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Look mom! I'm a saint! - a question about becoming an Imperial saint

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#1 Nearyn



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Posted 07 June 2012 - 10:30 AM

Last gamesession our cadre went toe to toe with pretty overwhelming odds. Hidden deep beneath the ruins of an Imperial Cathedral, doing Emperor knows what, we engaged several slaught masters and their warrior vassals. We were outnumbered 3 to 1.


We fight bravely and ferociously and take out two thirds of our enemies, before the we start seeing deaths. My hierophant's 2 battlesister bodyguards are killed, then our inquisitor and then finally my hierophant bites the dust.Only our storm trooper and our judge are standing. I use the highest miracle I know, and ressurect. My hierophant rises from the dead in a flash of holy light, whereupon I raise every dead member of the cadre from the dead as well and we rejoin the fight. For the Emprah!


Once we're done, I think I'm pushing for sainthood. Not only is my character already a hierophant, a title used as a precursor for becoming a saint, but he has a 200+ year record of faithful service to the Emperor.

Oh! and of course, in this very encounter, he died in combat, trying to purge a xenos infestation from an ancient cathedral, on a lost shrine-world. And not only did he die a martyr's death, but his dying prayer to the Emperor was apparently so powerful, the Emperor not only saw fit to bring him back from the realm of the dead, to continue carrying the flame of Emperor through the Imperium of man, but the Emperor ALSO saw fit to bestow upon him, the power over life and death. The Emperor gave him, for a brief, shining moment, a power only He could give, the power to bring other faithful back from the dead.


To further enforce his push for sainthood, the world we are on is a recently discorvered (by our cadre) lost shrine-world, where we found the remains of a lost Imperial saint, and one of the 12 daemonhammers of the angevin crusade. He has peer (ecclesiarchy), good reputation (ecclesiarchy) and is just as well with the Adepta Sororitas. Lastly he has Arch-Cardinal Ignato of the Calixian synod as a trusted contact.


So: What do you think my chances are? Can his eminency Tauron Atellus Cromwell, faithbringer and hierohpant to the holy god Emperor's ecclesiarchy, get elevated to living sainthood, on the back of these events? How would you go about making such a move? I realize that it's not like applying for a position at your local supermarket, but surely there's a way to get the ball rolling on this one?


Thanks in advance for your input.


#2 Adeptus-B


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Posted 07 June 2012 - 11:39 AM

Ecclesiarchal politics will certainly play a part, with the character's allies within the ecclesiarchy likely endorsing his bid to be canonized (and thus increasing their own prestige within the ecclesiarchy), while others would likely try to block his veneration (for fear that it might result in a reduction of support to their particular dioces). The formal judgement would likely be years or decades in coming, but the rank-and-file faithful might accept the character's sainthood long before it is officially recognized by the ecclesiarchy. The 40K novel Atlas Infernal features a character with 'magic powers' who is generally reguarded as a 'living saint', even though she has not (as I recall) been formally canonized by the Powers That Be.

#3 Sister Callidia

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Posted 08 June 2012 - 01:44 AM

It is not easy to become a saint. But I suppose that the local Ecclesiarchy can petition for your character to be raised to one. Or course, these claims then have to investigated by a special cadre of Priests. A cadre who will have to investigate hundreds of claims each year. It will pobably take a long long time and rthe chances that the claim is lost within the bureaucracy is large.

#4 venkelos



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Posted 08 June 2012 - 11:58 AM

I am certainly not sure of this, but I sort of believe that, in order to be sainted, you must be dead. Granted, your character is alive a second time, having died in the Emperor's service, but a Living Saint is one who can still be corrupted, being alive, and the fallout from an Apostate Saint would be devastating for the church. Better it be that you are good and dead, incapable of sullying your hallowed name, and that of those who elevated you, failing to see the corruption within. Imagine, if you would, that some time after Lord Solar Macharius was Sainted, it was determined that his mysterious death actually resulted from him succumbing to the lure of Chaos, after all of his men wussed out at the Halo Stars, and cried to return home. Enraged, he began to doubt his own men, thinking them tainted by the Dark Gods, who wished to stop his holy crusade, and then, in his maddened state, a voice offered him a way to continue. His men, seeing that he had fallen, killed him, and allowed his good name to stand, a sainted martyr who brought so much back to the Imperium. If it came to light that Macharius had actually consorted with the dark ones, it would cause a great amount of trouble, resulting in his name being stricken, and both a ship class and a planet having to get renamed, again. Celestine was Sainted, and then came back, but she doesn't remain afterward; instead she rises, and appears when unexpected, fights with the Emperor's glory, and sinks back to rest. In these ways, it's better if you aren't alive to sully your name, while any secrets drudged up later can be explained away by your deeds' results.

This isn't to say you can't. Their are thousands of Saints in the Imperium. It might take you a century to manage it, in which case you might already be dead, but it's no certainty.

Is your ress-by-miracle in a book, or is it homebrew?

#5 Nearyn



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Posted 08 June 2012 - 09:05 PM

Loving the feedback thus far. Everything seems to make alot of sense. I am still very curious how/if you would personally make your bid for sainthood, from a political perspective.



The ressurection I used is part of the "Emperor's Mercy"-miracles in the Blood of Martyrs book. Page 108.


In case you don't have it, the text reads as follows:



And he rose anew, as if lifted from the grave by the hand of the God-Emperor, restored by divine providence and ready once again to face the foes of mankind. With this Talent the faithful channels the power of his faith into a fallen comrade, filling their broken frame with life and purpose and tasking
them once more with carrying on the Emperor’s holy crusade.

Prerequisites: Pure Faith, Divine Ministration, No Rest for the Faithful

Effect: Whenever the faithful or one of his allies (who can hear him) dies and spends a Fate Point to avoid death (See page 185 in the Dark Heresy rulebook) he may use this ability to revitalise them. The target is immediately restored to full Wounds, has all critical damage and levels of Fatigue removed, crippled limbs and blindness are healed (though not lost limbs), and the effects of any toxins are negated. In effect, the target is restored completely.

Burn: For the duration of the encounter (provided the faithful is alive) whenever the faithful or his allies burn Fate to avoid death they will benefit from the effects of the Resurrection.

#6 jareddm



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Posted 10 June 2012 - 12:44 PM

I had this exact event occur in my game a few years back.  The difference is we were only 4th rank and the scum was posing as a saint, and us as her retinue.  But thanks to some absolutely astonishing rolls in a combat that followed, the planet's rebels who we were assisting began actually worshiping her as a saint, claiming they were witnessing miracles.

My character, who knew from the start that it was all designed as a ruse, ended up in the role of Barrister Sinister, or Devil's Advocate.  I had to look it up, but the term Devil's Advocate came from the original Catholic courts of determining if an individual was a saint or not.  This person spoke in opposition of their sainthood simply as a means of discourse.  I feel the Ecclesiarchy would have an almost identical individual in their process of making someone a saint.  Perhaps your GM could introduce such an character and have them take a central role in opposition of their goal.

In short, I'd recommend doing some research into the process of real world canonization, it might shed some light for you.

#7 BangBangTequila



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Posted 10 June 2012 - 07:38 PM

 Bear in mind that Sainthood is often general popularity over the will of the church. Look at Drusus, who as I recall, was not cannonized immediately. Rather he was whispered and prayed to by the legions of soldiers that idolized him, and as their fevered tales and fervent prayers spread among the bloodied ranks of the Guard throughout the Imperium, a billion voices cried out his sainthood.

So your comrades would tell the story and show the pict feeds, and the inquisitorial troopers witnessing such an event would spread the tale. Inquisitors, especially of the Puritanical view, would set themselves the task of spreading word of your holiness or decrying it as trickery and witch-craft. It would be the masses, not the Ecclesiarchs, that would make you a Saint, since Sainthood has an inviolate prerequisite of death (and not your phony-balony death!) to preserve the power of the living members of the religion (who would follow an Ecclesiarch when there is an actual Saint roaming? Nobody. And no Ecclesiarch, with enough Sororitas to enforce his will, would ever allow it).

#8 Darth Smeg

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Posted 14 June 2012 - 08:28 PM

Personally I'd say this is an excellent opportunity for the GM to screw with you :)

So you think you're a Saint, eh? Well, even if you don't, it is probable that many others do. Now, I'm sure there are those who might not take too kindly to people running around pretending to be Saints. Even if they are high-ups in the Ecclessiarchy. It's not as if the Ecclessiarchy is a unified and coordinated body, where everyone always agrees with everyone else on everything, right?

Read "The Name of the Rose" for a real-world comparison to see just what the Catholic church got up to. Monks in robes engaged in fist-fights during a council to discuss whether Jesus was poor or not. (Of course, this had the political consequence of deciding whether or not the Church could own property, so there was the clash of doctrines of faith and the lures of politics, wealth and power). 

I see conflict. People denouncing you as a heretic. Others crying that you are a sacred Saint, sent to bring about salvation. I see death and destruction, and the laughter of the Chaos Gods :)

(and that's a good thing)

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#9 Morangias



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Posted 16 June 2012 - 02:39 AM

Whenever someone cites "The Name of the Rose" as indicative of anything that really went on in the medieval Catholic Church, an angel cries. It's a great novel, but it puts scraps of historical facts out of context to build a very one-sided narrative.


There is no truth in flesh, only betrayal.

There is no strenght in flesh, only weakness.
There is no constancy in flesh, only decay.
There is no certainty in flesh but death.

#10 Erborn



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Posted 16 June 2012 - 11:44 PM

I would agree with what BangBangTequila said: to become a saint, you must win the support of the masses. Anything is possible, but you must be quick, determined and have a clarity of purpose.

The first step - since you're on a recently rediscovered shrine world - is to secure your position. I would suggest playing out three cards:

1.1. Address the low-born masses through demagogues (resurrected Adepta Sororitas and some other witnesses of the miracle would make ideal candidates). Let them tell the story of how a great man - Cromwell-blah-blah-blah - fought valiantly and died in His Name, and how one of His ancient Saints descended upon this world, taking Cromwell's broken shell as his own to crush His enemies.

1.2. Dig out the prophecies of this world doom (every shrine world has officially-supressed tales of Judgement Hour and how the corruption of its clergy will come to light and be judged; if this one has no such thing, invent it), and reenact some of them on the least pious ecclesiarchs. Remember, you're fighting for the good of all Mankind here; their deaths are a necessary sacrifice.

1.3. Depending on whether you inquisitor supports you or not, use him. If he is an ally, ask him to silence the most influental enemies in immediate vicinity. If he is an enemy, lure him into executing the said enemies for perceived heresy. It won't be easy, but it must be done if you're to leave the planet alive.

The second step would be to make contact with sympathizing factions within the Ecclesiarchy. Please note these won't be the high-ranking priests, for they are in general content with their place in the organization and won't take kindly to any prospect of religious upheaval.

2.1. So, approach the less-established clergy; depending on your mindset these could be Redemptionists, Conciliators, Temple Tendency… in short, some sub-faction with a burning desire to have 'their own' Saint. If you're really careful, approach several such sub-factions, each time presenting a different aspect of your Sainthood. Ie, you can be Cromwell The Righteous for the Redemptionists and Cromwell The Poor fo the Temple Tendency. Whoever you choose, the goal at this stage is to establish a 'foothold' within the ranks of Ecclesiarchy, a cadre of clerics who will support your official claim later.

The third step is the most difficult one: you must make your enemies to show their hand and then disgrace them.

3.1. By now the news of religious upheaval on the original shrine world would probably reach the ears of Ecclesiarchy. If you did everything right up to this point, the crisis would be too serious to ignore, yet not serious enough for Ecclesiarchy to call upon the aid of Inquisition. Indeed, the Ecclesiarchy is notorious for its desire to keep their skeletons for themselves, so to speak, so at this point it is unlikely they will call for help.

3.2. Most likely, the punitive force would include a cadre of high-ranking ecclesiarchs and some Adepta Sororitas regiments. You must break them in the subsequent War of Faith, but inflicting as few casualties on the Adepta Sororitas as possible. In the end, they must be humiliated and beaten, but not be slaughtered.

3.3. Appear before the canoness openly, escorted by your own Sororitas warrior-sisters (you had at least two) and plead your case. Explain how you - the spirit of a long-dead Saint - returned to this world (answering a prayer of a dying mr.Cromwell) and how you found the world steeped in corruption, and set upon cleansing it. Tell her how reluctant you were to fight (apparently) the misguided Adepta Sororitas, and how much it resembles the Times of Blood, when Brides of the Emperor mistakenly fought for crazed Vandire before finally seeing the light of truth and siding with Sebastian Thor…

3.4. Make the whole meeting secretly broadcast to you followers; a combination of pict-flies and good vox-caster relays would do the trick.

3.5. Most likely, the canoness will declare you a heretic and kill you where you stand. In this case, be prepared to 'resurrect' yourself once more. Do not attack the canoness yet, but tell her how He forgives her lack of vision and gives her one more chance to see the light. Recite once again the tragic tale of Vandire's last days. Probably, you'll be shot to pieces or cut down with the sword once more, so this time activate the Rosarius.

3.6. As the shot / strike leaves you unscathed, call upon the will of the Emperor to help the lost soul (aka 'canoness') to see the light… or to strike her down if she is irredeemably corrupt. She will probably attack you again in outrage because of your last remark…

3.7. Seize this opportunity to kill her; Disease spell wold work best, making the wench retch blood and writhe in obvious pain, as the 'Emperor's Light' abandons her. Her subsequent turning into a disease-ridden monstrosity would bring the corruption of your enemies to light, and galvanize your case.

3.8. Offer the shocked audience one last chance to abandon their corrupt ways and embrace the Light of the Him On Earth. If they bow down to you, you've won. If they don't, give your followers an order to attack, and this time don't refrain from the slaughter; all non-believers must be eliminated.

3.9. In the aftermath (whatever it is), contract your allies within the Ecclesiarchy and ask them to start the process, then cease to be for a time. If you ever feel the process stalls, resurface and repeat steps 1.1-1.3 and 3.1-3.8 on some other world, but generally make yourself scarce. The process would take years (if not decades), but if you remain true and determined, you'll be a Saint before long.

Failing that, a Mark of Tzeentch is also a worthy reward

#11 Elijah Vladimirovich

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Posted 05 August 2012 - 02:54 PM

"I am certainly not sure of this, but I sort of believe that, in order to be sainted, you must be dead. Granted, your character is alive a second time, having died in the Emperor's service, but a Living Saint is one who can still be corrupted, being alive, and the fallout from an Apostate Saint would be devastating for the church. Better it be that you are good and dead, incapable of sullying your hallowed name, and that of those who elevated you, failing to see the corruption within. "

While this may or may not be wise advice, it is notable than a number of saints were declared so while they were still alive anyway, such as one you've already mentioned (Sabbat), as well as Celestine and Anais. Also, the fact that a saint is dead does not necessarily mean they cannot be corrupted either, as the Apostasy Gambit demonstrates.

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