Pope Francis was also a member of an honorary committee of a conference for the Argentine Chesterton Society and celebrated a Mass for the conference. He owns several books by Chesterton.
The first stages of a canonization cause include collecting evidence of heroic virtue.
Ahlquist said that Chesterton's personal character showed this.
"There's a goodness that just exuded from him," he explained. "The biographical accounts of Chesterton always portray him as being very joyful, and humble and good, so that everyone was just drawn to that, including his intellectual and philosophical enemies. The people who violently disagreed with Chesterton on the issues were drawn to him as a person because of his charity."
Ahlquist cited stories of Chesterton emptying his pockets for the poor and showing great love and appreciation for children.
"He would always stand in the presence of a woman, no matter how old or how young she was. He would always make the sign of the cross over a room before he would enter it," he said.
Chesterton would receive the Eucharist with great emotion, explaining "I am afraid of that tremendous reality."
Still, the apologist is "not the stereotypical saint," Ahlquist continued, pointing to Chesterton's profession as writer was "right in the midst of the heartbeat of London journalism."
Ahlquist, a former Baptist, said the idea that someone like Chesterton could be a saint attracted him to the Catholic Church.
"The fact that a 300-pound, cigar-smoking journalist might be a saint of the Catholic Church made me understand what the communion of saints is all about. They're not just one particular type of person."
Any investigation for sainthood can take many years, and not all causes succeed. A Vatican investigation and two recognized miracles attributed to the candidate's intercession are necessary for the candidate to be declared a saint.
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