Vatican City, Jul 11, 2017 / 05:22 am
On Tuesday Pope Francis declared a new category of Christian life suitable for consideration of beatification called "offering of life" – in which a person has died prematurely through an offering of their life for love of God and neighbor.
Though similar to martyrdom, this definition fits those Servants of God who have in some way given up their life prematurely for charity, though the circumstances may fall outside the strict definition of martyrdom, which requires the presence of a persecutor.
The changes were issued in a Motu proprio July 11, which formally added the particular case to the paths by which a person under investigation for beatification may be discerned to be worthy, in addition to the traditional three paths: martyrdom, a life of heroic virtue and the very rare "exceptional cases."
The change in norms was made with the support of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints, which studied the matter during a plenary session Sept. 27, 2016.