After the Second Vatican Council there have been a great number of canonizations and above all there has been a departure from that custom that to be a saint one must be priests, bishops, popes, men and women religious.
There has been an explosion of holiness of lay people, Christian spouses and even children who have brought about the change of certain procedures of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints.
For example, regarding the Cause of the Little Shepherds of Fatima, Jacinta and Francesco, the rules on the period of perseverance in the heroic virtues have been changed. In fact, candidates required at least 10 years of heroic exercise of virtues as a sure proof.
Now 5 years are required from the use of reason and even less, as occurred for the children of Fatima … In the case of martyrs, they are well-defined criteria and summarized in the four historical-juridical elements: 1) violent death inflicted, 2) by a persecutor, 3) for a reason of faith or moral virtue referred or referable to God, 4) suffered by the hero with an upright conscience, constant fortitude and serene meekness. Can unborn children killed by abortion be considered martyrs?
Are there valid elements for their recognition by the Church? In the book “The martyrdom of unborn children” the theme is extensively treated and hypotheses are given to recognize theirs as true martyrdom.
This hypothesis is the reason that prompted the establishment of the Association for the Postulation of the cause of unborn children-martyrs.
This hypothesis is also supported by the statements of the International Theological Commission of 2007: ““Some of the infants who suffer and die do so as victims of violence.
In their case, we may readily refer to the example of the Holy Innocents and discern an analogy in the case of these infants to the baptism of blood which brings salvation.
Albeit unknowingly, the Holy Innocents suffered and died on account of Christ; their murderers were seeking to kill the infant Jesus. Just as those who took the lives of the Holy Innocents were motivated by fear and selfishness, so the lives particularly of unborn babies today are often endangered by the fear or selfishness of others.
In that sense, they are in solidarity with the Holy Innocents.
Moreover, they are in solidarity with the Christ who said: “Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brethren, you did it to me” (Mt 25:40).
How vital it is for the Church to proclaim the hope and generosity that are intrinsic to the Gospel and essential for the protection of life”.