Fr. Tolton’s Canonization Timeline


Canonization Cause Plans Announced

In 2010, the Year for Priests, Francis Cardinal George announced his plans to open the Cause for the Beatification and Canonization of Father Augustine Tolton. The Archbishop of Chicago wanted to present to priests one of their own whose own example of a holy life would help them pursue strive after sanctity.


February 24, 2011

Canonization Cause Formally Opened

The Cause formally opened when Cardinal George began the diocesan phase into the investigations into the life of Father Tolton.

February 13, 2012

"Servant of God" Title Granted

With the investigations underway, the title of “Servant of God” was granted to Father Tolton.

February 13, 2012

September 29, 2014

Diocesan Phase of Beatification Process Closed

The diocesan phase of the beatification process formally closed when the official documents were sealed with red wax and sent to the Congregation for the Causes of Saints in Rome. The “acts” of the case were officially opened in Rome on March 5, 2015 and on April 17, 2015 the Congregation for the Causes of Saints declared the investigations to have been conducted in a lawful manner.

June 21, 2016

Permission Granted to Examine Fr. Tolton's Remains

The Congregation for the Causes of Saints granted permission for Father Tolton’s grave to be opened and for his mortal remains to be examined.

June 21, 2016

December 9 – 10, 2016

Fr. Tolton's Remains Examined

Within prayer at the start and conclusion, the staffs of Catholic Cemeteries for the Diocese of Springfield and the Archdiocese of Chicago, in the presence of Bishop Thomas John Paprocki and Bishop Joseph Perry, exhume the remains of Father Augustus Tolton at St. Peter Cemetery in Quincy, Illinois. Tolton’s remains are examined by a medical examiner, forensic and anthropological specialists, and then enfolded within a new set of priestly vestments and reinterred awaiting news of his approval for beatification. The report of the exhumation was sent to Rome.

March 18, 2018

Historical Consultors Approve Positio

The historical consultors to the Congregation for the Causes of Saints gave their approval of the positio, the document arguing in favor of Father Tolton’s heroic virtue.

March 18, 2018

May 21, 2019

Canonization Cause Recommended to Pope Francis

The Cardinal members of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints recommendation Father Tolton’s cause be taken to Pope Francis.

June 11, 2019

Fr. Tolton Declared Venerable

Pope Francis decreed the heroic virtue of Father Tolton and gave him the title, Venerable.

June 11, 2019

We now await the investigations into a possible miraculous healing attributable to the intercession of Father Tolton. If one is found and confirmed by the Holy Father, the Venerable Augustine Tolton will be declared among the Blessed.

If, after his Beatification, a second miraculous healing is found, Father Tolton will be declared a Saint.