Official website of the Anne Guigné’s Friends Association

The path to canonization goes through the following stages:

1 – Preliminary approach

It is for the bishop of the diocese in which the person, whose well-established reputation of saintliness died, to introduce officially the cause for canonization. He then appoints a “postulator” to gather the first elements which will permit him to get an idea of the interest for the church to engage the procedure. After studying the documentation thus assembled, he then asks the opinion of the bishops of the region (or the ecclesiastical province).

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2 – The diocesan process

The bishop then then tries to obtain the nihil obstat from the Congregation for the Cause of Saints in Rome before opening by decree the diocesan enquiry and constituting a tribunal including at least a president, a promoter of justice (responsible for preparing the questions to asked to the witnesses) a solicitor and experts. In the same way, when it is question of giving a ruling on the authenticity of a miracle, the bishop of the place where the miracle occurred names a tribunal of the same composition.

3 – The Pontifical decision

After verification of the work done by the diocese, the Congregation for the cause of saints names a reporter responsible for establishing the positio which is the reference document given to the experts who must give an opinion, in writing, on the authenticity of the reputation of saintliness, of martyrdom or of a miracle.

Jean-Pol Grandmont

The members of the congregation then vote; their recommendation is submitted to the approval of the Sovereign Pontiff who officialises by decree the martyrdom, the heroicity of virtues1 or the miracle.

It is for the Pope, and he alone, to give a ruling on the beatification or the canonization. This decision is rendered public in the course of a Consistory, the members of which will have previously consulted.

4 – Venerable, Blessed and Saint

The Servant of God distinguished by a decree recognising the heroicity of his or her virtues is pronounced “Venerable”. This has been Anne de Guigné’s position since 1990.

Generally, a Venerable Servant of God to whom a miracle can be attributed may be proclaimed “Blessed” by the Pope; and to be canonised, a second miracle attributed to the “Blessed” will be expected. However, the dispense of miracles systematically accorded to martyrs can also be pronounced by the Pope for another reason if this exception seems to him to be justified.

 

1 The heroicity of virtues – Unlike the heros of antiquity who only had their own strength, the Christian hero gets his strength from God; he strives to imitate God - ”Be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect.” but for this he needs divine grace, virtues infused by God and the gifts of the Holy Spirit. The virtues are the permanent dispositions to do good and to do well; we can distinguish between the theological virtues (faith, hope and charity) and the cardinal virtues (prudence, justice, force and temperance) to which are attached many other virtues, such as piety, or humility. In a child, instant obedience is a particularly clear criterion of virtue.
The heroicity of virtues is the constant, prompt, joyful and never-failing practice of all the virtues theological and cardinal to a degree that shows how much the Servant of God is inspired by God and how much he wishes to accomplish the will of God in everything he does.