233 Martyrs Hailed for "Witness to Fidelity"

VALENCIA, Spain, MAR. 9, 2001 (Zenit.org).- Archbishop Agustín García-Gasco of Valencia, writing on the occasion of this Sunday´s beatification of 233 martyrs of the 1936 religious persecution, says “their witness to fidelity today maintains its timeliness and freshness.”

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In a pastoral letter, the archbishop said that, in affirming that they gave their life for Christ, the Church “does not judge or condemn anyone, rather it shows the integral Christian living of martyrdom in these persons.” Most of the martyrs were from Valencia.

The archbishop noted “that someone might interpret” this beatification “in a biased or mistaken way,” but “there is no interpretation other than that of understanding, beyond all opportunistic considerations, that the Christian fidelity of these martyrs, maintained until the end, is an admirable and courageous example of their belonging to Christ and his Church.”

While “ideological and political systems pass, the sacrificial witness of the martyrs endures and is the seed of new believers,” he concluded.

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