VATICAN CITY, JUNE 22, 2004 ( The Holy See published the decrees of martyrdom of 13 victims of the 1920s religious persecution in Mexico, clearing the way for their beatification.

Referring to the "heroic witness of the numerous martyrs who spilled their blood in those years on Mexican soil," Cardinal José Saraiva Martins, prefect of the Congregation for Sainthood Causes, said today: "Their glorification on earth will certainly augment the efficacy of their example and confidence in the power of their intercession before God."

The decrees were promulgated in the presence of John Paul II in the Apostolic Palace. Among the new martyrs recognized by the Church is Father José Trinidad Rangel Montaño, of the Diocese of Leon; Spanish-born Father Andrés Solá Molist, Claretian missionary; and layman and celibate Leonardo Pérez Larios.

All three were killed "out of hatred for the faith" on April 25, 1927, in Rancho de San Joaquin.

Another decree recognized the martyrdom of Father Darío Acosta Zurita of the Diocese of Veracruz, killed in Veracruz on July 25, 1931, three months after his ordination.

The Holy See also recognized the martyrdom of Anacleto González Flores, layman, lawyer and father of a family, and of seven other martyred companions. All were killed in 1927-1928. Like Anacleto, three of them were members of Catholic Action of Mexican Youth.

The last decree recognized the martyrdom of José Sánchez del Río, a 14-year-old killed on Feb. 10, 1928.

On Tuesday, the Holy See also recognized the heroic virtues, decisive step toward beatification, of Mexican religious Julia of the Thorns of the Sacred Heart.

Sister Julia, founder of the Missionary Daughters of the Most Pure Virgin Mary, died on Nov. 21, 1974, in Toluca.

"To these Servants of God, especially the martyrs, who were victims of religious intolerance and hatred against the Church, we commend the peace of the world," Cardinal Saraiva Martins said in the presence of the Pope.