The creation of new saints often has a political edge; the Catholic Church molds saints’ lives to fit its needs, and individual popes have particular priorities in saint-making. In the early modern Church, this was particularly important after the Council of Trent. The Tridentine decrees (1563) instructed bishops to reform the Church but provided few practical suggestions for how to do this. One solution was to hold up exemplary post-Tridentine bishops as models through beatification and canonization. Historians have noted the importance of model bishops but have not fully considered the process of creating them and its implication for the histories of Catholic Reform and of canonization. The case of Cardinal-Bishop Gregorio Barbarigo of Padua (bp. 1664–1697) tells a complicated and interesting story about the intersection of Catholic Reform and canonization. Barbarigo was beatified in 1761 during the Catholic Enlightenment and was finally canonized in 1960, on the eve of the Second Vatican Council. Examining the construction of his image from 1699–1960, this article argues that the Catholic Church in both the eighteenth and the twentieth centuries molded Barbarigo into the model bishop needed at those particular times, in response to the issues facing contemporary bishops and clergy.