&place=vatican

  13. Robbie says:

    This is the comment I referenced.

    “But perhaps his most remarkable record is that he has created more saints and beatified more people than any pontiff in history — more indeed than all the previous popes combined.”

    It was an oversight on my part not to include “beatified” so I was wrong and apologize.

  14. CharlesG says:

    Just because the Pope has the power to do something, doesn’t mean it is right to do it. This seems a bit more of Fr. Blake’s Renaissance Prince syndrome. The Pope shouldn’t be flouting established laws and procedures left and right on a whim. I see no reason why canonization of Pope Pius XII, or of Pope John XXIII for that matter, shouldn’t wait until the requisite second miracle occur.

  15. Cantor says:

    I’m not fond of the McSaint Drive-Thru lane. Canonization should be more than a popularity contest. It should include a minimum of 100 years to complete.

    We know that Saints are established by God, and only recognized by the Church. That establishment should remain apparent to the Church long after those who might otherwise vote for the “nice guy” are gone. Kateri Tekakwitha waited for centuries for her sainthood, and it had zero impact on whether she is in heaven or not.

    Shakespeare explained through Marc Anthony that “the evil men do lives after them; the good is oft interred with their bones.” If that good remains for a century, I’m more likely to accept it as truth.

  16. frjim4321 says:

    The procedures that are in place came into existence for good reasons. The waiting periods, for instance, insure that canonizations are less likely to be carried out for merely political reasons. Or for emotional reasons. A basilica full of people chanting “santo subito” is not an adequate reason for declaring a person a saint.

    I would not be opposed if a hundred year moratorium on any further canonizations would be put into place while the entire process is reviewed. Why is such a disproportionate number of saints clergy and religious while so few saints have been married. I’ve been told that the married saints were all living brother/sister or for some reason did not have normal marital relations, such as renouncing sex after having had children. Something seems to be amiss.

  17. Domnall says:

    Father,
    It seems from your comments in red in the above article that you feel that the canonization process we have works well, so it might be either unwise or unnecessary to proceed in the manner that the Holy Father is considering. If I’m mistaken on that point, I apologize.

    However, I’d like to let you know (if you didn’t already) that three of the greatest saints; St. Francis of Assisi, St. Dominic, and St. Elisabeth of Hungary were all canonized by Pope Gregory IX based on his personal testimony of knowing them. There was no need for the beatification process for these three spiritual greats.

    I just think that this may be the case of trusting the Holy Father’s judgement.

  18. Lori Pieper says:

    Fr. Jim,

    It’s true of many married saints, but certainly not all of them. For instance, St. Elizabeth of Hungary (1207-1231) had three children with her husband Ludwig VI, Landgrave of Thuringia, and was in fact, actually was pregnant with the third at the time of his death in 1227. Only Elizabeth was formally canonized, but Ludwig was often given the title “saint” by the people.

    But there is also the case of Bl. Louis and Zelie Martin, the parents of Therese of Lisieux, who actually gave up a celibate marriage to have children.

  19. Lori Pieper says:

    Lori, The following is quoted from the CNA article:
    Since there are several miracles attributed to Pius XII’s intercession, the source explained that Pope Francis might decide that he will sidestep the normal process and declare him a saint.

    Thanks for the quote which I actually didn’t see. But of course that there are miracles “attributed to his intercession” might mean almost anything; it might mean attributed by the person who they happened to, or by a diocesan commission, or by doctors, or by the commission set up by the Holy See, etc. If the miracles have reached the level of the Holy See, the Pope might resolve doubts about one of them by declaring it miraculous, but I think it might set a bad precedent. Or he might just skip over the question, and go ahead with the canonization or beatification as was suggested. I don’t know what I think about that. It might be that people at the Vatican are dragging their heels because of the controversy and not giving Pope Pius his due, in which case, it might be helpful for the Pope to step in. The manner in which it’s done means a great deal.

    But I trust that Pope Francis will be prudent.

  20. Lori Pieper says:

    Sorry, Susanna, I should have included your name in my thanks.

  21. frjim4321 says:

    Thank you, Lori, that is helpful.

  22. Stephen Matthew says:

    Pope Pius XII would be one of the last to have encouraged taking a short-cut in such a solemn matter as a canonization, so perhaps we should honor him by following time honored traditions and well established procedures.

    As to the relative imbalance of saints in some vocations vs. others, I think we shall find the population of heaven shall contain many actual saints never known to us now. It is easy to see that those who, by either their way of life or way of death became famous, would be more likely to be canonized. The human aspect of the church’s institutional character is such that your simple, ordinary folk living a holy family life are less likely to draw the sort of attention needed, even if they would make fine examples for others. Likewise, only a few of the institutions in the church have the resources to properly pursue a cause, I doubt most diocese or religious houses have the resources to manage such a thing, let alone most lay associations. Perhaps a few organizations of the laity with sufficient resources should commence a search for more suitable “extraordinary ordinary folk” as candidates.

    In any case:
    may our good and loving God bring safely to the heavenly homeland all He desires to obtain the rewards of the saints; and may He be generous in confirming many examples of such to encourage and inspire us on our journey.

  23. Andkaras says:

    Fr Jim, God has always raised up saints to address the needs of the people of any given time and is fully aware of how the speed of technology changes the game. So many married people in times past were edified , encouraged ,and inspired by the “total gift of self ” that clergy and religious were able to offer .Now we have Theology of the Body to give words to this sense .Lack of declaration of sainthood does not negate the certitude that there are indeed many “marrieds ” in heaven. And I would have to believe that a basilica full of people chanting “santo subito”, is at least as effective as a basilica full of people shouting “Give us a Holy Father or we will kill you!”

  24. Dennis Martin says:

    Canonization as a term does not derive from law but from liturgy. Canon refers to any standard or rule or official list. So obviously, laws are canons. But in the case of saints, fundamentally, to canonize is to inscribe the person’s name among the list (canon) of those to whom public liturgical veneration is permitted. Private veneration is always possible for anyone who has died but public liturgical veneration is regulated. Originally it was the martyrs whose names were enrolled in the list/canons but as time went on and martyrdom was still common in areas being Christianized but not common in established Christian regions, non-martyrs were inscribed in the lists/canons.

    The criticism of the rigorous method put in place by Benedict XIV as too “legal” is often made. It did involve adversarial pro and contra debate but so did scholastic theology.

    If that criticism ever was valid, already in the 1920s and 1930s reliance on historical research was increasing, a trend John Paul II pushed even further with his reforms in 1983.

    Robbie, the trick word in your quote is “popes” — that John Paul canonized as many persons in his pontificate as all previous popes had canonized. It may be true, if one sticks strictly with “popes.”

    Thousands of saints in the first 1000 years and longer were canonized by local bishops, not popes, added to the liturgical canons of their diocese, with some of them then associatively honored in other dioceses. The most popular of such saints became, de facto, universally canonized without the pope doing it.

    If memory serves me correctly, there were NO papal canonizations before 996 when St. Ulrich of Augsburg was canonized by the pope. Yet thousands upon thousands of saints were canonized by local bishops during those thousand years.

    So Robbie’s quote is, essentially, comparing John Paul’s reign to the popes of the preceding several centuries, when the process had become limited entirely to papal canonizations–about 300 years, which was my point in my comment upthread.

  25. Gratias says:

    Not gonna happen. Look, squirrel!

  26. Priam1184 says:

    Don’t hold your breath on the State of Israel Father. There would have to be a sea change in Jewish opinion on the subject for that to happen. On another note though, and this is a serious question, how can we get the canonization process for Benedict XVI started? I mean I know that he has not yet passed out of this world, but it seems that being pope now comes with an automatic canonization attached to it so why wait?

  27. Polycarpio says:

    Our word canonize comes from the M.L. canonizare, from Gk. kanon “rule,” perhaps from kanna, “reed;” taken in ecclesiastical sense for “decree of the Church” and passed from L.L. to O.E. But the legalism does not derive from the etymology of the word, and predates Benedict XIV’s work. In fact, the legal nature of canonization goes back to the “epoch of the Great Church,” when Christians came to terms with the implications of the early persecutions. It was during this time that the terms “martyrs” and “confessors” came to be used and defined (martyrs were killed for refusing to deny the faith, confessors had “confessed” to being Christians but had been somehow spared). In framing the issues, the early Christians referred to the legal proceedings in which the martyrs had been persecuted, to establish the basic points attesting to their holiness, and in the process these Acts of the Martyrs were adapted into the longstanding processes for establishing saints later in the Church’s history. Clearly, this is part of our tradition, and it is a good thing. There’s a piece in the WSJ today noting how our Church has the most formal process for establishing saints, and nothing in my thought piece above should be taken to suggest that we should abolish it. My suggestion was simply that the Holy Father should have some pastoral privilege in the process.

  28. Andreas says:

    This fascinating discussion has lead me to go back and research the process for beatification/ canonization; specifically, why it is necessary for any miracles at all to be attributed to the individual being considered and (given that miracles are required) why is not a single miracle sufficient? My search of the web has to-date proven less than satisfactory. Thus, may I ask your assistance in recommending an authoritative resource addressing the requirement of miracles in the process leading to the declaration of sainthood. Many thanks!

  29. Legisperitus says:

    Andreas: I can tell you that in general the purpose of certifying miracles is to accumulate evidence that the deceased is actually in Heaven, since people presumably don’t perform miracles from Hell.

  30. eremitaosppe says:

    Would be nice to see Him there, St. Pius XII, has a great ring to it… But knowing Francis, it make me think why would he do such a thing. They are at different ends of the spectrum.

  31. Dr. Edward Peters says:

    Prescinding from canonization process issues, I wonder whether attention should be given to declaring P12 a Doctor of the Church.

  32. robtbrown says:

    NB: St Dominic’s mother was beatified almost 200 years ago.

  33. Magash says:

    Miracles do not have to be medical in nature, they must however be outside of the natural law. Medical miracles are the most prevalent because it is easiest to prove that a miraculous cure was not a natural occurrence. In the absence of, say the miraculous appearance and intervention of a dead person, the kinds of miracles that people pray for and actually get are awfully hard to prove. Often visions are attributable to psychological trauma, even when they are authentic. Often divine intervention is not easily attributed, being mistaken for coincidence or chance. Medical cures are much harder to gainsay.

  34. Imrahil says:

    I will rejoice over any saint or blessed when he has been declared to be so.

    In the meantime, I object to any canonization without miracles proven in the regular way. (This is not any objection to the Bl. John XXIII, whom I’d very much like to venerate as a saint and this for the plain unpolitical reason that he was such a loveable person. It really is the thing that I do not think the ordinary process should be sidestepped.)

    As for the general principle, on this blog an author quoted and critizised by our reverend host said that he did not think Popes should be canonized. I do not agree to the statement, but it must be admitted that he had half of a point. There is something political about canonizing a Pope, and what is more, the impression of the secular public that “all Popes are declared saints anyway, some time” and “the Pope canonizes his predecessors that he may be some-time canonized by one of his successors”, wrong as they are as facts, must also be averted as impression. Even at much cost, or so it seems to me. Although where it comes to the facts, it must be said that Popes just happen to be in the limelight (which, let’s face it, you somewhat in some form need to become a non-martyr saint) and it appears that they are rarely obstinate sinners.

    Allow me to be inconsistent in practice. In the case of Pius XII, even sidestepping the beatification might be a good thing. Under two conditions: if the Pope in his sovereignty so decides, and if the responsible authorities testify two miracles.

    Reasons: I said a canonization of an (at least of a relatively recent) Pope is always somewhat political. In this case, it would be political in the sense of very good politics. 1. We don’t let ourselves be groundless defamations of secular origin. 2. We approve of the good old Catholicism which he presented in many encyclicals, and no, we have not broken away from that. 3. In a humanly speaking way, the Venerable Pope has waited long enough, and you need not have bad will to assume that both his provably entirely undeserved bad reputation, and the unfashionableness of his entirely non-new approach to Catholicism back in the days from 1960 onwards, did not quite speed up his cause.

    That he was a saintly man, a great administrator and suffered a heroic workload, is, in itself, for the normal process of sainthood.

    It has been reported also that a beatification process of the Servant of God Gilbert Keith Chesterton, defender of the Faith, is underway. May God speed that one… with the proper miracles, and first “the Blessed”, then “Saint”.

  35. Suburbanbanshee says:

    There are plenty of married saints. They’re mostly not on the Roman calendar, mind you, but that doesn’t mean they weren’t married saints. In fact, there are tons of families of saints, where you can follow things through to people’s great-great-grandmothers and -grandfathers, all saints. For example, a lot of British/Welsh kings and queens and all their siblings were saints. Some of them went off and did monk and nun stuff, but mostly they were just running their lands.

    One of the best documented examples of the huge numbers of prolific mothers of saints is St. Macrina the Elder, who was the mother of a saint and the grandmother of five or six notable saints, maybe more. (Lots of grandkids, and I’m not sure which of the married sons and daughters became saints. All the singles became priests or monks or hermits or nuns, and three of them were noted theologians.)

    But I’m very fond of St. Gwen Teirbron (Triple-Breasted — so nicknamed because she had triplets whom she nursed herself, or because the kids were born so close together that they were all on the breast at the same time). Her kids by both her husbands were all notable saints; her first husband Fracan was a saint; and the whole family was full of saintly relatives galore.

    Anyway, what usually happens is that any married saint from olden days tends to get called a pagan god/goddess, or people say that kings and queens and noble laypeople don’t count, or there’s some other kind of excuse. But mostly I think it’s just messier to present a family of saints rather than a saint alone, so these things get simplified. And then, later, people wonder why they never hear about any married saints. Shrug.

  36. Imrahil says:

    What I wanted to say is

    1. We don’t let ourselves be blackmailed by groundless defamations of secular origin.

  37. Bea says:

    Pope Pius XII was miracle enough for my mother (RIP) and me.
    My mother had been praying to Pope Pius XII (during his lifetime) that he inspire my dad to return to the sacraments. My dad had a great admiration for him.

    The day he died our parish church bells tolled. We turned on the TV and heard the news. My dad said; “lets go to the church to pray”. Not long after that there was a Mission by a Redemptorist visiting priest and my dad returned to the Sacraments. My mother always credited Pope Pius XII.

  38. VexillaRegis says:

    Bea: What a beautiful story!

  39. Actually, Robert, Bl. Jane of Aza was not beatified. Her “immemorial cult” was approved by Pope Leo XII on 1 October 1828. A very large number of the Dominican blesseds were approved as immemorial cults rather than beatified.

    I have gave doubts about whether St. Ulrich of Augsburg was actually “canonized” in the technical sense. True Pope John XV approved his cult, but I suspect this was more along the lines of the more modern approvals of local cults, such as those of Dominican blesseds. As I understand it the first time a regularized procedure of petition and investigation was conducted for a papal “canonization” of a non-Roman saint was St. Homobono of Cremona, who was canonized in 1199 by Pope Innocent III. Innocent III was the first to lay down a systematic Roman procedure for investigations of saints’ causes and formal papal canonization. Nevertheless, non-papally canonized saints continued to receive local cults (and sometimes papal approval of those cults) until the 18th century and the reforms of Benedict XIV.

    If I am mistaken on this, I suspect that Ed Peters will, I am sure, correct me.

  40. Supertradmum says:

    Was Venerable Bede ever formally canonized? I think not.

  41. “During the pontificate of JPII, the number of people declared saints in his 26 years was equal the number of saints declared since the beginning of the Church” i heard this a lot re Blessed John Paul II but i think that is EXACTLY the reason he declared as many as he did. Doesn’t it seem to you like sainthood lay dormant for ages and it’s just not possible over that span of time that there weren’t any people who lived lives of heroic virtue?