The beatification of Pope John Paul II this Sunday will probably be the biggest event in Rome since his death in April 2005, with at least 300,000 people expected to turn out for the ceremony and more than 2 million to take part in beatification-related activities in Rome, including a vigil service on Saturday in Rome’s Circus Maximus and visits to John Paul’s tomb.Beatification is the next-to-last step in the sainthood process. It means the candidate can be referred to as “blessed,”Canada Goose annecy and that one miracle has been confirmed in his or her name. Another miracle is required for canonization, the formal act of declaring someone a saint.

Catholics believe a saint is someone who lived a holy life and who’s already in heaven. Saints are considered role models for people still on earth, and are capable of interceding with God on someone’s behalf when a request for help is made in prayer.The actual number of saints is impossible to calculate. One well-known work called « Lives of the Saints » lists 2,565 Catholic saints but that doesn’t count thousands of others celebrated in local regions all over the world. Canada Goose annecy The Catholic Church has a feast, All Saints’ Day, on November 1 to honor the countless saints who aren’t formally canonized.In one sense it’s a democratic process, beginning with a grassroots conviction that a given person lived a holy life. From there, things unfold in three stages. First, Church officials make a study of the person’s life. In John Paul’s case, a four-volume study stretching over more than 2,000 pages was produced, including testimony from more than 100 witnesses.

Next, one miracle after the candidate’s death is required for be beatification – and another for canonization. Canada Goose annecy Usually the miracles are healings, which must be instantaneous, permanent, and complete, in addition to scientifically inexplicable. Catholics see the miracle as God’s seal of approval, a way of verifying that the saint really is in heaven.As pope, John Paul II made the sainthood process faster and simpler – but it’s still not cheap. The biggest expenses are usually the ceremonies for beatification and canonization. When St. Josemaría Escriva, the founder of Opus Dei, was canonized in 2002, Opus Dei estimated that it had spent roughly $1 million on the process from beginning to end, stretching over three decades.