Christian Cyclopedia

About the Cyclopedia


In RCm, definitive sentence by which the pope declares a faithful departed (previously beatified) to have entered eternal glory and establishes a cult for the saint. Beatification allows only limited public veneration, whereas canonization establishes such veneration throughout the church.

In the early ch., martyrs were publicly venerated; later, also confessors. Local bps. controlled the cults of saints in their diocese; such control later devolved upon the pope. Canonization follows a long legal procedure (CIC, 1999–2141) in which the promotor fidei (advocatus diaboli, “devil's advocate”) produces arguments against canonization, while the postulator (advocatus Dei, “God's advocate”) urges the claims of the candidate. In the Russ. Ch. canonization was performed by the Holy Synod.

A. D. Severance, “Beatification and Canonization with Special Reference to Historic Proof and the Proof of Miracles,” American Society of Church History Papers, ed. W. W. Rockwell, 2d series, vol. 3 (New York, 1912), 41–62; G. Oesterle, “Heiligsprechung”, Lexikon für Theologie und Kirche, V (Freiburg, 1960), 142–143; E. W. Kemp, Canonization and Authority in the Western Church (New York, 1948).

Edited by: Erwin L. Lueker, Luther Poellot, Paul Jackson
©Concordia Publishing House, 2000, All rights Reserved. Reproduced with Permission

Internet Version Produced by
The Lutheran Church--Missouri Synod

Original Editions ©Copyright 1954, 1975, 2000
Concordia Publishing House
All rights reserved.

Content Reproduced with Permission

Stay Connected! Join the LCMS Network:

Contact Us Online
(Staff Switchboard)
(Church Info Center)
1333 S Kirkwood Rd
Saint Louis, MO 63122-7226 | Directions


Featured Publication

The Lutheran Witness

LCMS Communications

Interpreting the contemporary world from a Lutheran Christian perspective.
Visit TLW Online