• Name: Cora Evans

  • Life: Born in 1904 and died March 30, 1957. Evans wrote of mystical visions in which she asserted that Jesus and many Catholic saints appeared to her during deep states of prayer and that she visited heaven and purgatory among other places. She spent the end of her life in Boulder Creek and is buried at Santa Clara Mission Cemetery.

  • Sainthood: The process is long, complicated and involves profound spiritual faith. Evans took the first step when the Vatican's Congregation for the Causes of Saints formally opened an investigation into her life in 2012, giving her the designation Servant of God. If the Vatican determines she lived a life of heroic virtue, she will receive the title of Venerable. If a miracle is verified and credited to Evans, she will be declared Blessed. A second miracle then must occur for her canonization.

  • Miracles: Catholics believe that only God can perform miracles, but that saints can intercede on behalf of those who pray to them -- in effect putting in a good word so their requests are heard.

  • Sainthood and California: There are only 12 saints who were either U.S.-born or did their good works in America. But none are from California. Junipero Serra, the Franciscan friar who founded nine of California's 21 missions and died in 1784, is one step from sainthood. He was beatified by Pope John Paul II in 1988. Another Servant of God is Franciscan missionary Magin Catala, who served at Santa Clara Mission and died in 1830.

  • New saints: The Vatican is expected to announce this month the dates of the canonization ceremony for popes John Paul II and John XXIII. The reigning pontiff, Pope Francis, waived the requirement of a second miracle for John XXIII, who is credited for helping liberalize the church in the 1960s. Meanwhile the canonization of John Paul II, who died in 2005, is the fastest on record.

  • The reason for saints: "If there is somebody who can show us the way and help us along in our lives, that's what saints are all about," said the Rev. Joseph Grimaldi. "It's about somebody giving us the incentive to live our lives better and be good people. If they inspire us to be better people and live a more holy life, how wonderful would that be?"