Pope beatifies ‘martyrs’ killed in Civil War
31 October 2005
VATICAN — Pope Benedict XVI has beatified eight martyred Spaniards, conveying on them the step before sainthood.
Seven priests who served in the diocese of Urgel, Catalonia, and a nun, who died in Dehesa de la Villa outside Madrid, were all slain because of “hatred of the faith” during the religious persecution unleashed following the start of the Spanish Civil War on 18 July, 1936.
Jose Tapies Sirvant, Pascual Araguas Guardia, Silvestre Arnau Pascuet, Jose Boher Foix, Francisco Castell Brenuy, Pedro Martret Moles, Jose Juan Perot Juanmarti and Maria de los Angeles Ginard Marti, were beatified at a ceremony at the Vatican.
They were killed in a wave of anti-religious murders at the start of the Spanish Civil War.
Thousands of pilgrims present at St. Peter’s Basilica in Vatican City broke into applause and sacred music was played when the eight were proclaimed “blessed”.
Two enormous portraits of the eight religious martyrs were unveiled inside the church.
Instead of the pope, the former Joseph Ratzinger, who has restored a former papal tradition of not presiding over beatifications, Cardinal Saraiva, prefect of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints, led the ceremonies.
At the close of the event, Benedict XVI entered the basilica, venerated the newly beatified’s relics at the main altar, and briefly addressed attendees.
The Catholic Church will henceforth commemorate the seven priests’ martyrdom on 17 August and that of the nun on 20 October.
A large Spanish delegation, headed by Foreign Ministry Undersecretary Luis Calvo Merino, was in attendance.
[Copyright EFE with Expatica]
Subject: Spanish news