Pope Francis Adds 1st New Pathway to Sainthood in Centuries | NBC Chicago
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Pope Francis Adds 1st New Pathway to Sainthood in Centuries

It involves people who freely accepted a certain and premature death for the good of others

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    A girl had the chance to get up close and personal with Pope Francis on March 22 and used the opportunity to grab his skullcap right off his head. (Published Wednesday, March 22, 2017)

    Pope Francis has added a fourth pathway to possible sainthood.

    Until now, gaining consideration for sainthood in the Catholic Church required martyrdom, living a life of heroic values or — less frequently invoked — having a clear saintly reputation.

    The Vatican announced Tuesday that the pope has issued a new law outlining a new route: people who lived a good Catholic life and who freely accepted a certain and premature death for the good of others.

    This is the first change to the main sainthood requirements in centuries.

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    Under the new category, a miracle must be attributed to the candidate's intercession prior to beatification, the first step toward canonization as a saint. Martyrdom, which stipulates being killed out of hatred for the faith, does not require a miracle.