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Roman Calendar of Saints

The Roman Martyrology was recognised by the Catholic Church as an official record of all its saints and martyrs (universal and regional), and its first edition, based on a revision of the 9th century Martyrology of Usuard, was published by Pope Gregory XIII in 1584. This is still the basis for the current edition of the Roman Martyrology, published in 1969. It has been revised and updated frequently over the centuries, with significant changes being made in 1681 and 1748. A complete reform was attempted in 1924 which received strong criticism. The General Roman Calendar records the Church's liturgical year, listing the most important universal feasts and celebrations of the year. Its two most important revisions occurred in 1942 and 1969, the latter being most significant and controversial. Saints removed from the Calendar are still recognised by the Church, and may still be venerated by certain regions and individual. A saint removed from the Roman Martyrology implies that veneration is no longer approved for that individual.

The first stage towards canonisation is the subject having his/her status of holiness recognised by papal decree, and being bestowed the title of 'venerable'. Liturgical veneration of a venerable is prohibited. The next stage is beatification, where the subject is considered having lived a holy life or suffered martyrdom, and is worthy of public veneration. The title of 'blessed' is bestowed, with limited liturgical veneration accorded, including a feast day. The final step is canonisation, where the Church declares sainthood, and the subject is worthy of universal veneration.

Fourteen Holy Helpers

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