The Fame of Signs

Have you ever noticed on a holy card, “To report graces received, contact […………]”?

In any cause for beatification or canonization there are a number of stringent requirements that must be met in order, first of all, to move forward with the cause, and then, in the end, for the person under investigation to be declared a Blessed or Saint of the Church. The requirement for miracles – one for beatification and another for canonization – is only one part of the overall “fame of holiness” that has to be proven.

Another element of the “fame of holiness”, besides certifiable miracles, is a more general phenomenon known as the fame of signs.

This type of “fame” has to do with all the special graces that people receive by praying privately to the proposed Blessed or Saint; in other words, all the special “gifts” from on high that do not fall into the category of “strict miracles”, but are nevertheless indications that one’s prayers have been heard. These “signs” can be spiritual or temporal: for one person, it’s the grace to forgive someone; for another person, it’s finding a job after being unemployed; and so many other possibilities besides…

Have you been praying to someone whose cause for beatification or canonization is still “in process”? Have some of your prayers been answered? If so, then you can greatly help that cause to move forward by using the contact information on the holy card and sending in a report of what God has done for you through that holy person’s intercession. If you don’t have the contact information at hand, Google is your friend: search for “cause for canonization of name” and see if something comes up.

Don’t think that we should only write in when we have a certifiable miracle to report. Even your “small” graces received, through the intercession of a holy person, can be helpful in their cause to be raised to the altars as a saint of the Church!

Do your part to report your special graces received!

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3 Responses to The Fame of Signs

  1. Magdalena says:

    Is there any special way we should pray for the intercession of one of these persons under investigation? Or from the perspective of our prayer, it is in the same way as if they are saints?

    • I would pray normally. However, I wouldn’t be surprised to find a current in southern Italian piety that is more “threatening”: “You want to be a saint, don’t you!? What, you can’t answer this little prayer? Some ‘saint’ you are! Well I guess I’ve had it with the likes of you now…” 🙂

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