Sainthood Defined

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Congregation for the Causes of Saints


The department in the Vatican that deals with causes for sainthood in Rome, and which investigates and approves the causes.

Postulator


The appointed person who manages the logistics of the case.

Intercession


The act of a person praying on behalf of another; the prayers or petitions of one person in favor of another. Regarding canonization, the faithful pray to the candidate for sainthood, asking the candidate to intercede on their behalf.

Miracles


Scientifically unexplainable occurrences, usually medical cures. Miracles that happen through such intercessory prayers are considered a possible sign that the candidate is with God. One authenticated miracle is required for beatification, and an additional one for canonization.