Would-Be Saints Must Have Virgin Mary’s Mobile Number, Says Vatican

CANDIDATES for sainthood will have to meet more demanding criteria, including regular contact with the Virgin Mary, either via mobile phone or email.

The Vatican is keen to hear from anyone who's been talking to this pig

Senior Vatican officials want to overhaul the process of sainthood before it is relaunched later this year as a premium product.

Beatification will be rebranded as 'SainthoodSilverClass', while full-scale canonisation will be upgraded to include 24-hour access to the Ambassador's Lounge.

Vatican saintmaster, Monsignor Luigi Bertoni, said: "We're going to need to see a text message or email from the Holy Mother. And not some boring, standard response. It needs to have in-jokes and stuff like that."

He added: "Those who claim to have the stigmata will need to be able to stick a pencil all the way through, or put their hands over their eyes and read out some letters on a card."

Meanwhile the number of required miracles will be increased from two to six, with at least one of them involving a flying carpet or a talking pig.

The miracles will be presented to the Pope who may then grant a provisional feast day and give permission for the candidate's underwear to be displayed in the local church.

If the feast day is a success, and people like the food, the candidate's name then goes into the Pope's Big Christmas Tombola.