pre-congregation

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 available. If the dates were ever recorded, those records are long lost, or simply not available to me. Sorry.

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. Pope 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 Encyclopedia