How is the canonization of the saints?
The canonization of the saints is a special procedure for counting the saints of God. All those righteous people whose names we see in the church calendar received such status for their ascetic life and repeated wonderful help to everyone who addresses them.
Those people to whom believers can turn in prayer are not necessarily officially glorified as saints. Already in the very word canonization, which came to us from the Greek language, the verb "legitimize" is put. That is, this procedure helps to rank the saints of certain righteous people.
It has official status, which is why it often lasts for decades, while people pray in front of the graves of the righteous. It seems, and so it is clear that a man is holy. So why such a long procedure? How did this happen in the first centuries of Christianity?
How did the Church recognize the saints?
Until the fourth century, there was no procedure at all: the community decided that one or another should be canonized. The bishop gave this decision "legalized" status.Why is that? These were centuries of persecution of Christians and martyr testimonies for their faith. People witnessed the living faith of the saints, their earthly sufferings and help after death.
Then, in order to canonize the saints, they had to be added to a special list of martyrs - a martyrology. The general church status of veneration was confirmed by the head of the local church.
In the Russian Orthodox Church, such functions fell on the bishops (local honored saints) and church councils (church worship). In our time, for the first, the consent of the patriarch is sufficient, and for the second, a positive consideration from the bishops' council.
It is easy to see that there are many saints in the Orthodox calendar, glorified by various local churches: there are saints who labored both in Ukraine, Belarus, Russia, and in Serbia, Greece, America, and so on. This does not mean at all that, for example, Silouan of Athos or Paisius Svyatogorts was first canonized in Greece, and then in all Orthodox countries. Or Herman of Alaska - first the American Orthodox Church, and the rest followed suit.
The canonization of the saint takes place only once, all heads of local churches are notified of this.Already in the field, they have the right to choose whether to add one or another saint to the church calendar. After official veneration, each righteous person is given an icon and service.
Compliance with what criteria plays an important role in the process of glorification in the face of the saints?
"Requirements" for the righteous
1. The canonization of the saints is alwaysposthumousprocedure. No matter how good a person is in life, it can be summed up only after death.
2.Lifestyles and conditions of death.The lives of the saints tell us how many righteous people labored during their life, about prayer labors and helping others, about the feats of fasting and the testimonies of faith. In addition, the majority of saints of the Orthodox Church suffered martyr's demise.
3.Miracles.They take into account examples of the amazing help of the saints in their lifetime, as well as the posthumous one. The saints healed the sick, sometimes even resurrected the dead, helped in difficult life circumstances.
For example, the blessed Matrona of Moscow, being blind, could even during the lifetime of many open their eyes to their spiritual problems, heal seriously ill patients. Today, through her prayers, healed from serious illnesses, long-awaited children are born in childless families, people find work or receive housing.
four.To be among the saints, you need a sufficient amountreliable examples of helppleaser of God. Usually, those who have witnessed the work of God's grace through the saint leave a written testimony, indicate the name and place of stay, as well as a detailed description of how the miracle happened. The special commission (in the ROC - the synodal commission) has been examining such examples for decades, so that no one could doubt that they glorified the saint indeed.
5.Indifference of relics.In fact, this is an optional condition, although the people are the ones who first of all pay attention to it. This is another visible confirmation of holiness.
In the caves of the Kiev-Pechersk Lavra are the remains of 122 saints. Pilgrims from all over the world can worship the relics. Some of the reverend have their hands open so that there is no doubt that there is no deception here. In addition, one often hears wonderful pleasant smells (incense emanates from the saints, and besides, they are all different).
Mother Alipia, Optina New Martyrs, John Krestyankin - not yet canonized, but already glorified by many
In general, the procedure of canonization of the saints requires a long time. For example, in the Russian Orthodox Church many of the righteous were glorified as saints only in the 1990s, while they, as God's saints, were addressed in the 19th and early 20th centuries (for example, Maxim Grek, John of Kronstadt).
Mother Alipiya, whose relics are located in the Goloseevskaya Desert in Kiev, has not yet been glorified as a saint, although 27 years have passed since its death. But every day hundreds and thousands of people from different parts of the world turn to it. People have no doubt that in the near future she will be officially glorified.
It is simply unrealistic to collect all the written evidence of her amazing help. But even the documented part inspires confidence - the four volumes of the book “Grace that Been Shadowed.” If this is all studied in detail, it will be obvious that it must be canonized.
Optina New Martyrscalled hieromonk Basil, monks Trofim and Ferapont, killed at Easter 1993. Nina Pavlova wrote about their life journey and service to God in the book “Red Easter”, thousands of people come to Optina desert and to the graves of the new martyrs. There is also a lot of evidence of their help.
For example, one woman from Nizhny Novgorod made Easter presents for her relatives - eggs from beads.After this holiday came to Optina, she brought such a present to the new martyrs, leaving him at the grave of a particularly beloved monk Trofim. At the graves she prayed that God would send her a son. After 9 months, she and her husband had a boy. Trofim.
John Krestyankindied in 2006. He devoted all his life to God and the temple, he passed the prison and camp for the faith, until his death he was the archimandrite of the Pskovo-Caves Monastery, in whose caves he was buried. To this day, the nine holy Fathers of Pskovo-Pechersk have been canonized, and with the blessing of the elder archimandrite John Krestyankin they composed a service.
Even during his lifetime, John had the gift of prophecy, although he carefully concealed it, did not like it when he was called an old man. In his book, The Unholy Saints, Archimandrite Tikhon (Shevkunov) tells about some of them (about the spiritual daughter of John Krestiankin, who disobeyed the warning of his spiritual father and died a day after a minor operation — cataract removal, about a boy whom the old man did not bless for surgical intervention ).
Of course, the Synodal Commission takes a lot of time to study the life and help of John Krestyankin, but spiritual children and many who heard about the old man, today are turning to him with prayers.
The canonization of the saints is a rather complicated and time-consuming procedure. It is necessary to collect evidence, study life and miracles ... Everything is much simpler with God: he awards special grace to those who have made the right choice on earth. On the one hand, canonization only confirms this status, and on the other, it helps the unprepared not to fall for the special trick of the devil - false miracles.