By Lawrence Cunningham

Short heritage of Saints follows the increase of the cult of saints in Christianity from its foundation within the age of the martyrs right down to the current day.

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Other saints who came under Franciscan influence were the many women who took up the Franciscan style of life without actually taking religious vows. ” Margaret of Cortona, for instance, turned away from a common law relationship when her lover and their child were killed. She went back to her native city and lived an ascetical life with a special dedication to the sick poor. When she died in 1297 she was already considered a living saint by her fellow citizens. In the Middle Ages, the phenomenon of women dwelling in urban areas as ascetics who were inspired by the burgeoning spiritualities of the Franciscans and other mendicant movements was widespread.

The saints who were doctors, like Cosmas and Damien, who never charged money to heal), the ancestors of Christ, and the saint whose feast is commemorated on that day. In the first millennium, saints were recognized as such by an informal method which developed from the ground up: the growth of a cult through popular veneration; the creation of a tradition of icons and legenda; the evidence of miracles; and liturgical recognition in churches and monasteries. The earliest evidence that we have of formal canonization (Greek: anagnorisis, “recognition”) occurs only in the thirteenth century when canonizations were done by decree of the Holy Synod and the Patriarch of Constantinople.

5 The last saint, before the eleventh century, to enter into the Roman calendar was Pope Saint Gregory the Great who died in 604. The Bureaucratization of Sanctity 37 It was not until the early eleventh century that new saints were added to the Roman calendar. Pope Gregory VII added thirty popes from the ancient church to the calendar as part of his strategy of enhancing the power of the papacy. In 1173 he added the name of the Englishman, Saint Thomas Becket, who had been assassinated by the king’s courtiers three years earlier and was already the focus of an intense cult in England.

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