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Fundation Alexandrina de Balasar


Apostolic Constitution Divinus Perfectionis Magister



The divine teacher and model of perfection, Christ Jesus, who together with the Father and the Holy Spirit is announced as "alone Holy", loved the Church as His bride and delivered Himself up for her so that He might sanctify her and make her glorious in His sight. Therefore, he gave the order to all His disciples to imitate the perfection of the Father and He sends upon all the Holy Spirit, who might inspire them from within to love God with their whole heart and to love one another as He Himself loved them. As the Second Vatican Council teaches, the followers of Christ, called and justified in the Lord Jesus not according to their works but according to His own purpose and grace, through baptism sought in faith truly become sons of God and sharers in the divine nature, and thus truly holy (Lumen Gentium, n. 40).

In all times, God chooses from this many who, following more closely the example of Christ, give outstanding testimony to the Kingdom of heaven by shedding their blood or by the heroic practice of virtues.

The Church, which from the earliest beginnings of Christianity has always believed that the Apostles and Martyrs are more closely joined to us in Christ, has venerated them together with the Blessed Virgin Mary and the Holy Angels, and has devoutly implored the aid of their intercession. To these were soon added others also who had imitated more closely the virginity and poverty of Christ, and, finally, others whose outstanding practice of the Christian virtues and whose divine charismas commended them to the devotion of, and imitation by, the faithful.

When we consider the life of those who have faithfully followed Christ, we are inspired with a new reason to seek the City of the future and we are most safely taught the path by which, among the changing things of this world and in keeping with the state in life and condition proper to each of us, we can arrive at that perfect union with Christ, which is holiness.

Surrounded as we are by such a range of witnesses, through whom God is present to us and speaks to us, we are strongly drawn to reach His Kingdom in heaven, through the practice of the virtues.

From time immemorial, the Apostolic See has accepted these signs and has listened to the voice of her Lord with the greatest reverence and docility. Faithful to the serious duty entrusted to her of teaching, sanctifying and governing the People of God, she proposes to the faithful for their imitation, veneration and invocation, men and women who are outstanding in the brightness of charity and other evangelical virtues and, after due investigations, she declares them, in the solemn act of canonization, to be Saints.

The Instruction "Causarum canonizationis", which Our Predecessor Sixtus V entrusted to the Congregation of Sacred Rites, which he himself had established, was, with the passage of time, always improved by new norms. This occurred through the work of Urban VIII, which Prosper Lambertini (later Pope Benedict XIV), drawing upon the experiences of time past, handed down to later generations in a work entitled De Servorum Dei beatificatione et beatorum canonizatione. This work served as the rule of the Congregation of Rites for almost two centuries. Finally, these norms were substantially incorporated into the Code of Canon Law in 1917.

However, since recent progress in the field of historical studies has shown ​​the need of providing the competent Congregation with a working instrument better suited for its task so as to respond more adequately to the dictates of historical criticism, our Predecessor Pius XI, in the Apostolic Letter Già da qualche tempo, issued motu proprio on February 6, 1930,   established the "Historical Section" within the Sacred Congregation of Rites and entrusted it with the study of historical causes (AAS 22 (1930) pp. 87-88). The same pontiff, on January 4, 1939, ordered the publication of   Normae servandae in construendis processibus ordinariis super causis historicis (AAS 31 (1939) pp. 174-175), which made the "apostolic" process no longer necessary so that a single process would then be conducted with ordinary authority in historical causes.

Paul VI, with the Apostolic Letter Sanctitas clarior of March 19, 1969 (AAS 61 (1969) pp. 149-153), established that even in recent causes there would be only one cognitional process for gathering proofs, which the Bishop conducts with previous permission, nevertheless, from the Holy See. The same Pontiff, in the Apostolic Constitution Sacra Rituum Congregatio (AAS 61 (1969) pp. 297-305) of May 8, 1969, established two new dicasteries in place of the Sacred Congregation of Rites. To one he gave the responsibility of regulating divine worship and to the other the responsibility of dealing with the causes of Saints; on that same occasion he changed the procedure to be followed in these causes.

As a final point, after recent experience, has shown us the relevance of revising the manner of instructing causes and of so structuring the Congregation for the Causes of Saints that we might meet the needs of experts and the desires of our brothers bishops, who have often called for a simpler process while maintaining the soundness of the investigations in matter of such great importance. We also think that the Bishops should be more closely related with the Holy See in dealing with the causes of saints, in light of the doctrine of the Second Vatican Council on collegiality.

So, having abrogated all laws of any kind which pertain to this matter, we established that the following norms are henceforth to be observed.





1) It is the right of diocesan Bishops or ecclesiastical authorities who have the same power in law, within the limits of their own jurisdiction, either because of their own office or upon the request of individual members of the faithful or of legitimate associations and their representatives, to inquire about the life, virtues, martyrdom, and reputation of sanctity or martyrdom, alleged miracles and, eventually, ancient cult of a servant of God, whose canonization is sought.

2) In inquiries of this kind, the Bishop is to proceed according to the particular Norms to be published by the Congregation for the Causes of Saints, and this is the order to be followed:

1. From the Postulator of the Cause, legitimately appointed by the Petitioner, seek out accurate information about the life of the Servant of God and be thoroughly informed by him about the reasons which seem to support promoting the cause.

2. If the Servant of God has published any writings, the Bishop is to see to it that they are examined by theological censors.

3. If the writings have been found to contain nothing contrary to faith and good morals, then the Bishop should order persons who are qualified for this task to collect other unpublished writings (letters, diaries, etc.), as well as all documents which in any way pertain to the cause. After they have faithfully completed their task, they are to write a report on their investigations.

4. If the Bishop has prudently judged that, on the basis of all that has been done so far, the cause can proceed, he is to see to it that those witnesses proposed by the Postulator and others to be called ex officio are duly examined.

However, if it is urgent that witnesses be examined lest any proofs be lost, they are to be questioned even though the gathering of the documents has not yet been completed.

5. The inquiry into alleged miracles is to be conducted separately from the inquiry into virtues or martyrdom.

6. When the inquiries are complete, a transcript of all the acts is to be sent in duplicate to the Congregation for the Causes of Saints, together with a copy of the books of the Servant of God which were examined by the theological censors and their judgment as well.

The Bishop, in addition, is to attach a declaration on the observance of the decrees of Urban VIII regarding the absence of cult.





3) The Congregation for the Causes of Saints is presided over by the Cardinal Prefect, assisted by the Secretary, and its duty is to deal with those matters which are related to the canonization of Servants of God by providing advice and guidelines to Bishops in the instruction of the causes, by studying the causes thoroughly and by casting its votes. It is also the duty of the Congregation to decide those things that are related to the authenticity and preservation of relics.

4) The duty of the Secretary is:

1. To handle business with those outside the Congregation, especially with Bishops who are instructing causes;

2. Participate in the discussions about the merit of the causes and to cast a vote in the meeting of Cardinal and Bishop Members of the Congregation;

3. To draw up the report on how the Cardinals and Bishops voted, that is to be given to the Supreme Pontiff;

5) In fulfilling his duty, the Secretary is assisted by an Undersecretary, whose task is primarily to make certain whether the rules of law have been followed in the instruction of the causes. The Secretary is also assisted by an adequate number of minor officials.

6) For the purpose of studying the causes there is in the Congregation a College of Relators, presided over by the Relator General.

7) Relators are responsible for:

1. The studying, together with collaborators from outside the Congregation, of the causes entrusted to them and to prepare the Positions on virtues or on martyrdom;

2. The preparation of written explanations of an historical nature which may have been requested by the Consultors;

3. Their presence as experts at the Congress of the Theologians, although without the right to vote;

8) One of the Relators should be especially selected to prepare the Positions about miracles and he will take part in the meetings of the physicians and theologians.

9) The Relator General, who presides over the Group of History Consultors, is to be aided in his study by some assistants.

10) The Congregation for the Causes of Saints is to have one Promotor of the Faith or Prelate theologian, who is responsible for:

1. Presiding over the Congress of Theologians, where voting takes place;

2. Preparing the report on the same Congress;

3. Participating as an expert, although without the right to vote, at the Congregation of the Cardinals and Bishops.

If necessary for one or another cause, the Promoter of the Faith for that particular case can be nominated by the Cardinal Perfect.

11) To deal with the causes of Saints Consultors are to be drawn from various parts of the world, experts in historical matters and others in theology, especially in spiritual theology.

12) To examine healings which are proposed as miracles, there is to be a board of medical experts in the Congregation.





13) When the Bishop has sent to Rome all the acts and documents pertaining to a cause, the procedure in the Congregation for the Causes of Saints is as follows:

1. First of all, the Undersecretary is to verify whether all the rules of law have been followed in the inquiries conducted by the Bishop and he is to report the result of his examination in the ordinary Congress.

2. If the Congress judges that the cause was conducted according to the norms of law, it decides to which relator the cause is to be assigned; on the other hand, the Relator, together with a collaborator from outside the Congregation, will prepare the Position on virtues or on martyrdom, according to the rules of critical hagiography.

3. In ancient causes and in those recent causes whose particular nature, in the judgment of the Relator General, should demand it, the published Position is to be examined by consultors who are particularly expert in that field so that they can cast their vote on its scientific value and whether it contains sufficient elements required for the scope for which it has been prepared.

In particular cases, the Congregation can give the Position to be studied by other experts, who are not part of the group of consultors.

4. The Position (together with the votes of the historical consultors and with new explanations by the Relator, if they should be necessary) is handed over to the theological Consultors, who are to cast their vote on the merit of the cause. Together with the Promoter of the Faith, they will study the cause in such a way that, before the Position is submitted for discussion in their special Congress, many questions may be examined thoroughly.

5. The definitive votes of the theological consultors, together with the written conclusions of the Promoter of the Faith, are submitted to the judgment of the Cardinals and Bishops.

14) The Congregation examines cases of alleged miracles in the following way:

1. The Relator assigned to this task is to prepare a Position on alleged miracles and they are discussed in a meeting of experts (in the case of healings, in a meeting of physicians), whose votes and conclusions are set forth in a detailed report.

2. Then, the miracles are to be discussed in the special Congress of the theologians and, finally, in the Congregation of the Cardinals and Bishops.

15) The results of the discussions of the Cardinals and Bishops are reported to the Supreme Pontiff, who alone has the right to declare that public cult may be given by the Church to Servants of God.

16) In the individual causes of canonization whose judgment is presently pending at the Congregation for the Causes of Saints, the Congregation itself, by a special decree, will establish the procedure to be followed henceforth, in accordance, however, with the spirit of the new law.

17) All that which we have established in this our Constitution is to take effect from this very day.

We also wish that these our statutes and rules should be binding and effective, now and hereafter, and, insofar as is necessary, the Apostolic Constitutions and Regulations published by our predecessors and all other rules, including those which are worthy of special mention and derogation.

Given in Rome, at Saint Peter's, on the 25th of January, 1983, the fifth year of our pontificate.


Discernment of Apparitions and Revelations







Preliminary Note

Origin and character of the Norms


During the annual Plenary Session in November 1974, the Fathers of this Sacred Congregation examined the issues relative to presumed apparitions and revelations, often related to them, and reached the following conclusions:

1. Today, more than in the past, news of these apparitions is spreading quickly among the faithful thanks to the means of information (mass media). Moreover, the ease of going from one place to another favors frequent pilgrimages. Therefore, the Ecclesiastical Authority should discern quickly about the merits of such matters.

2. On the other hand, modern mentality and the requirements of critical scientific investigation render it more difficult, if not almost impossible, to achieve with the required speed the judgments that in the past concluded the investigations of such matters (constat de supernaturalitate, non constat de supernaturalitate) and that offered to the Ordinaries the possibility of authorizing or prohibiting public worship or other forms of devotion among the faithful.

For these reasons, in order that the devotion raised among the faithful as a result of events of this sort might manifest itself in full communion with the Church and bear fruits, by which the Church herself might then discern the true nature of the events, the Fathers judged that it should be promoted in this matter the following procedure.

When the ecclesiastical Authority is informed of a presumed apparition or revelation, it will be its responsibility:

a) First, to judge the fact according to positive and negative criteria (cf. infra, no. I);

b) Then, if this examination reaches a favorable conclusion, to allow some public manifestations of worship or of devotion, overseeing this with great prudence (this is equivalent to the formula: "pro nunc nihil obstare");

c) Finally, in light of time passed and of experience, with special regard to the fecundity of spiritual fruits generated from the new devotion, to express a judgment of veritate et supernaturalitate, if the case so merits.


I. Criteria for judging, at least with a certain probability,
 about the character of the presumed apparitions or revelations


A) Positive criteria:

a) Moral certainty, or at least great probability of the existence of the fact, acquired by means of a serious investigation.

b) Particular circumstances relative to the existence and to the nature of the fact, that is to say:

1. Personal qualities of the subject or of the subjects (in particular, psychological equilibrium, honesty and rectitude of moral life, sincerity and habitual docility towards ecclesiastical authority, the capacity to return to a normal regime of a life of faith, etc.);

2. As regards revelation, true theological and spiritual doctrine and free from error;

3. Healthy devotion and abundant and constant spiritual fruit (for example, spirit of prayer, conversions, testimonies of charity, etc.).

B) Negative criteria:

a) Manifest error about the fact.

b) Doctrinal errors attributed to God himself, or to the Blessed Virgin Mary, or to some saint in their manifestations, taking into account however the possibility that the subject might have added - also unconsciously - to an authentic supernatural revelation, purely human elements, or some error of the natural order (cf. St. Ignatius, Exercises, no. 336).

c) An evident search for profit strictly connected to the fact.

d) Gravely immoral acts committed at the time or when the fact occurred by the subject or their followers.

e) Psychological disorders or psychopathic tendencies in the subject, which with certainty influenced on the presumed supernatural fact, or psychosis, collective hysteria or other elements of this kind.

It is to be noted that these positive and negative criteria are not peremptory but rather indicative, and should be applied cumulatively; in other words, with some mutual convergence.


II. Intervention of the competent ecclesiastical Authority


1. If, during the presumed supernatural fact, there arises in a spontaneous way among the faithful a cult or devotion, the competent ecclesiastical Authority has the serious duty of looking into it without delay and of carrying out, carefully, an investigation.

2. The competent ecclesiastical Authority can intervene, if the faithful request it legitimately (in communion with the Pastors and not prompted by a sectarian spirit), to permit and promote some forms of cult or devotion if, after the application of the above criteria, nothing stands in the way. However, they must be careful that the faithful not consider this practice as approval of the supernatural nature of the fact on the part of the Church (cf. Preliminary note, c).

3. Due to its doctrinal and pastoral task, the competent Authority can intervene, motu proprio; indeed, it must do so in serious circumstances, for example to correct or prevent abuses in the exercise of cult and devotion, to condemn erroneous doctrines, to avoid the dangers of a false or unseemly mysticism, etc.

4. In doubtful cases, which do not put the Church at risk, the competent ecclesiastical Authority is to refrain from any judgment and from any direct action (because it can also happen that, after a certain period of time, the presumed supernatural fact falls into oblivion); however, it must not cease from being vigilant by intervening, if necessary, with promptness and prudence.


III. Competent authorities to intervene


1. The Ordinary of the place has, above all, the duty of vigilance and intervention.

2. The regional or national Conference of Bishops can intervene:

a) if the Ordinary of the place, having done his part, use it to judge the fact with greater certainty;

b) If the fact pertains to the national or regional level, however, always with the prior consent of the Ordinary of the place.

3. The Apostolic See can intervene, if asked either by the Ordinary himself, by a qualified group of the faithful, or also directly by reason of the universal jurisdiction of the Supreme Pontiff (cf. infra, no. IV).


IV. Intervention of the Sacred Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith


1. a) The intervention of the Sacred Congregation can be requested either by the Ordinary, after he has done his part, or by a qualified group of the faithful. In this second case, care must be taken that recourse to the Sacred Congregation not be motivated by suspect reasons (for example, the desire to compel the Ordinary to modify his legitimate decisions, to support some sectarian group, etc.).

b) It is the Sacred Congregation that has to intervene proprio motu in severe cases, particularly when the fact involves the larger part of the Church, always after having consulted the Ordinary and also, if the situation requires, the Conference of Bishops.

2. It is the Sacred Congregation that has to judge and approve the Ordinary's way of proceeding or, in so far as it be possible and convenient, to proceed to a new examination of the fact, distinct from that undertaken by the Ordinary and carried out by the Sacred Congregation itself or by a special Commission.

The present Norms, deliberated in the Plenary Session of this Sacred Congregation, were approved by the Supreme Pontiff Paul VI, fortunately reigning, on February 24, 1978.

Rome, from the Palace of the Sacred Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, February 25, 1978.

Cardinal Franjo Šeper

+ Jérôme Hamer, O.P.

The Worship of Saints

Is it the Worship a Pray to the saints?

We pray with the saints to God; we do not pray to the saints. We believe that saints, living a full life with God, can be great mediators between us and God.


Worship and Venerate

We can’t and we shouldn’t worship the Blessed or the Saints. The Worship can only be done to the one and triune God, and to each one of the three Persons of the Trinity. "You shall not worship any other god, for the Lord whose name is jealous; is a jealous God" (Deut. 34:14).

Worship is the highest act of Faith (religion).


Worship the Blessed and the Saints. Worship is an act of respect for the people we admire for their heroic life.


When has the Church started the worship of saints?

The worship of saints appears in the first century. There are inscriptions in the catacombs of Rome, in which they request the intercession of the martyrs buried there.


Is there a feast for every saint?

The liturgy gives priority to: Advent, Christmas, Lent, Eastertide and Ordinary Time. But also celebrates the saints. Therefore, every saint has also a liturgical day. Since it is not possible to dedicate one day to each saint, those who have a very important message are celebrated, and the others are celebrated only in their communities. Since there is an "innumerable multitude" of saints in Heaven, the Church celebrates on the calendar one day dedicated to All Saints.


What does it mean to be holy?

(See Holiness) - not availble yet

Who can we call holy?

In the early centuries of Christianity the title of saint was given only to the martyrs, i.e. those who gave life for Jesus Christ; Martyr means Witness. From the fourth century the name "saint" began to be used with those who excelled in the practice of all the virtues. Their names were remembered each year on the anniversary of their death.


Who are the saints for us?

The best lesson we can receive from the saints is to imitate them in their life. Carry out the works and live the Christian virtues the way they did.

To be holy is not a privilege for some, but a duty of every Christian. "Be holy because I, the Lord your God, am holy" (Leviticus 19:2).


In Chapter VII of Lumen Gentium, about the "eschatological nature of the pilgrim Church and its union with the Celestial Church", the worship of saints is discussed (no.50):


“Expressions of that union:
prayers for the dead, worship of saints

50. Clearly conscious of this communion of the whole mystical Body of Christ, the pilgrim Church has cultivated with great piety from the very first ages of the Christian religion the memory of the dead (151), and 'because it is a holy and wholesome thought to pray for the dead that they may be loosed from their sins' (2 Mac. 12:46), also offers suffrages for them. The Church has always believed that the apostles and Christ's martyrs, who had given the supreme witness of faith and charity by the shedding of their blood, are closely joined with us in Christ, venerated them with special devotion, together with the Blessed Virgin Mary and the holy Angels (152) and has implored the aid of their intercession. To these were soon associated those who had more closely imitated Christ's virginity and poverty (153), and finally others whose the outstanding practice of the Christian virtues (154) and the divine charisms recommended to the pious devotion of the faithful (155).

Indeed, the life of those who have faithfully followed Christ, is a new reason for seeking the city that is to come (cf. Heb. 14:14; 11:10) and at the same time, it teaches us a most safe path by which among the vicissitudes of this world and according to the state in life and condition proper to each of us, we will be able to arrive at perfect union with Christ, in which remains the holiness (156). It is especially in the life of those who, sharing in our humanity, are however more perfectly transformed into the image of Christ, (cf. 2 Cor. 3:18) that God vividly reveals to men His presence and His face. He speaks to us in them, and gives us a sign of His kingdom (157), to which we are strongly drawn, having a vast cloud of witnesses over us (cf. Heb. 12:1) and having such a witness to the truth of the Gospel.

However, it is not only because of his example that we venerate the memory of those in Heaven, but even more in order that the union of the whole Church may be strengthened by the practice of fraternal charity (cf. Eph. 4: 1-6). As Christian communion among pilgrims brings us closer to Christ, so our communion with the saints joins us to Christ, from whom, as from its fountain and head issues, every grace and the very life of the People of God (158).

Therefore, it is quite fair that we love those friends and coheirs of Jesus Christ, our brothers and great benefactors, that we thank God for them (159), ‘and suppliantly invoke them and have recourse to their prayers, help and support, to obtain benefits from God, through His Son Jesus Christ, Our Lord, Redeemer and Savior’ (160). For every genuine testimony of veneration to saints, by its very nature tends toward and terminates in Christ, who is the ‘crown of all saints’, (161) and through Him, in God, who is admirable in his saints and is glorified in them (162).

But our union with the Church in Heaven is put into effect in its noblest manner, especially in the sacred Liturgy, wherein the power of the Holy Spirit acts upon us through sacramental signs; with combined rejoicing we celebrate together the praise of the divine Majesty (163), and all those from every tribe, tongue, and people, who have been redeemed by the blood of Christ (Cf. Rev. 5:9) and gathered together into one Church, with one song of praise magnified the one and triune God.

So, celebrating the Eucharistic sacrifice, we are most closely united to the Church in Heaven in communion with and venerating the memory first of all of the glorious ever Virgin Mary, of Saint Joseph, the blessed Apostles and martyrs and of all the saints (164).

Marian year
september 14
Exaltation of the Holy Cross
October 13 2017
Liturgical Feast of Blessed Alexandrina of Balasar| 62nd anniversary of her death
October 31 2017
75th anniversary of the Consecration of the world to the Immaculate Heart of Mary

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