Congregation for the Causes of Saints


With the Apostolic Constitution Immensa Aeterni Dei of 22 January 1588, Sixtus V created the Sacred Congregation of Rites and entrusted to it the task of regulating the exercise of divine worship and of dealing with the Causes of Saints. Paul VI, with the Apostolic Constitution Sacra Rituum Congregatio of 8 May 1969, divided the Congregation of Rites, creating the Congregation for Divine Worship and for the Congregation of Causes of Saints. With the same Apostolic Constitution of 1969, the new Congregation for the Causes of Saints took on its own structure with three distinct offices: the judiciary, that of the Promoter General of the Faith, and the historical-juridical, which was the continuation of the Historical Section created by Pius XI on 6 February 1930. The Apostolic Constitution “Divinus Perfectionis Magister” of 25 January 1983, and the respective “Normae servandae in inquisitionibus ab episcopis faciendis in causis sanctorum” of 7 February 1983, made possible both a profound reform in procedure for canonization causes and the restructuring of the congregation. It was given a College of Relators, assigned to take care of the preparation of the “Positiones super vita et virtutibus (o super martyrio) of Servants of God. John Paul II, with the Apostolic Constitution “Pastor Bonus” of 28 June 1988, changed the name to Congregation for the Causes of Saints. The pro-prefect of the congregation is Archbishop Alberto Bovone, Archbishop Edward Nowak, and Monsignor Michele Di Ruberto. In addition, there is a staff of 22 people. The congregation has 23 members – cardinals, archbishops and bishops – 1 promoter of the faith (prelate theologian), 6 relators and 71 consultors. Joined to the dicastery is the “Study,” instituted 2 June 1984, whose objective is the formation of postulators and those who collaborate with the congregation, as well as those who exercise the various assignments before the diocesan curia for the treatment of the causes of saints. The “Study” also has the task of updating the “Index ac Status Causarum.” The congregation prepares each year everything necessary for the pope to be able to set forth new examples of holiness. After approving results on miracles, martyrdom and heroic virtues of various Servants of God, the Holy Father proceeds to a series of canonizations and beatifications.

MLA Citation

  • “Congregation for the Causes of Saints”. New Catholic Dictionary. CatholicSaints.Info. 9 August 2012. Web. 23 October 2020. <>