Pope Francis has paved the way for several founders of religious orders and laypeople to move closer to beatification, declaring them "venerable". According to Zenit News Agency, the Pope authorized the Congregation for Saints' Causes to promulgate decrees of "heroic virtue" on the following causes:
- Antonio Ferreira Vicoso (1787-1875), Portuguese Bishop of Mariana
- Saturnino Lopez Novoa (1830-1905), Spanish diocesan priest, co-founder of the Congregation of the Little Sisters of the Abandoned Elderly
- Joseph-Auguste Arribat (1879-1963), French professed priest of the Salesians of Don Bosco
- Mary Veronica of the Passion (nee Sophie Leeves) (1823-1906), British professed nun of the Order of the Descalced Carmelites, foundress of the Sisters of the Apostolic Carmel
- Elena da Persico (1869-1948), Italian lay foundress of the Secular Institute of the Daughters of the Queen of the Apostles
- Gaetana of the Blessed Sacrament (nee Carlotta Fontana) (1870-1935), Italian superior general of the Poor Daughters of St. Cajetan.
To become a Saint in the Catholic Church there are four levels the person must achieve. The Titles given the person are as follows:
- Servant of God: Formal investigation has begun
- Venerable: Heroic virtue has been decreed by Pope
- Blessed: First miracle has been confirmed
- Saint: Second miracle has been confirmed
The miracles must have occurred after the time of the person's death. A careful investigation must show no logical cause for the miracle.
Saints are role models for people striving to live holy lives. We turn to the saints for example and ask them to pray for us in times of need. We also keep the history of our faith alive by learning about the lives of the saints.