The New “Blesseds” of 2012 | J. J. Ziegler | Catholic World Report
A look at the lives of the holy men and women beatified in the last year.
In September 2005, the Congregation for the Causes of Saints announced that Pope Benedict was instituting new procedures for the rite of beatification.
“Canonization is the supreme glorification by the Church of a Servant of God raised to the honors of the altar with a decree declared definitive and preceptive for the whole Church, involving the solemn Magisterium of the Roman Pontiff,” the Congregation stated. “Beatification, on the other hand, consists in the concession of a public cult in the form of an indult and limited to a Servant of God whose virtues to a heroic degree, or martyrdom, have been duly recognized.” The liturgical cult of blessed, according to the formula of beatification, is limited in locis ac modis iure statutis (“in places and modes established by law”).
Beginning in 1662, beatifications took place in Rome, with a curial official leading the ceremony in the morning and the pope venerating the blessed in the afternoon. In 1971, the popes began to preside personally at the beatification rites, which at times came to be celebrated outside Rome.
“Rites of beatification and canonization are already in themselves quite different; nonetheless, the fact that from 1971 onwards the Holy Father generally presided at them has almost blinded people to the substantial difference between the two institutions,” the Congregation noted. Pope Benedict blended aspects of the older and newer practices: beatifications would henceforth typically be presided over by the prefect of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints and would typically take place outside Rome.
In 2012, 28 venerable servants of God—including 15 martyrs, five founders of religious communities, and two converts—have been raised to the altars in 14 beatification ceremonies.Continue reading on the CWR site.