VATICAN CITY, MARCH 21, 2004 ( John Paul II beatified a priest and three women religious whom he presented as witnesses of God's love for each person.

On a rainy morning, 20,000 pilgrims in St. Peter's Square broke out in applause when the portraits of the new blessed -- two Italians and two Spaniards -- were unveiled on the facade of St. Peter's Basilica, after the Pope pronounced the beatification formula.

The two beatified Spanish are Matilde of the Sacred Heart Téllez Robles (1841-1902), founder of the congregation of the Daughters of Mary Mother of the Church, and Piedad of the Cross Ortiz Real (1842-1916), founder of the Salesian Religious of the Sacred Heart of Jesus.

The two Italian blessed are Father Luigi Talamoni (1848-1926), founder of the Religious of Mercy of St. Gerard, and Maria Candida of the Eucharist (1884-1949), a religious of the Order of Discalced Carmelites.

In his homily at today's beatification Mass, the Holy Father presented them as "singular witnesses of loving Divine Providence that accompanies the way of humanity."

"Christ was always their support and consolation in the difficult events of life. Thus, they experienced in themselves that to live in him means to become a 'new creature,'" he said.

The Pontiff described Blessed Matilde Téllez Robles as being "in love with Christ." She was a "tireless woman" who consecrated herself "from her intense life of prayer, to the transformation of the society of her time through welcoming orphaned girls, offering home care to the sick, promoting working women, and collaborating in ecclesial activities," he said.

"Profoundly devoted to the Eucharist, the contemplation of Jesus in the Sacrament of the altar led her to want to be the bread that is broken and given to all," the Holy Father said. "Her luminous testimony is a call to live in adoration of God and service of brothers, two fundamental pillars of the Christian commitment."

Of Mother Piedad of the Cross Ortiz, the Pope said: "She gathered together diverse young women desiring to show the humble and poor the love of the provident Father manifested in the heart of Jesus, thus giving life to a new religious family."

"Model of Christian and religious virtues, in love with Christ, the Virgin Mary, and the poor, she leaves us the example of austerity, prayer and charity toward all the needy," the Holy Father added.

Of Father Luigi Talamoni, the Pope noted the assiduousness with which he gave of his time "in the confessional and in the service of the poor, the imprisoned and especially the indigent sick."

Lastly, the Pope presented Maria Candida as "an authentic mystic of the Eucharist … unifying center of the whole of life, following the Carmelite tradition."

"She was so in love with Jesus in the Eucharist that she felt a constant and ardent desire to be a tireless apostle of the Eucharist," he said.

According to Vatican Radio, with today's ceremony John Paul II has proclaimed 1,331 people blessed and canonized 477 saints.