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What Does Venerable Mean?

What Does Venerable Mean?

A person whose heroic Christian virtues the Church has recognized is called a venerable person. This is the second step towards the recognition of holiness by the Catholic Church. The Church recognizes a person successively as servant of God, venerable, blessed, and finally, following canonization by the Pope, saint.

How do you become venerable?

One becomes venerable in a process of beatification. A group of the faithful represented by the Postulator of the Cause makes a request to the Bishop to open a cause of beatification. The bishop opens a canonical trial in which all the available evidence of holiness are examined. Experts (theologians) will study the writings, the testimonies, the possible miracles or martyrdom, etc. All this forms a Cause that will pass from the diocesan level to the Congregation for the Causes of Saints in Rome following the beatification. When the bishop is able to affirm the heroic Christian virtues, he declares the person a servant of God. This first step is followed by the proclamation, during a celebration, of the person as venerable. Next comes beatification, which requires the recognition of a miracle attributed to the intercession of the future saint.

A few examples of venerable people

  • Venerable Marcel Van (1928-1959) is a Vietnamese religious redeemer. Guided by Saint Therese of Lisieux, he developed his spirituality of holiness in small things. He died a martyr of communism, having always kept alive his joy and his love for Jesus.
  • Venerable Marthe Robin (1902-1981) was a French mystic, founder of the Foyers de Charité, the Homes of Charity. Bedridden for 50 years, reliving each week the Passion of Jesus, and nourishing herself only from the Eucharist, Martha offered herself entirely to Jesus. The fertility of her life never ceased to increase.
  • The venerable Zita de Bourbon-Parme, wife of Blessed Charles of Austria, was the last empress of the Austro-Hungarian Empire. This exemplary wife and mother accompanied her husband in the great trials of the end of the Empire. Together they put Jesus at the heart of their lives and put His Word into practice no matter what it cost them.
  • Venerable Robert Schuman. A politician of the twentieth century, he was declared venerable by Pope Francis in 2021. Indeed, Robert Schuman worked hard to bring Germany closer together following the Second World War.

Discover and Pray with the Venerable on Hozana!