Seems every man and his dog is qualifying for sainthood these days. Pope John Paul II canonised 483 saints, more saints than in the last 500 years.

Is this because

  • modern science has advanced to the point it is easier to prove miracles
  • the Catholic Church has lowered the burden of proof required to class an event as a miracle
  • more people are performing miracles

2 Answers 2


The catholic church, especially through JPII and Pope Francis, stress that there are many saints, even the "regular" saints. Catholic church recognizes, in this way, only a tiny fraction of the saints.

Saints are witnesses to the faith, to the truth. This world badly needs it, so the answer to this, is to "expose" more of those witnesses of faith.

It is not adding saints to get a higher saint-score, it is recognizing what already is.

It is likely that the better communication and documentation of the modern times, helps identify candidates for sainthood.


There is no one unique answer to this question. The Saints are given to the Church so that the many may have examples to follow. In addition to this, the number of martyrs beatified and/or canonized by Pope John Paul II is staggering.

The first saints of the Early Church were all martyrs. Martyrdom was an exceptional way of being united to Jesus on the cross. The example of the Martyrs will always produce more saints.

Or perhaps we can just let Cardinal Jose Saraiva Martins, the Prefect Emeritus of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints from 1996-2008 do the explaining for us in his Zenit interview.The Cardinal gives us three basic reasons as to why there are so many saints since the Second Vatican Council and Pope John Paul II in particular:

  • That holiness is essential to the Church for she is one, holy, catholic and apostolic Church.
  • Holiness is of extraordinary ecumenical importance.
  • The Blessed and the Saints manifest the charity of the local church.
  • 2
    Can you summarize the answer given in the interview? I'd rather not have to follow links in order to get an answer on anything in SE. Links are for sources and further reading.
    – Joshua
    Commented Jan 29, 2016 at 11:32
  • Yes, please do summarize the interview. Besides what Joshua said, links can break. Commented Jan 29, 2016 at 11:46

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