The process itself is divided into four main stages. The first begins at a local diocese. It's here that a detailed report on the life and virtues of the candidate is prepared before being submitted to the Vatican. If it gets the green light the person is declared a Servant of God. The next phase is being declared 'Venerable.' That happens when historians, theologians and cardinals agree that the candidates' heroic virtues merit that title.
In the third stage the person is declared a Blessed. For that to happen a miracle has to be attributed to his or her intercession. The miracle has to be scientifically inexplicable and it must be approved by scientists and theologians. From that point on, blesseds can be venerated in sites that are connected to their lives. Once a year, their feast day is celebrated.
The fourth and final step requires a second miracle that must happen after the candidate was beatified. If the miracle is approved, the candidate can then be declared a saint.
But before any of this happens, the Pope must first approve the entire process. Once the candidate is officially declared a saint, he or she is recognized as someone who lived an exemplary life that's worthy of the Church's highest honor.
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