Religion: The Long Road to Sainthood

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The church is also relaxing long standing requirements about miracles. "The conviction is growing," a Vatican official told TIME Correspondent Wilton Wynn, "that other, 'signs' should be accepted, such as a great number of extraordinary 'favors' or 'graces' that can be proved and attested by serious investigation." All those beatified last week, including Kateri Tekakwitha, took a giant step toward sainthood without benefit of any fully authenticated miracles.

* The U.S. now has three saints: Mother Frances Xavier Cabrini, Mother Elizabeth Seton and Bishop John Neumann, who was canonized in 1977.

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