Beatification and canonization of Pope Paul VI

The cause for the canonization of Pope Paul VI, who died in 1978, commenced in 1993 and he was canonized on 14 October 2018. After having been proclaimed a Servant of God and declared Venerable, he was beatified on 19 October 2014, after the recognition of a miracle had been attributed to his intercession, and declared a saint by Pope Francis on 14 October 2018.

The postulator for this cause was Antonio Marrazzo while the vice-postulator was Antonio Lanzoni.

Paul VI
"SAN PAOLO VI", olio su tela cm cm 70x60. jpg - Opera collocata nella Chiesa di Santa Maria delle Grazie di Voghera.jpg
Saint Paul VI, painting by Giuseppe Frascaroli (2018, oil on canvas, 70 x 60 cm, Voghera)
Pope and Confessor
BornGiovanni Battista Enrico Maria Montini
(1897-09-26)26 September 1897
Concesio, Brescia, Kingdom of Italy
Died6 August 1978(1978-08-06) (aged 80)
Castel Gandolfo, Lazio, Italy
Venerated inCatholic Church
Beatified19 October 2014, Saint Peter's Square, Vatican City by Pope Francis
  • 26 September[1]
  • 30 May (Ambrosian Rite)[2]
  • 29 May
Coat of Arms of Pope Paul VI (G. Montini).svg
In nomine Domini
(In the name of the Lord)


Diocesan processEdit

On 18 March 1993 "nihil obstat" ("nothing against") was declared under Pope John Paul II which opened the cause for beatification. The diocesan process commenced on 11 May 1993 in Rome and thus, he was granted the title of Servant of God. The postulator assigned to the cause was Father Antonio Marrazzo. The diocesan process concluded its business on 18 March 1998.[7] Father Luigi Villa, playing the part of the devil's advocate, released a book titled Paul VI: Beatified? which was written in opposition to the cause of beatification.[8]

Roman phaseEdit

The Positio - documents and other information gathered from the diocesan process - was forwarded to the Congregation for the Causes of Saints in 2011. Theological consultors and the members of the congregation collaborated on the resources gathered from the previous process and unanimously agreed that the late pope had lived a life of heroic virtue. They forwarded their vote to Pope Benedict XVI who, on 20 December 2012, signed the decree in recognition of his heroic virtues. This meant that he was titled Venerable.[9]

The miracle and investigationsEdit

Beatification tapestry.

In 2003 an alleged miracle attributed to his intercession had been discovered in the United States of America. The case involved a fetus in the mother's womb which suffered brain defects that would affect the child. The doctor advised the mother to have an abortion but the mother refused to do so and requested the intercession of the late pope at the behest of a nun who gave her a card with a piece of the late pope's cassock on it. When the child was born, there were no defects that could be detected and the child's health was monitored until it became an adolescent. The child in question still shows no signs of defects.

The inquiry into the miracle closed in 2006 and the case went to a Vatican medical board which met on 12 December 2013 and voted in favour of the miracle which they deemed was "medically unexplainable".[10] Theological advisors met to discuss the miracle on 18 February 2014 and also voted in favour of the miracle which was then forwarded to the members of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints. The congregation met on 5 May 2014 and voted that the healing was indeed a miracle attributed to the late pope.[11]

On 24 April 2014, it was reported in the Italian magazine Credere that the late pope could possibly be beatified on 19 October 2014. This report further stated that cardinals and bishops of the congregation would meet on 5 May to confirm the miracle that had previously been approved, and then present it to the pope who may sign the decree for beatification after that.[12]

In an audience on 9 May 2014 with the Cardinal Prefect for the Congregation of the Causes of Saints, Pope Francis approved the decree of recognition of the miracle attributed to the late pope, and set the date of the beatification at the Vatican for 19 October 2014.[13]


The beatification for Paul VI was held on 19 October 2014 at the Vatican, with the deceased pontiff receiving the title "Blessed". The next step would be the recognition of another miracle, which would result in his canonization.

There were several dignitaries present at the beatification ceremony as representatives of their countries.

Country Title Dignitary
  Angola Minister of Culture Rosa Cruz e Silva
Foreign Minister Georges Chikoti[14]
  Taiwan Foreign Minister David Lin[15]
  Zimbabwe President Robert Mugabe[16]
First Lady Grace Mugabe

The relics presented during the beatification rites are two blood-stained vests worn by Paul VI during the attempt on his life in the capital of the Philippines, Manila in 1970. The one habitually kept in his hometown will be brought to Rome in a reliquary for the beatification.[17]

His tomb underneath Saint Peter's Basilica was modified the week of the beatification with the inscription "BEATVS" ("Blessed") added before his name.


It had been speculated in 2014 that Pope Francis might have canonized Paul VI, as early as June 2015, with the process of "equipollent canonization" which he had used in the past. If this was not used, then a miracle would have been required for the canonization.[18]

The second miracle required for his canonization was reported to have occurred in January 2015. As of August 2015, investigation into the reported miracle is underway in northern Italy, where the healing was said to have occurred. Back in January 2015, Antonio Lanzoni thought the canonization might occur in the first half of 2016, but as of October 2016 it has not happened.[19][20][21][better source needed]

Theologians advising the Congregation for the Causes of Saints voiced their approval to this miracle on 13 December 2017 and have this direction on to the cardinal and bishop members of the C.C.S. who must vote on the cause also before taking it to Pope Francis for his approval. Brescian media reported the canonization could take place in October 2018 to coincide with the synod on the youth.[22] The cardinal and bishop members of the C.C.S. issued their unanimous approval to this miracle in their meeting held on 6 February 2018; La Stampa reported that the canonization could be celebrated during the synod on the youth with a probable date of 21 October.[23] Pope Francis formally approved a second miracle needed for canonization in a meeting with Roman priests on 14 February 2018 and stated that Paul VI's canonization would take place sometime in 2018.[24] The official confirmation came when Pope Francis signed a decree approving the miracle on 6 March 2018; the formal announcement of this confirmation was made in a Holy See press bulletin at noon on 7 March 2018.[25]

Paul VI was canonized as a saint on 14 October 2018.

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ "Booklet of the Beatification of Paul VI" (PDF). Holy See. 18 October 2014. Archived from the original (PDF) on 22 October 2014. Retrieved 18 October 2014.
  2. ^ "Memory of Blessd Paul VI". Archdiocese of Milan. 15 May 2015. Retrieved 23 May 2015.
  3. ^ "In the Diocese of Milan. A pastoral community dedicated to Paul VI (in Italian)". 1 October 2014. Retrieved 21 November 2014.
  4. ^ "About Paul VI, Patron of the Institute". Archdiocese of St. Louis. Retrieved 18 March 2015.
  5. ^ "Paul VI Blessed! (in Italian)". Diocese of Brescia. 2014. Retrieved 28 March 2015.
  6. ^ "Letter to the diocese for calling a "Montinian Year" (in Italian)" (PDF). Diocese of Brescia. 2014. Retrieved 28 March 2015.
  7. ^ "1978". Hagiography Circle. Retrieved 9 June 2014.
  8. ^ "Paul VI Beatified?". Retrieved 9 June 2014.
  9. ^ "Catholic press". Archived from the original on 23 May 2013. Retrieved 9 June 2014.
  10. ^ "Alleged miracle puts Pope Paul VI one step closer to sainthood". US Catholic. Retrieved 9 June 2014.
  11. ^ "Paul VI set for beatification". ANSA. 6 May 2014. Retrieved 9 June 2014.
  12. ^ "Pope Paul VI 'to be beatified this year'". 24 April 2014. Retrieved 9 June 2014.
  13. ^ "Pope Paul VI to be beatified October 19, 2014". Vatican Radio. 10 May 2014. Archived from the original on 12 May 2014. Retrieved 9 June 2014.
  14. ^ "Angola Represented At Beatification Ceremony of Pope Paul VI". All Africa. 20 October 2014. Retrieved 21 October 2014.
  15. ^ "Foreign minister to attend beatification of Pope Paul VI". 17 October 2014. Retrieved 18 October 2014.
  16. ^
  17. ^ "Pope Paul VI: of miracle and relics". Archived from the original on 20 January 2015. Retrieved 12 January 2015.
  18. ^ "Miracle recognized. Pope Paul VI will be beatified (in Italian)". Rome Corriere. 6 May 2014. Retrieved 17 January 2015.
  19. ^ "Paul VI made a miracle". Italia Oggi. 14 January 2015. Retrieved 17 August 2015.
  20. ^ "Saint Paul VI soon". RMF Online. 16 January 2015. Retrieved 17 August 2015.
  21. ^ "Violist healed by Paul VI? The Church is listening and evaluating". Brescia Oggi. 13 August 2015. Retrieved 17 August 2015.
  22. ^ Iacopo Scaramuzzi (21 December 2017). "Primi ok al miracolo, passo Avanti per Paolo VI santo". La Stampa. Retrieved 17 February 2017.
  23. ^ "Paolo VI santo, i cardinali approvano il miracolo". La Stampa. 6 February 2018. Retrieved 17 February 2018.[permanent dead link]
  24. ^ "Pope Francis: Blessed Paul VI to Be Canonized This Year". National Catholic Register. Retrieved 7 January 2020.
  25. ^ "Promulgazione di Decreti della Congregazione delle Cause dei Santi". Retrieved 7 January 2020.