• 1) John the Baptist "Canonized: Pre-Congregation" Source: ""Pre-Congregation" is my term for the Beatification and/or Canonization of saints and/or beati prior to the institution of the modern investigations performed by the Congregation for the Causes of Saints. It designates those beati who were canonized by local bishops, primates, or patriachs, often as a result of popular devotion. In terms of this web site, it means that the dates for beatification and/or canonization are not avaialable. If it was ever recorded, those records are long lost, or simply not available to me." "The Catholic Church canonizes or beatifies only those whose lives have been marked by the exercise of heroic virtue, and only after this has been proved by common repute for sanctity and by conclusive arguments. The chief difference, however, lies in the meaning of the term canonization, the Church seeing in the saints nothing more than friends and servants of God whose holy lives have made them worthy of His special love. For several centuries the bishops, in some places only the primates and patriarchs could grant to martyrs and confessors public ecclesiastical honour; such honour, however, was always decreed only for the local territory over which the grantors held jurisdiction. Still, it was only the Bishop of Rome's acceptance of the cultus that made it universal, since he alone could permit or command in the Universal Church. Towards the close of the eleventh century the popes found it necessary to restrict episcopal authority on this point, and decreed that the virtues and miracles of persons proposed for public veneration should be examined in councils, more particularly in general councils. Urban VII published, in 1634, a Bull which put an end to all discussion by reserving to the Holy See exclusively not only its immemorial right of canonization, but also that of beatification. - Catholic Encylopedia " Source: 2) "The official process for declaring someone a saint is called canonization. Prior to the year 1234, the Church did not have a formal process as such. Usually martyrs and those recognized as holy were declared saints by the Church at the time of their deaths. Before the legalization of Christianity in the year 313 by Emperor Constantine, the tombs of martyrs, like St. Peter, were marked and kept as places for homage. The anniversaries of their deaths were remembered and placed on the local Church calendar. After legalization, oftentimes basilicas or shrines were built over these tombs. As time went on, the Church saw the need to tighten the canonization process. Unfortunately, sometimes figures of legends were honored as saints. Or once, the local church in Sweden canonized an imbibing monk who was killed in a drunken brawl — hardly evidence of martyrdom. Therefore, in the year 1234, Pope Gregory IX established procedures to investigate the life of a candidate saint and any attributed miracles. In 1588, Pope Sixtus V entrusted the Congregation of Rites (later named the Congregation for the Causes of the Saints) to oversee the entire process. Beginning with Pope Urban VIII in 1634, various Popes have revised and improved the norms and procedures for canonization." Source: 3) "Once declared blessed or a saint, it is decided whether the person will be honored with greater or lesser solemnity, relative to their importance in the life of the Church and the local community. The four levels are: - solemnity - feast - obligatory memorial - optional memorial Solemnities are the highest level of celebration. Such saints as Saint Mary, Saint Joseph, Saint Peter, St. Paul and Saint John the Baptist are celebrated with a solemnity. Most of the other apostles and some other saints are honored with a feast. However, most saints are celebrated with a "memorial" to their lives and accomplishments. Some of these memorials are obligatory, meaning that every church is to celebrate the Saint." Source: 4) "John is called "Prophet" because he told that the Savior was to come. John is called "Forerunner" because he came immediately before Holy God the Son within the Holy Trinity / Our Lord, God and Savior, Jesus Christ and announced Him as the Savior. John is called "Baptist" because he baptized Holy God the Son within the Holy Trinity / Our Lord, God and Savior, Jesus Christ in the Jordan River." "Holy God the Son within the Holy Trinity / Our Lord, God and Savior, Jesus Christ considered The Holy Prophet and Glorious Forerunner John the Baptist to be the greatest man who ever lived (Mt. 11:11, Lk. 7:29)." "The Melkite Greek Catholic Church declared that The Holy Prophet and Glorious Forerunner John the Baptist was a Martyr and a Saint. He died for the sake of holy principles and God's commandments." Source: 5) About John the Baptist going to hell: "The soul of St. John the Baptist, departing his ascetic body, went to hell, the place where the souls of all who died before the Saviour's death on the Cross. The souls of everyone beginning from Adam were here. However, the holy and righteous soul of St. John the Baptist did not go there in order to experience a dark condition of alienation and distance from God. The "friend of the Bridegroom," who had baptized Him, suffered for his righteousness, bore the hope of the coming Kingdom of God, preached to all preparing the way for Him, was inseparably bound to Him through his devotion, testifying everywhere for Christ, as His messenger, sent before Him. Having descended to hell, John continued the ministry that he had performed on earth - the preaching about the Kingdom of God drawing near. The souls of the righteous ones, from the Old Testament were languishing in hell, awaiting the fulfillment of the coming of the One Who would conquer the serpent, as had been told to Adam by God. The prophets, who had seen beforehand in spirit, the coming of the Messiah awaited the fulfillment of the revelations that had been made to them. These souls, deprived of the light of God's glory, tormented with waiting for the fulfillment of their hope, John came, having descended to hell, bringing the Joyful tidings that soon the kingdom of hell would be destroyed. Those who awaited the Redeemer would soon behold Him and be liberated by Him. John testified that the Son of God had already come to earth and that after baptising Him, he had witnessed the Holy Spirit descending and remaining on Him (John 1:33-34). The preaching of John concerning the coming of the Messiah was addressed not only to the souls of the righteous, but to all who were in hell. He appeared in hell to prepare the way of the Lord, just as he had prepared it on earth. John the Baptist’s descent to hell and his preaching of the Gospel was the proclamation of joy to those who were languishing there. The souls of all the dead, save for the most inveterate sinners, heeded the preaching of the Baptist. Therefore, when Christ descended to hell after His death on the Cross, He was greeted not only by the Old Testament righteous ones, but also by the souls of those who once were disobedient and opposed the long suffering of God in the days of Noah and during the rest of the time that sin reigned among men (1 Peter 3:20). Hell was destroyed by the Christ’s soul descent into it; the dark confinement shone with light; the souls of the reposed were led into the Kingdom of Heaven. The entryway to this ruin of hell was the descent of the Baptist. Having fulfilled his ministry as Forerunner on earth, he appeared as the Forerunner of Christ, in hell. His beheading is not only the culmination of his earthly exploit, but also the beginning of a new and glorious ministry." Source and further information:
  • Actually, all Christians are called saints according to the Bible. John the Baptist was a follower of Jesus Christ, therefore was a Christian, therefore a saint.
  • In the apostle John’s Gospel, Jesus states: “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” (John 14:6) He also says: “The Father will give you anything you ask him in my name.” (John 15:16)

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