There are more than 10,000 Saints recognised in the Catholic Church. To celebrate each one of them, on the 1st of November, we celebrate All Saints Day. This day is to venerate all the holy men and woman that were canonized by the Church. The first Saint, St Ulrich of Augsburg was canonised in 993, and more recently, St Carlos Acutis canonised in 2020.
If there’s already over 10,000 saints, what does it take to become a Saint?
You first must be accepted as a servant of God. This request is formally done and states exactly how the person lived a holy, pure, kind and devoted life.
Next, the Congregation for the Causes of the Saints, at the Vatican, decide whether the person possessed 4 Cardinal virtues (Prudence, Justice, Temperance and Courage) and 4 Theological values (Faith, Hope and Charity).
Then, it is investigated whether the person was either martyred or was responsible for the occurrence of a posthumous miracle. These miracles can include healings, liquefaction, odour of sanctity or incorruptibility. Miracles that occurred during the time of the persons life could include stigmata, bilocation or levitation.
Finally, canonisation. The Pope will honour and declare during a special mass the new Saint of the Catholic Church.
There are also steps that can occur after a Saint’s canonisation. These are adding the Saint’s name to the catalogue of Saints, having Churches dedicated to the Saint, having the Saint’s name invoked in prayers, establish Feast days, displaying the Saint’s relics, and creating images of the Saint’s with a halo.