The Miracle Requirement
Within the Roman Catholic context, miracles must be associated with a candidate. This part of the process is extremely rigorous. Potential saints must have at least two posthumous miracles attributed to them.
The miracles must be instantaneous cures; there must be no medical explanation or medical interference, and they must be complete. No partial cures are considered. No remission is accepted, either, so in some instances it can take as long as ten years to be certain that a sufferer claiming a miracle is indeed permanently cured. Medical specialists are consulted for their testimony. However, no evidence of miracles is needed if the one considered for canonization is a martyr.
When it seems — finally — that everything is in place and one miracle has been confirmed, the pope publicly beatifies that individual, with veneration permitted in a particular religious community or geographic area. The candidate is given the title “Blessed.”
After the second miracle has been documented, which could be many years after the acceptance of the first one, the pope issues a bull of canonization, declaring the person in question to be a saint and recommended for universal veneration.
This is then followed by an elaborate, solemn liturgy in Rome, attended by the newly canonized's family and friends and, if he was a religious, members of that community and others. It is a day of great joy and celebration, the culmination of many years of study by Rome and by the local diocese — and years of waiting for the cause of the honored holy person to move on to the next level.