The process for the beatification and canonization of Saint Mother Theodore began in 1909, when Bishop Francis Silas Chatard, bishop of Indianapolis, granted permission for the opening of the Informative Process of the Cause for Mother Theodore. The process took place in the Archdiocese of Indianapolis as the first required step of the Cause and involved a thorough study of Mother Theodore’s life, work and writings. This part of the process ended in 1913 and included testimony from 24 people.
Beatification is a process, guided by the Vatican’s Congregation for the Causes of Saints, that begins with an intense investigation of a deceased person’s life, writings and virtues and, except in the case of martyrs (A martyr is a person who decides to suffer and/or die rather than give up his or her faith or principles.), proof of one miracle worked by God through the intercession of the person. If the person meets all of the requirements, the pope gives the person the title “Blessed” and decrees (A decree is an official order issued by a pope and/or by an ecumenical council for the entire Roman Catholic Church.) that he or she may be honored or venerated.
Canonization is a declaration by the pope that a person who died as a martyr and/or who practiced Christian virtue to a heroic degree is with God and is worthy of honor and imitation. People who are canonized — declared to be saints — are venerated and honored by the entire Catholic Church.