From inside the Vatican, the book that became a modern classic on sainthood in the Catholic Church.
Working from church documents, Kenneth Woodward shows how saint-makers decide who is worthy of the church's highest honor. He describes the investigations into lives of candidates, explains how claims for miracles are approved or rejected, and reveals the role politics -- papal and secular -- plays in the ultimate decision. From his examination of such controversial candidates as Archbishop Oscar Romero of El Salvador and Edith Stein, a Jewish philosopher who became a nun and was gassed at Auschwitz, to his insights into the changes Pope John Paul II has instituted, Woodward opens the door on a 2,000-year-old tradition.
Kenneth L. Woodward, a senior writer at Newsweek, has been the magazine's religion editor for thirty-two years. He lives in Westchester County, New York.
Peter Hebblethwaite The New York Times Book Review This is easily the most comprehensive, critical, and up-to-date look at saint making so far written.
Eugene Kennedy Los Angeles Times In this extraordinary book, Kenneth Woodward fashions a near miracle of research and journalistic inquiry. Woodward parts the long-congealed sea of Vatican bureaucracy that investigates the lives of men and women who have been variously recommended for official recognition as saints. Follow me, Woodward signals from the first arresting page, and we cannot resist making passage with him between the massive, trembling walls of water.