Pope Francis adds new pathway to sainthood
VATICAN CITY — Pope Francis has added a fourth pathway to possible sainthood — people who lived a good Catholic life and who freely accepted a certain and premature death for the good of others.
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 law on his own initiative — known as a mutu proprio — adding the fourth route. Examples of people who might fall into that category include those who take the place of someone condemned to death or expectant mothers with fatal diseases who suspend treatment so their babies can be born.