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Recognition accorded by the Catholic Church of a dead person's entrance into heaven
Pope John Paul II beatified more people than all his predecessors had during the previous 400 years, and was himself beatified six years after his death, on Divine Mercy Sunday 2011.
Beatification (from Latinbeatus, "blessed" and facere, "to make") is a recognition accorded by the Catholic Church of a dead person's entrance into Heaven and capacity to intercede on behalf of individuals who pray in his or her name. Beati is the plural form, referring to those who have undergone the process of beatification.
Since the reforms of 1983, as a rule, one miracle must be confirmed to have taken place through the intercession of the person to be beatified. Miracles are almost always unexplainable medical healings, and are scientifically investigated by commissions comprising physicians and theologians.
The requirement of a miracle for beatification is waived in the case of someone whose martyrdom is formally declared by the Church.
Pope John Paul II (18 May 1920 - 2 April 2005) markedly changed previous Catholic practice of beatification. By October 2004, he had beatified 1,340 people, more than the sum of all of his predecessors since Pope Sixtus V (1585-1590), who established a beatification procedure similar to that used today.
^A. De Meester, Juris Canonici et Juris Canonico-Civilis Compendium Nova Editio, Tomus Tertius, Pars Secunda (Brugis: Desclée de Brouwer et Sii, 1928) pg. 86 (citing the canonist Pope Benedict XIV, De Servorum Dei Beatificatione et Beatorum Canonizatione)
^Beccari, Camillo (1907). "Beatification and Canonization." The Catholic Encyclopedia. Vol. 2. New York: Robert Appleton Company. Via New Advent. newadvent.org. Accessed 1 Nov 2015.