Pope Francis adds new way to achieve sainthood

Pope Francis has issued an apostolic letter in which he created a new category through which a Christian can achieve sainthood.


Francis issued the letter, titled Maiorem hac dilectionem, on Tuesday, creating the “oblatio vitae,” or “the free offering of [one’s] life,” pathway to sainthood, which is the fourth possible path to sainthood and the first change to such requirements in centuries.

The new category requires that a miracle be attributed to a candidate prior to beatification and that the Catholic Church determines the candidate lived a good life as a Catholic and that he or she freely accepted a certain and premature death as a sacrifice in the benefit of others.

Previously, those considered for sainthood required that the Catholic Church determined such candidates lived a life of heroic values, clearly had a saintly reputation or died via martyrdom — which does not require a miracle attributed to the candidate, but stipulates such candidate must be killed out of hatred for his or her faith.

By Andrew V. Pestano