Making Saints

In spite of the fact that the saints and those who have been beatified are such an integral part of the Catholic faith, many are not familiar with just how a person becomes a saint. How does the church decide who it worthy of sainthood? Can anyone become a saint? How many saints are there? If you are scratching your head pondering these questions, don’t worry, we’ve got you covered. After all, we are more than just a religious goods store. St. Jude Shop is part of the church community and we desire to share in the search for truth right alongside you.


Canonization is the official name for the process of declaring a saint. Until early in the 13th century, the Church did not have a formal process for declaring a person’s sainthood. Before the year 1234, it was typically martyrs who were recognized as saints by the Church; however, as time went on it became clear that there needed to be a process in place to prevent those who are less than worthy from being deemed saintly. For instance, in Sweden there was a drunken monk who was killed in a bar fight and was declared a saint in the days following the incident. Pope Gregory IX was the first to establish a canonization procedure in 1234, and later in 1588, Pope Sixtus V entrusted the Congregation of the Causes of the Saints with overseeing the entire canonization process.

The Process

The process of canonization typically moves through two stages, ending with an ultimate decision from the Pope himself.

Stage I: Diocesan Level

A person becomes eligible for sainthood five years after he or she dies. This waiting period is necessary to ensure the objectivity of the decision. After five years, the local bishop of the diocese in which the person is buried can convene a tribunal and investigate that person’s life.

Stage II: Congregation for the Causes of the Saints

Once the saint candidate has been investigated at the local level, the proceedings move to the Vatican in Rome. Once the appropriate documents are received by the Congregation of Saints, nine theologians determine whether the case has merit. If a miracle has occurred since the death of the person in question, then he or she may be beatified, or named “Blessed.” Another subsequent miracle is required in order to declare that person a saint by the Pope.

There are over 10,000 named saints and beati, however no official head count exists. At St. Jude Shop, we honor those saints and all of the works they performed for the good of humanity and the glory of God. So whether you need gifts for first baptism or first communion, you can rely on us. Shop with us today.