The Difference Between a Blessed and a Saint

If you ever had a chance to look at the Order of Preacher's Liturgical Calendar, you'd see a lot of people with the title Blessed.  You most probably have never heard of any of them.  They're certainly not on the Church's calendar of saints.

Why?  That's the difference between "blessed" and "saint."  A "blessed" is for a local community; a "saint" is for the universal church.  In the explanation of the process, Sanctorum Mater, you'd read that a "blessed" has to have an approved miracle, and is honored in his cult, or community.  Such is the case with Pere Marie Jean Joseph Lataste, O.P.

What is Beatification?
Beatification is an official declaration by the Pope that a person (called a Servant of God) practiced the Christian virtues to a heroic degree during his or her sojourn on earth. Before the Servant of God under consideration is beatified, a thorough examination of his or her life, virtues, and reputation for holiness is conducted. If the Servant of God did not die a martyr’s death, there must also be one confirmed miracle attributed to his or her intercession. Beatified persons are called Blesseds. They may receive the veneration of the faithful within certain limits set by the Church, but may not be venerated in an organized public manner throughout the whole Church.
From Blessed to Saint
A Blessed may be canonized after the occurrence of one more miracle attributed to his or her intercession. Mother Teresa will always remain Mother for those who knew her, hence many people call her “Blessed Mother Teresa,” but officially she is now known as “Blessed Teresa of Calcutta” and later, God willing, as “Saint Teresa of Calcutta.”

So Pere Marie Jean-Joseph Lataste, O.P. has always been thought of as a saint.  To us, he is the Apostle of Prisons.  Later, God willing, he will be declared a saint, but he still is the Apostle of Prisons, whether venerable, blessed, or saint.  He is truly a servant of God.


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