Canonization vs Beatification
Canonization and Beatification are two procedures carried out by the Church with difference. Canonization is the supreme glorification by the Church of a servant of God raised to the honors of the altar with a degree declared definitive and perceptive for the whole Church, involving the solemn Magisterium of the Roman Pontiff.
On the other hand, Beatification is the concession of a public cult in the form of an indult, and limited to a servant of God whose virtues to a heroic degree or Martyrdom have been duly recognized. It is interesting to note that these definitions of Canonization and Beatification respectively were passed by the New Procedures in the Rite of Beatification, Congregation for the Causes of the Saints on Sept 29, 2005.
One of the important differences between them is that, canonization is the last step of the procedure in which the deceased person’s name is inscribed in the list of Saints or the catalog of Saints. It is an honor for the deceased person. It is interesting to note that the catalog is maintained by the Roman Catholic Church. The bishop proclaims somebody as a Saint in the case of canonization.
On the other hand, the deceased person who received beatification only receives local recognition. In canonization, the Saints, whose names are inscribed in the catalog, become venerated throughout the whole arena of the Catholic Church. This is one of the main differences between Canonization and Beatification.
Another important difference between the two processes is that while the culture of beatification is permitted, the culture of canonization is mandated. This is because the Saints who were subjected to canonization become patrons of Churches. They are looked upon as the glorious persons.
It is interesting to note that canonization follows beatification. In the Roman Catholic Church, a departed servant of God who is already beatified becomes canonized. It is a legal process whereby the deceased servant of God is declared as Saint. It is important to know that saints are venerated and celebrated at the Mass since they find entry into the canons of the Catholic Church.
One might wonder what should be the qualification of persons or servants of God who deserve either beatification or canonization. The answer is simple. Beatification requires two important virtues of heroism and miraculous power. On the other hand, canonization requires at least two additional miracles to have been performed by the saint who is declared canonized.
As a matter of fact, both canonization and beatification are looked upon as judgments by the church that the person who is either canonized or beatified reigns in glory and is worthy of respect and veneration. It is interesting to note that, in the earlier period, canonization is performed more like a local affair. On the other hand, beatification attracted locals and others. These are the most significant differences between the two procedures of the Church namely, Canonization and Beatification.