In 993, Pope John XV elevated Uric of Augsburg formally and universally as we do today to the level of Saint. Before that time, local bishops would decide which candidates would have honorable mention and feast days. Originally, only martyrs were honored and “recommended” to the public.
Pope Alexander III in the 12th century was the first pope to restrict the prerogative of canonization to the Holy See. In 1983 the process was modified, with one of the changes being to reduce the process to ten years. The person must have died at least five years prior to the beginning of the process.
The levels in the process are Venerable, Blessed, and Saint.
Venerable – The congregation researches the candidate’s virtues to verify if the person practiced virtue to a heroic degree, or died a martyr’s death, and either does or does not recommend their cause. When the pope accepts the report, the candidate in termed “Venerable.”
Blessed – The second (apostolic) process continues the first. Now is a very lengthy process of scrutiny over the person’s life, virtues, writings and reputation for holiness. Customarily one miracle must be credited to the candidate’s intercession with God. The venerable candidate would then be “beatified” by the pope at a ceremony in St. Peter’s Basilica.
Saint – Canonization means being “raised to the full honors of the altar.” A second miracle, after beatification is required. In the ceremonies, the name of the saint is mentioned in the Eucharistic prayer of the Mass, and is usually accorded triduum, often in another church in Rome.
Beatification allows veneration, canonization requires it. The beatified are recommended to a city/region or religious order for veneration, the Canonized are recommended to the whole Church.
- S – Solemnity – Liturgies celebrating events, beliefs, and personages of greatest importance and universal significance in salvation history.
- F – Feast – Liturgies of lesser significance.
- M – Obligatory Memorial – Liturgies of the next to least significance.
- m – Optional Memorial – Liturgies significant only to local country, church or religious community.
- aa – Archangel – Chief angels, messenger from God in significant matters
- ab – Abbot – Monastic superior
- ap – Apostle – Twelve who followed Christ
- b – Bishop – Pastor of a diocese
- ca – Catechist
- d – Doctor of the Church – Author of eminent holiness
- de – Deacon – Ordained clergy of the first rank
- di – Disciple of the Lord
- e – Evangelist
- fm – First Martyr
- m – Missionary
- mm – Married Man
- mw – Married Woman
- oc – Celebrated under the old liturgical calendar
- ph – Physicians
- po – Pope – Successor of Peter, Bishop of Rome
- pr – Presbyter – Presider in the community
- r – Religious
- rf – Religious founder
- ru – Ruler
- v – Virgin
Prayers for any Saints Day from Catholic Dispatch
Grant, we beseech Thee, almighty God, that the examples of Saint _______ may effectually move us to reform our lives; that while we celebrate his festival, we may also imitate his actions. Through our Lord Jesus Christ. Amen.
Look upon our weakness, almighty God, and since the burden of our own deeds weighs heavily upon us, may the glorious intercession of Saint _______ protect us. Through Christ our Lord. Amen.