Nothing really startling here. Anne Catherine Emmerich, the 19th century visionary whose book, The Dolorous Passion of our Lord Jesus Christ provided a major portion of Gibson’s The Passion of the Christ, will be beatified at a ceremony October 3rd, a move which puts her on the road to “sainthood.” For those who only know the biblical definition of a saint (i.e., a Christian, called and holy not because of what we have done, but because of what Christ has done for us), in Roman Catholicism a saint is a person who has more merit than temporal punishment upon their soul at death, so that they do not need to pass through purgatory for cleansing, but are fit for the presence of God immediately. But the official process of canonization, being made an official “saint,” is a church-based means of honoring particularly “holy” people who have passed on. The current Pope has been a veritable saint-making machine, canonizing, as I have heard, more saints than any other single Pontiff.

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