The Catholic Church teaches that it does not, in fact, make anyone a saint. Rather, it recognizes a saint. In the Catholic Church, the title of Saint refers to a person who has been formally canonized by the Church.
In his book, Making Saints: How the Catholic Church Determines Who Becomes a Saint, Who Doesn't and Why, author Kenneth Woodward notes: A saint is always someone through whom we catch a glimpse of what God is like -- and of what we are called to be. Only God 'makes' saints, of course. The church merely identifies from time to time a few of these for emulation. The church then tells the story. But the author is the Source of the grace by which saints live. And there we have it: A saint is someone whose story God tells.
The designs of symbols and icons we offer have been associated with the Catholic saints and often represent a significant spiritual event or portion of their life.