What It Takes to Become a Saint of the Catholic Church

Saints are ordinary people who lived in our world. In the past, the saints were martyrs but today, the Catholic Church recognizes exemplary good deeds of people to become saint. They may not be good people initially but because they were reformed, their sins were forgiven when they did remarkable things. The love of God is beyond measure and the big heart of our Lord embraces repentant sinners. And the penitent sinners have places in our eternal home.

We pray to saints for intercession. They help us in praying for the grant of our petitions. A majority of Catholics have their respective favorite saints. Shall we say that saints do have specialization? For instance, there are saints we pray for cancer patients (Sts. Peregrine, Ezequiel, Agatha) and there is a saint for heart ailment (St. Clara de Montefalco). St. Gerald Majella is the saint for expectant mothers as St. Joseph is the patron saint for the family and happy death. But many had prayed for the intercession of St. Therese of Lisieux referred to as the “Prodigy of Miracles” and “Greatest Saint of Modern Times”. And there are more other saints we always ask for intercession.

What does it really take to be among the saints? It is a long process and there are four stages – Servant of God, Venerable, Blessed and Saint.

Servant of God

This is the first stage and should start at the diocese level.  The religious person to start the inquiry is bishop with jurisdiction. The jurisdiction is the place where the candidate to become a servant of God died or was buried. This may not be restrictive as even an ordinary religious person can be authorized to open or initiate the process or investigation. There must be petition executed by the faithful, normally after five years of the candidate’s death. This requirement may be waived by the Pope. Investigation will be conducted, tracing the biography and the doings of the candidate. Recommendation for the “Causes of Saints” is made where a postulator is assigned to lead the investigation. There may be cases when the dead body is exhumed – perhaps for further examination.


Having enough information, the congregation will make recommendation to the Holy Father to proclaim the heroic virtues of the Servant of God. Among the virtues are faith, hope, charity, justice, fortitude, temperance and more that could be considered to reach the heroic degree. He or she will then be called Venerable or Heroic in Virtue. Unlike the Saints, the Venerables are not yet bestowed with feast days. However, people can pray to them for their intercession for miracles.


To be beatified, one must be a martyr or a confessor. Once beatified, the Venerable is called “Blessed”. It only takes the Pope to declare martyrdom for a Venerable to be elevated as Blessed. Non-martyrs are confessors of their faith and must have done miracles through their intercession. God lets them do miracles, usually cures; such person enjoyed “Beatific Vision by God” in response to prayers. Miraculous cures are today the easiest bases for blessedness. These candidates for sainthood will now have their feast days but only where they died or lived.


The blessed becomes saint with canonization. To be canonized, an additional miracle must be attributed through the intercession of the Blessed. Again, this is usually miraculous cure. This is fulfilled “Beatific Vision” and would be investigated and validated. Saints have Feast Days anywhere Catholicism is practiced. Parish churches may be built in their honor and their feasts will be celebrated without any restrictions.

To all these – Spouses Louis and Zelie Martin, parents of St. Therese of the Child Jesus had passed and will then be canonized in October, 2015. In addition, the steps towards this process are now underway for St. Therese’s sister, Leonie. (A page in this blog will be dedicated to Sps Louis and Zelie Martin and another page to Leonie.)

Canonization of St. Therese’s Parents – A Joy to Devotees



The scheduled canonization of Blessed Louis and Zelie Martin is another milestone. The parents of our heavenly best friend will be the first couple to be canonized together.

Sps. Louis and Zelie Martin were beatified on account of the miraculous healing of an Italian baby from Milan, Pietro Schiliro. The canonization is based on another cure – of Carmen, a little girl from Valencia, Spain.

I am a breast cancer survivor (going on my 7th year from the time the illness was diagnosed – January of 2009). I had been praying to St. Therese and the breast cancer patroness, St. Agatha. As a read the biography of Blessed Azelie Guarin-Martin, I discovered that St. Therese’s mother died of breast cancer. That was then the beginning –  I invoked the intercession of Blessed Zelie along with with my prayers to St. Agatha for the continuous cure of my ailment.

Blesed Louis and Zelie Martin are exemplary parents and along with St. Joseph who is my patron saint for my family, I now also invoke the intercession of Spouses Louis and Zelie as protectors of my family.

I had been praying for intercessions of the Martin couple – for anyone who needs miracles and there was. Thank you Lord, Blessed Louis and Zelie Martin will soon be among the saints.

Where To Go Devotees of St Therese of the Child Jesus

To any devotee of St. Therese, here are 4 shrines/churches dedicated in her honor. If you want to visit her, choose the nearest to your location. (I have gone to all these 4)

Shrine of St. Therese Shrine in Manlunas St., Pasay City – This is located across NAIA Terminal 3, near Resort World. This is a columbarium.ImageSta. Teresita del Nino Jesus Church – 43 Kanlaon St. Sta. Mesa Heights, Q.C. This is near the Q.C. Welcome Rotonda, also near Our Lady Of Lourdes Shrine.


Carmel of St. Therese of Liseux in Gilmore, New Manila, Quezon City. It is very near the Gilmore Computer Center and St. Paul’s College, Quezon City.


St. Therese of the Child Jesus Shrine in  Marcos Highway, Barangay Mayamot (Masinag), Antipolo, Rizal. You find this shrine after Filinvest Subdivision, near Masinag Market or across SM Masinag. You can drop by before going to Antip0lo City Proper.


The Little Way Of St. Therese

“I feel that my mission is about to begin, my mission to make God loved as I love Him, to teach souls my little way.

I wish to show souls that little way, that is to cast Jesus the flowers of little sacrifices, to captivate Him by caresses.

My way is the way of spiritual childhood, the way of trust and absolute confidence; a way that is very straight, very short and very new.

I just do what children have to do before they’ve learnt to read – I tell God what I want quite simply, without any splendid turns of phrase, and somehow He always manages to understand me.”

                                                                                                                                                   St. Therese

She Did It Again! Thanks St. Therese


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February is my annual check-up for my stage 2-A breast cancer. I am now on my third year of battle with this BIG C. I prayed for a favorable result of my tests. I made a novena to St. Therese, Padre Pio , St. Agatha, St. Peregrine, The Blessed Mother and especially to the Sacred Heart.

I went to the hospital for my mammogram, breast and abdomen ultrasound , chest X-ray and CBC. Even before the results were released, I knew I would be elated with the outcome of the tests. I received a long-stemmed red rose – here is she again manifesting the grant of my petition.

And I got the result. And true to my expectation – everything is OK – no traces of cancer – I AM CANCER FREE????

I have to enjoy life again for one full year until February, 2012. But everyday of my life, I will always be praying for my cancer-free body. Even the petition has been granted, my expression of gratitude is continuously acknowledging the blessings of the Lord invoked with the assistance of Mama Mary and my heavenly friends.

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The Saint Who Never Says No