Vatican official: Church always needed proof of saint's intercession
Published: January 3, 2005
VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- From the earliest days, the Catholic Church would declare someone a saint only when there was a widespread reputation of holiness and some evidence that favors were granted through the person's intercession, a Vatican official said. The official, Msgr. Robert J. Sarno of the Congregation for Saints' Causes, said, "Graces, favors and miracles were always part of the process," although the number and type of favors and the process for verifying them has changed throughout the centuries. "Whether a miracle should be required for beatification and canonization has been a matter of continuing theological discussion," he said Jan. 3, adding that he knows of no recent formal proposals to change the current practice. While the current requirements of one miracle for beatification and another for canonization are matters of church law, which can change, the church always has insisted that its formally proclaimed saints "are worthy of imitation and have interceded" with God to answer the prayers of the faithful, he said.
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