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BEATIFICATION

A declaration by the Pope as head of the Church that one of the deceased faithful lived a holy life and/or died a martyr's death and is now dwelling in heaven. As a process, the beatification consists of a years-long examination of the life, virtues, writings, and reputation for holiness of the servant of God under consideration. This is ordinarily conducted by the bishop of the place where he or she resided or died. For a martyr miracles worked through the person's intercession need not be considered in this primary process. The second, or Apostolic, process is instituted by the Holy See when the first process reveals that the servant of God practiced virtue in a heroic degree or died a martyr for the faith. Beatified persons are called "Blessed" and may be venerated by the faithful but not throughout the universal Church. (Etym. Latin beatificatio, the state of being blessed; from beatus, happy.)

All items in this dictionary are from Fr. John Hardon's Modern Catholic Dictionary, © Eternal Life. Used with permission.

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