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Since saints led holy lives and are close to God in heaven, we feel that their prayers are particularly effective.Often we ask particular saints to pray for us if we feel they have a particular interest in our problem.You have probably known many "saints" in your life, and you are called by God to be one yourself. D., Christians were honoring other Christians who had died, and asking for their intercession.Many people think that honoring saints was something the Church set up later, but it was part of Christianity from the very beginning.When the pope proclaims the candidate beatified or "blessed," the person can be venerated by a particular region or group of people with whom the person holds special importance.Only after one more miracle will the pope canonize the saint (this includes martyrs as well).The earliest records show that people and churches were named after apostles and martyrs as early as the fourth century.Recently, the popes have named patron saints but patrons can be chosen by other individuals or groups as well.

These areas can include occupations, illnesses, churches, countries, causes -- anything that is important to us.

The title of saint tells us that the person lived a holy life, is in heaven, and is to be honored by the universal Church.

Canonization does not "make" a person a saint; it recognizes what God has already done.

Look at the pictures of your loved ones in your wallet or around your home or office. You might answer that you carry those pictures to remind you of people you love, to help you feel that they're close to you when you're not together, or to share with people you meet. Those are some of the same reasons we have statues and pictures of saints.

Seeing a statue of Saint Therese of Lisieux who lost her mother when she was a child might make us feel less alone when we are grieving.