John Paul II Urges Hope in the Wake of Madrid

VATICAN CITY, MARCH 21, 2004 ( John Paul II urged the faithful to maintain hope in the face of world terrorism.

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The Pope made his appeal today after beatifying three women religious and a priest. Among the women are two Spaniards. The Holy Father took advantage of the occasion to voice a message in the wake of the March 11 terrorist attacks in Madrid.

«I encourage you to maintain hope, enthusiasm and generosity in the face of the suffering of so many families, of the people of Madrid and of the whole of Spain by the recent terrorist attack. Love is stronger than hatred and death!» John Paul II said at the end of the Mass, before praying the Angelus.

Notable among the 20,000 pilgrims attending the beatification ceremony were Spanish flags, some with black bows, a sign of mourning.

The new Spanish blessed are Matilde of the Sacred Heart Téllez Robles (1841-1902) and Piedad of the Cross Ortiz Real (1842-1916).

The other two newly beatified, both Italians, are Father Luigi Talamoni (1848-1926) and Maria Candida of the Eucharist (1884-1949).

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