Beatification: what does it mean?
"Blessed" is a title which is given to persons who have led a notably righteous and devout life, and by whose intercession with God, a miracle has happened.
A Saint is a Blessed person by whose intercession with God, a miracle has happened after they were beatified.
Although the act of beatification and canonization is a privilege of the Pope, the candidates are usually nominated by the grass roots.
The beatification procedure
When someone keeps on attracting attention and becomes the object of worship even years after they've deceased, a person or organization can plead for this person's beatification, along with paying for the very expensive beatification procedure. The diocese in which the person has deceased, organizes an inquiry. If the blessed reputation is established, all the relevant sources are gathered, and the remaining witnesses are interviewed. The miracles which are attributed to the candidate are analyzed.
After completion of the diocesan work, the Congregation for the Causes of Saints determines whether or not the candidate has excelled in divine and moral virtues. If the Pope approves the investigation, the Congregation issues a decree by which the candidate may be called "servant of God" or "Venerable".
Next, the Congregation verifies the supposed miracles. Five experts, usually doctors, take part in this investigation. If at least three of them have a positive judgment, the report of the investigation is submitted to an assembly of theologists, followed by an assembly of bishops and cardinals. After their findings are transferred to the Pope, it's up to him to decide whether or not the candidate is declared a Saint. Usually, this takes place during a ceremony a the Saint Peter's Square in Rome.
Blessed or sacred status is not limited to the canonized Blessed and Saints. All of those who live or have lived a devout and righteous life, are sacred. The canonized Saints are the saints for whom an extraordinary worship has arisen, which is then acknowledged by the clerical authorities.
What does the npo Friends of Herman Wijns do?
Some years ago, a procedure for beatification has been initiated. Hand written letters containing the testimonies have been read and typed out. Testimonies have also been recorded on tape. In the meanwhile, all of this has ceased to some extent due to a lack of time.
At the end of 2014, the Fund contained 24.297,79€. The total cost is estimated at 50,000 €. In the meanwhile, the Fund keeps on growing, but we still have a long way to go.
Gifts for the Beatification Fund:
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