Canonizing Saints -- The Process
#1
I have several questions:

1. What has been the Church's method of canonizing saints in the past?
2. Has it, and if so, how has it changed post-Vatican II?
3. Is the Church canonizing saints more quickly than it used to?
4. Has the Church retracted canonization of saints in the past?
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#2
(07-15-2013, 04:53 PM)Sivvy Wrote: I have several questions:

1. What has been the Church's method of canonizing saints in the past?
2. Has it, and if so, how has it changed post-Vatican II?
3. Is the Church canonizing saints more quickly than it used to?
4. Has the Church retracted canonization of saints in the past?

Basically, the process is similar to the process in use for the preceding millenium or so, consisting primarily of research and the presentation of evidence of sanctity, with one significant change made by John Paul II, which was to suppress the "Devli's Advocate," who presented a case against the canonization of the person(s) in question. The number of required miracles was also lowered. However, this in itself isn't really a problem, as popes have from time to time entirely set aside the need for a verified miracle (St. Thomas More, canonized in 1935 by Pius XI, being one example).

I don't know if the average time between death and canonization is faster on the average for all saints.  Many well-loved saints were canonized very quickly, e.g., St. Francis of Assisi  died in October 1226 and was canonized less than two years later in July 1228.  However, in the case of popes, then the speed of canonization certainly seems to have increased.  St. Pius V died in 1572 and was not beatified for another 100 years (1672), and canonized another 40 (1712) years after that.  St. Pius X died in 1914, was beatified in 1951 and canonized in 1954.  The other beatified popes since Trent are Bl. Innocent XI (d. 1689, b. 1956); Bl. Pius IX (d. 1878, b. 2000); Bl. John XXIII (d. 1963, b. 2000); and Bl. John Paul II (d. 2005, b. 2011).

To my knowledge no solemn canonization has ever been retracted. Some saints have been removed from the General Calendar, like St. Christopher, but that is different - they're still saints.
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#3
What was the reason given for the removal of the Devil's Advocate, it seems like a nice safeguard to keeping truth in the forefront of the process.
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#4
Not sure about point 3, either, but in terms of sheer numbers, HH John Paul II canonised more Saints than all his predecessors put together since Papal Canonisations started. However, I should point out that many of his canonisations were of groups of martyrs so that one Solemn Canonisation might canonise dozens of new Saints.
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#5
(07-16-2013, 12:32 AM)jovan66102 Wrote: Not sure about point 3, either, but in terms of sheer numbers, HH John Paul II canonised more Saints than all his predecessors put together since Papal Canonisations started. However, I should point out that many of his canonisations were of groups of martyrs so that one Solemn Canonisation might canonise dozens of new Saints.

An excellent point.  The 400+ number of saints canonized by John Paul II is a lot less shocking when you notice groups like the 117 Vietnamese martyrs or 120 Chinese martyrs.
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