Why Canonisation?

The Church has great need of saints. The real innovators in the Church are the saints, holy people whose lives are dramatic with a humble and homely heroism.

Holiness is found in a common day to day life. A saint is someone who offers so little resistance to the presence and the power of God, that God is able to pour himself freely into the person’s heart and fill it with Love. That Love flows out through the holy person’s hands out to all those who have need in the world – the poor, the lonely, the sick, the homeless, the helpless, all who have need of God’s Love whatever shape or form that need takes.

One saint is worth a thousand theological concepts. We will always need theologians to interpret our experiences of the Divine mysteries. We need saints to help us embrace that mystery. Minds are moulded and hearts are moved not by abstractions but by models.

It is God who makes saints. The Church simply ratifies God ’s handiwork and calls it to the attention of the faithful for their encouragement and veneration. When the Church declares that a person is a saint she is saying in effect that this person is with God, that his or her life is worth imitating and that she or he has the power to intercede with God on our behalf. It is the ordinary members of the faithful who bring to the attention of the institutional Church the fact that such and such a person has lived his/her life of Christian virtue in a way that goes beyond what would be expected of an ordinarily good person.