In the course of canonization processes, several terms are used to indicate the candidates. Episcopal decrees on the initiation of the inquiry refer to candidates as Servants of God. After the Pope has recognised the holiness or martyrdom of the candidates, they are referred to by the title of Venerable (Venerable Servant of God).
Candidates are called Venerable until their beatification. We may refer to the Blessed as Saints from the moment of their canonization, after the Pope has decreed their enrolment in the catalogue of saints. The competent Bishop may initiate the inquiry no sooner than five years after the death of the candidate. Exemption from this rule may only be granted by the Pope. The initiation of the process is subject to the strict condition of the widespread reputation of the candidate's holiness or martyrdom among the faithful who knew them personally or by hearsay.
The diocesan phase of the process consists of four main steps:
1. The preliminary phase of the cause: tasks related to the initiation of the process;
2. Gathering of written proofs and documents;
3. Hearing of witnesses;
4. Closing and forwarding of the acts to Rome.
Steps of the Roman phase of the process:
1. Preliminary phase: tasks related to the reception of the acts and to the formal examination of the diocesan process;
2. Examination of the content (completion) of the acts and preparation of the summary of the documentation of the cause (the so-called Positio or Position);
3. Evaluation of the documentation (decisions of the Historical Consultors, Theologians and the Congregation);
4. Decisions of the Pope (about the candidate's holiness or martyrdom and miracles).
Separate procedures shall be carried out concerning the candidate's holiness (or martyrdom) and the miracles but, essentially, both have the same structure. We will now go through this canonization process.