THE WORD SAINT REFERS TO ANY PERSON IN
HEAVEN, and A PERSON RECOGNIZED BY THE
CHURCH AS A MODEL OF FAITH AND MORALITY
1. Blessed – holy; the second “step” to sainthood
2. Beatified – officially declared blessed
3. Canon – Church law
4. Canonize – to officially declare someone to be a saint of
the Catholic Church
5. Doctor of the Church – a religious writer whose work is
considered to be an important contribution to the
Church. Their writings are not considered to be
infallible (free from error)
6. Evangelize – to preach the Gospel
7. Intercession – a prayer to God on behalf of another
8. Martyr – one who suffers or dies for his or her beliefs
9. Mystic – relating to religious mysteries
10. Patron Saint – a saint who is regarded as an advocate or
intercessor of a nation, craft, place, class, occupation, or person
11. Stigmata – marks or sores corresponding to the wounds of
12. Venerable – worthy of high honor; the first “step” to
How does someone become a saint?
•The Catholic church has canonized around 3,000 people -- the exact number is unknown
because not all saints were officially canonized.
•* According to the Catholic church, the pope does not make someone a saint -- the
designation of sainthood only recognizes what God has already done.
•For centuries, saints were chosen through public opinion.
•In the 10th century, Pope John XV developed an official canonization process.
* Canonization has been revised in the last 1,000 years, most recently by Pope John Paul II
in 1983. Pope John Paul II, who canonized more than 280 people, made several changes to
the canonization process.
* The process of becoming a Catholic saint is very lengthy, often taking decades or
centuries to complete.
* One rule prevents the process of canonization from beginning until five years following
the candidate's death. This rule has traditionally been used to allow for a more objective
look at a person's life and achievements.
Here are the steps that must be followed:
* A local bishop investigates the candidate's life and writings for evidence of heroic
virtue. The information uncovered by the bishop is sent to the Vatican.
* A panel of theologians and the cardinals of the Congregation for Cause of Saints
evaluate the candidate's life.
* If the panel approves, the pope proclaims that the candidate is venerable, which
means that the person is a role model of Catholic virtues.
* The next step toward sainthood is beatification. Beatification allows a person to be
honored by a particular group or region. In order to beatify a candidate, it must be
shown that the person is responsible for a posthumous (after death) miracle.
Martyrs, those who died for their religious cause, can be beatified without evidence
of a miracle.
* In order for the candidate to be considered a saint, there must be proof of a
second posthumous miracle. If there is, the person is canonized.
* These miracles must be submitted to the Vatican for verification.
Once a person is a saint, he or she is recommended to the entire Catholic church for
veneration. Some saints are selected as patron saints, special protectors or
guardians over particular occupations, illnesses, churches, countries or causes.
St. Elizabeth Ann Seton
*Feast Day – January 4
*First native-born American saint
•Born to a wealthy Episcopal
family, she married at age 19 and
had 5 children. While her children
were still young, her husband
•In 1805 Elizabeth converted to
Catholicism and opened a girls’
Catholic school in Baltimore,
•In 1809, she founded the Sisters
of Charity, the first American
religious community for women
* Patron of widows
St. John Neumann
•Feast day – January 5
•Fourth bishop of Philadelphia
•John Neumann established the
first Catholic Schools in the United
•He died in 1860 in Philadelphia,
where he is buried.
•He was the first American man to
•Patron of Catholic Education
St. Thomas Aquinas
•Feast Day – Jan. 28
•A bright student, Thomas Aquinas was called
“dumb ox” by classmates because he was quiet.
•He joined the Dominicans, a group of poor
friars, and studied science and theology.
•He is a Doctor of the Church because of his
•His most famous work is Summa Theologica,
five volumes about the Christian mysteries.
•Patron of students and theologians
•Feast day – February 3
•Bishop and martyr
•St. Blase had been a doctor
before he was ordained a priest
•A legend says that he cured a
boy who had a bone stuck in
•Patron of protection of the
St. Katharine Drexel
•Feast day – March 3
•An heiress from Philadelphia, Katharine
Drexel gave up her money to join the
Sisters of Mercy
•In 1891, she founded the Sisters of the
•She worked to establish missions for
Native Americans, and spoke our against
racism and other injustices
•Canonized by Pope John Paul II in 2000
•Patron of philanthropists
•Feast Day – March 17
•St. Patrick became a priest after
suffering poverty and imprisonment
•At 42, he was ordained a bishop and
sent to Northern Ireland, where no
one had preached the Gospel before.
•To show that the Blessed Trinity is
three divine Persons in One God, St.
Patrick used a shamrock.
•St. Patrick is the Patron Saint of
•Feast Day: March 19 (and May 1, St. Joseph the Worker)
•St. Joseph was a carpenter in Nazareth. He protected and provided for Mary and
Jesus even when they were in hiding from Herod.
•Scripture refers to Joseph as a law-abiding and holy man
•St. Joseph is the Patron of fathers, carpenters, the Universal Church, and a happy
St. Bernadette of Lourdes
•Feast Day: April 16
•St. Bernadette lived a poor, uneducated life
in Lourdes, France
•Bernadette suffered from asthma and was
sickly all her life.
•In 1858 she had the first of 18 visions of
the Blessed Mother. When Bernadette asked
the Woman her name, she said, “I am the
•In 1864, Bernadette entered the convent.
She died in 1879 and was canonized in
•Patron saint of asthma sufferers and the ill
Blessed Kateri Tekakwitha
Feast Day – April 17
-Kateri had been the daughter of a Christian woman and a
-She converted and was baptized by a Jesuit missionary in
-She was shunned by her family because of her faith
-Deeply spiritual, known for her chaste and simple life
- Called the “Lily of the Mohawks”
- Beatified in 1980 by Pope John Paul II
- Patron of ecology
- She will be canonized in October 2012 by Pope Benedict and the environment
•Feast Day – May 15
•Born into a royal family in 17th
Century Ireland, Dymphna was
devoted to Christ.
•When she was 14, her mother
died. This caused her father to
suffer an emotional collapse. In
his confused state, he became
convinced that Dymphna
should take the place of her
mother. When Dymphna
refused, her father killed her.
•St. Dymphna is the Patron of
the emotionally ill