Abstract and Keywords
Saint making has been a major activity of the Roman Catholic Church for centuries. The pace of sanctifications has picked up noticeably in the past several decades under the most recent two popes, John Paul II and Benedict XVI. This article explores the economics of sainthood, applying social science reasoning to understand the Church's choices on numbers and characteristics of saints, gauged by the location and socioeconomic attributes of the persons designated as blessed. It analyzes long-term data on canonization (approval as a saint) and beatification (final stage of qualification for canonization) by the Catholic Church since 1588, when official Vatican records began.
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