Pope Francis Announces New Criteria For Becoming A Saint

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Becoming a saint in Catholicism is no easy feat, and for good reason. Sainthood is reserved only for those who exemplify Christian values.

Under Pope Francis, 38 people have been canonized, or made saints. Mother Teresa received sainthood in 2016, and the most recent saints were Saint Francisco and Saint Jacinta, from Portugal. They were canonized in May of 2017. The brother and sister duo witnessed apparitions of the Angel of Peace and the Blessed Virgin Mary.

From left to right: Jacinta Marto, Lucia dos Santos, and Francisco MartoThe Immaculate Heart

In the past, there were three categories that could give someone a path to sainthood:

  • being killed for the faith (martyrdom)
  • living a life heroically of Christian virtues
  • having a strong reputation for religious devotion

However, Pope Francis has made a large change to the criteria required for sainthood.

In an official letter from his Holiness, this change is considered "one of the most significant changes in centuries to the Roman Catholic Church's saint-making procedures."

Keep reading to find out what the new criteria for sainthood entails.

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