After reading news online on Sunday, Ramona told me something which made us both smile and laugh. The news was that on Sunday the beatification of the late Pope John Paul II took place. As I did not understand what this really meant, Ramona explained it and while she did we both were amazed that in these modern times so many people believe in this way of ‘creating saints’. Let me write down a few points of her basic explanation of what is going on.
First of all, a beatification is a canonization or sanctification on a smaller level. This means that a person who was beatified is only worshipped locally, for example in the area where he lived. After his canonization however he is a real and proper saint.
It is actually pretty much a systematic way of making sure whether a dead person is a saint and can be called for by everybody who has a problem. They have certain criteria that have to be met and if you are planning on becoming a saint, you should better start working on these while you are still alive:
– Christian Life
You must have led a virtuous life according to Christian values and that not only normally like everybody else but especially good so that you can be an ideal for others.
– Reputation of Holiness
This point, too, can be achieved while you are alive, as is the case with the last Pope.
This is something that you cannot really work on a lot but it probably comes with your reputation of being holy.
If all of these are found and one miracle is proved, the person can get beatified. After that one miracle more is needed to get the honour of being canonized.
Especially the last point made me look at Ramona with wonder and ask her what kind of miracle was needed. She read out that there was a French nun who had had Parkinson’s and who had directed a prayer to the dead Pope John Paul II, who must have forwarded her request to God because the next morning she woke up and was healed.
So now we are just waiting for another person to stand up and say “He did another miracle!”, then the late Pope will be an official saint. Of course they have the rule that those miracles have to be proved. This they do by finding doctors who say that such a recovery was inexplicable from medical point of view. If you pay attention in your daily life, you will find many such things that are inexplicable with the methods that we know today. How can you say that the late Pope caused them? Do you think he talked to God for you and then God did it because this special person asked for it?
I am truly amazed. If Parkinson’s and other diseases can be healed like this, why don’t we just stop all research, close hospitals and pray to John Paul II? The whole medical system would not be necessary anymore! Such things happen not only in small Indian village but also here in Europe! They are just simply handled on a very large scale and systematically, as is normal in the civilized and developed European countries.
It is the same thing that happens in Hinduism and Islam, too: they want to make people believe in such miracles and that there are persons who have a lot more powers than we others. It is causing superstition, it makes some people stand higher than others and encourages people to claim that they have done miracles. Here you see again that all religions in the end are the same and all over the world the same things happen.
In my opinion, we don’t need saints, living or dead. If you feel like praying, pray to God directly. You are worth just as much as every other human being on this world. If there is a God that does miracles, He will listen to all of us or to nobody, but not only to a few people whom you have declared saints.