Why are there so many saints

Five times wise - How many saints are there?

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Pope Francis canonized his two predecessors, Pope John Paul II and Pope John XXIII. For centuries the Catholic Church has raised men and women to the state of holiness. But how many people are really venerated as saints is not exactly known.

Only the boss at the top probably knows exactly. His staff in Rome has kept records of which Christians are considered holy for centuries - but that was not always the case. An official procedure, link opens in a new window to decide on a canonization did not exist for a long time. In the early days, the people of the Church decided in practice who they considered holy before the popes - almost 1000 years after Christ - gradually took on this task.

It was not until 1588 that the process of canonization was formalized. And until 1988, i.e. in 400 years, the responsible congregation, according to the American Bishops' Conference, spoke to 285 people, Link opens in a new window - not counting those who were declared to be so under Pope John Paul II (1978-2005). And there were many: After the act was rather a rarity with its predecessors, 483 deceased were canonized under the Pope from Poland. Benedict XVI followed at 45 and the new church father Francis already in 815, including the 813 victims of a massacre, Link opens in a new window in August 1480.

The bottom line is that 1628 people are saints according to the “official” church procedure. Only: In the directory Martyrologium Romanum, link opens in a new window, more than 6600 saints were listed in 2004, although the blessed were also counted. Other sources even mention numbers over 10,000, including the saints from the Orthodox Church. The Protestants have it easier: saints may be officially commemorated. But calling on people other than Jesus Christ in prayer is not considered theologically appropriate.

The two new saints:

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On April 27, 2014, Pope Francis canonized two Popes for the first time in St. Peter's Square in Rome: Pope John XXIII and Pope John Paul II. The process for John Paul II was carried out in a record time of eight years. He was beatified only six years after his death.

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  • Comment by Vreny Fink, Chur
    We are all called to holiness. Saints precede us on the way.
    Agree agree to the comment
  • Comment from Rolf Maier, 57270 Uckange
    From a biblical point of view, all of Jesus' disciples are saints, because they are "sanctified" by his sacrifice. It is the same with the "priesthood": there are not a few priests, but all pardoned (for reading from the so-called first "pope", the "saint" Peter, in his first letter, chapter 2, verses 4-10 ). The "holy" is therefore not the specifically spiritual from a human point of view, but the humble and grateful "separated" people who follow Christ.
    Agree agree to the comment
    1. answer from Beppie Hermann, Bern
      Raised as a stick Catholic, deported to stick Catholic schools and boarding schools, frankly I have seen almost no gifted priests, fathers or nuns, on the contrary. There are human + inhuman people and a whole range in between. Unfortunately we have lost a lot of the humanity of our close relatives, who wisely, despite atheism, also recognize and live their status as part of nature.
      Agree agree to the comment
    2. Show answers
  • Comment from Marlene Zelger, 6370 Stans
    It is easier to know how many hypocrites are walking around.
    Agree agree to the comment

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