Michael McGivney

Path to Sainthood

Sainthood Defined

Congregation for the Causes of Saints

The office in the Vatican that deals with causes for sainthood in Rome, and which investigates and approves the causes.


An expert appointed to oversee the entire cause for sainthood, especially investigation into the life, work and holiness of a candidate, and any miracles reported through his intercession.


When a person prays to God for another person. Regarding canonization, this happens also when a person prays to the candidate for sainthood, asking the candidate to intercede on their behalf.


Scientifically unexplainable occurrences (usually medical cures). Miracles that happen through such intercessory prayers are considered a possible sign that the candidate is with God. One authenticated miracle is required for beatification, and an additional one for canonization.