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Vatican prepares for first-ever canonisation of two popes

Published on Apr 10, 2014 5:36 PM
 
A Swiss guard stands for the arrival of Pope Francis to lead the general audience in Saint Peter's square at the Vatican April 9, 2014. Being made a saint of the Catholic Church is no easy feat. As the Church prepares to celebrate on April 27 its first-ever canonisation of two popes at the same time, John XXIII and John Paul II, below is a step-by-step guide to the process of achieving full sainthood. -- PHOTO: REUTERS

VATICAN CITY (AFP) - Being made a saint of the Catholic Church is no easy feat. As the Church prepares to celebrate on April 27 its first-ever canonisation of two popes at the same time, John XXIII and John Paul II, below is a step-by-step guide to the process of achieving full sainthood.

The procedure can be very expensive - costing up to US$1 million(S$1.24 million) - and this has tended to favour candidates from the developed world, although the Vatican is now trying to make it easier for sainthood causes from poorer countries.

In the case of John XXIII, Pope Francis also skipped a traditional step by approving the cause even though no second miracle has been found in a procedure known as "equipollent canonisation" which effectively allows for recognition of a candidate's saint-like cult status.

1. 'Reputation for sainthood': Friends or relatives can apply posthumously for their loved one to be recognised as having a "reputation for sainthood", which gets the ball rolling on the full sainthood application process.

 
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