Canonical Process

The canonical process of the Cause of Canonization of Isabel I of Castille - commonly known as Isabel "the Catholic" (a title granted to Ferdinand and Isabel by a Papal Bull in 1496) was started in 1958 in Spain in the diocese of Valladolid where she died in 1504. The Bishop of Valladolid, then Most Rev. Jose Garcia Goldaraz, moved by an ever growing popular acclaim of the sanctity of the "Catholic Queen" who sent Columbus on his famous voyage, appointed an official commission of 17 experts in the matter of archives and history to thoroughly investigate the merits of opening a canonical process of canonization. They studied more than 100,000 documents in the more important archives of Spain and the Vatican. They selected 3,500 of these to be critically analyzed, compiling thereof 27 original volumes of thorough historical investigation about the life, virtue and deeds of Isabel the Catholic.

This laborious investigation lasted for 12 years, until in 1970 the Commission presented its results to the Archbishop in no uncertain terms: "A Canonical process for the canonization of Isabel the Catholic could be undertaken with a sense of security since there was not found one single act, public or private, of Queen Isabel that was not inspired by Christian and evangelical criteria; moreover there was a 'reputation of sanctity' uninterrupted for five centuries and as the investigation was progressing, it was more accentuated."

Then, in 1972, after further canonical investigations on the diocesan level, the Process of Valladolid was officially submitted to the Sacred Congregation for the Cause of the Saints in the Vatican. Isabel the Catholic's process of canonization was approved and she was given the title "Servant of God" in March 1974.

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