Saint Patrick, one of the patron saints of Ireland, has never formally been recognized as a saint by a Pope. The reason no Pope has formally recognized him as a saint is because he has never been canonised by a Pope. The process of canonisation is the one in which a deceased person is included in the canon, or list of recognized saints. Even though Saint Patrick’s name is certainly present in the Canon, no Pope has officially recognized him as a saint. Why would this be the case?
OK, we know this is confusing right now, and we will try our best to make it a little less confusing as we go. By the end it should all make sense. In the modern era, the process of declaring a deceased person a saint is a somewhat complicated process. There are a series of steps to go through in reaching the end result, all of which must be met. They have to be a Holy person, and have performed two miracles, among many other requirements. This however has not always been the case, and a long time ago things were very different.
In the first one thousand years of the Christianity there was no such strict process to canonise a saint. Canonisations were done on a regional level following the death of a holy person. In theory, and devoutly religious person who was deemed to have performed a miracle in the region could have become a saint, without any real impartial examination. This is what happened when Saint Patrick was canonised.
Does this mean Saint Patrick isn’t a saint because he wasn’t canonised?
The process of declaring a holy person to be a saint has been an evolving one. Regardless whether or not a Pope has canonised Saint Patrick is irrelevant. He was canonised by the process used during the day and is still listed as a saint on the canon, and is one of the most widely celebrated saints around the world. This can be seen as being similar to vice presidents in America. The VP in the countries infancy was the runner up, whereas today it is the presidents running mate. We don’t change the history books to reflect todays standards, and the church is the same.
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