Chapter 4 Practical Matters

Canonization Records in the Making

In: A Companion to Medieval Miracle Collections

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The standard procedures for making official proclamations of sainthood – as well as the agents who actively participated in the events – are well known. The pope opened the process and nominated commissioners to lead the hearing, while local proctors helped to manage the practical tasks and official notaries recorded the depositions of sworn witnesses. The way in which all these pieces were actually put into practice, however, took various forms. This chapter analyses, with examples, the many ways in which canonization interrogations were carried out. It argues that it is essential to know not just the actual methods of implementation but also the context – that is, the process as a whole – to avoid making far-reaching, and false, conclusions based on one case or a single set of depositions.