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Pope Francis has named the most saints in history

Pope Francis, in his seven years as pope, has given out the title “saint” to the most people. Even in John Paul II's 27-year papacy, only 482 people were named saints, while Pope Francis has pronounced 898 saints for the Catholic Church.

Cardinal Becciu, the prefect of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints, says there's a reason for this high number.

Prefect, Cong. Causes of Saints

“Pope Francis has named the most saints because he had a group of 800 martyrs, the martyrs from Otranto. Pope Francis thus, has a higher number because this group raised the average number. If he didn't have them, he'd be in the same normal range.”

Cardinal Becciu says each month, he is able to go to the pope and present the causes for venerable, to be beatified and to be canonized that were decided by the members of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints in this room.

Prefect, Cong. Causes of Saints

“I bring him the dossier. I read all the causes we have, tell him about the processes and his and say 'yes' or 'no.' So the pope has the final word after he sees the information, how the process is going and how the saint had lived.”

At that point, beatifications return to the home diocese of the saint, while canonizations are scheduled to take place in Rome. However, if one coincides with a papal trip, the pope himself can canonize the saint in his or her home country.

This group of 15th-century martyrs, however, were canonized at the Vatican just two months after Francis was elected pope.

Since then, he has pronounced 85 others saints, making the total number of saints he has named 898.

Melissa Butz