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The canonical pricess by which an invalid marriage is validated retroactively, back to the time when the contract was first made. Renewal of consent is not required once the impediments are dispensed. Thus, by a sort of legal fiction, the marriage will have been considered valid from the beginning. It is especially useful in the legitimation of children already born. Sanation may also be imperfect, thus not retroactive to the time of the original contract.
All items in this dictionary are from Fr. John Hardon's Modern Catholic Dictionary, © Eternal Life. Used with permission.