There is also a difference how a Saint is declared or Glorified in the Orthodox Church as compared to the legal rule bound aopproach the Roman Catholic Church takes. In Orthodoxy, it begins individually with people asking for prayers of a holy person who has reposed, gathers steam as the Sainst is locally venerated, and then finally when the Saint is Glorified by an Orthodox Church at the decree of the Synod of Bishops.
In the Roman Church, there is a different much more detaled process. Here are key facts about the canonization process by which the Roman Catholic Church makes a saint:
- Under normal Church rules, five years must pass after a person dies before the procedure for sainthood can even begin. Despite a person's reputation of holiness during his or her life, the process cannot begin until after death.
- The reigning pope has the authority to waive the five-year waiting period. Pope Benedict put John Paul on the fast track in May 2005, just two months after his predecessor died. John Paul himself had done the same for Mother Teresa, whose "cause" was begun just 14 months after her death in 1997.
- When the local bishop begins the "cause", the candidate for sainthood receives the title "Servant of God". A "postulator" is then appointed to help gather information from people who knew the candidate.
- One miracle is required after a candidate's death for the cause to move on to beatification. The miracle must be the result of a person praying to the candidate for intercession with God. Miracles are usually the healing of medical conditions that doctors are at a loss to explain.
- The candidate can then be beatified and declared a "blessed" of the church. Another distinct miracle is needed between beatification and canonization, or the conferring of sainthood.
- Parts of the Church's saint-making process go back several centuries. The procedure is detailed and often long. In the early Church, a simple acclamation sufficed.
Sources: Reuters; www.newadvent.org
The Orthodox Church still goes by simple acclamation or glorification.