The Catholic Church had a abundance of saints during the Middle Ages. Sainthood then required three ways for one to be declared a saint, namely, “a Servant of God heroically lived a life of Christian virtues or had been martyred for the faith. The third, less common way, is called an equivalent or equipollent canonization: when there is evidence of strong devotion among the faithful to a holy man or woman, the pope can waive a lengthy formal canonical investigation and can authorize the veneration as saints.”
The early Catholic Church canonized many martyrs who died for the faith during the Roman pesecutions. There were many monks and hermits who lived heroically and ther were others venerated by the common folk without Church approval but eventually listed as saints.
The saints canonized at the present time are very few and some of them did not live during our time.
The present pope has approved a new path to sainthood which is a “heroic act of loving service.” This new path does not specify that the candidate for sainthood should be a member of the Catholic Church.
So, we can expect more of those who lived during the contemporary period to be canonized as saints.