VATICAN CITY, AUG. 17, 2004 (Zenit.org).- John Paul II will beatify three key figures of Catholic Action next month when he makes an apostolic visit to the Italian national Marian shrine of Loreto.
The Vatican press office announced the Sept. 5 beatifications today when publishing the program of this papal pilgrimage.
Among the new blessed will be Catalan Pere Tarres i Claret, born in Manresa on May 30, 1905. He died in his Archdiocese of Barcelona on Aug. 31, 1950.
After obtaining a degree in medicine, he was ordained a priest, and dedicated himself in particular to the formation of the youth of Catholic Action.
Also to be beatified is Alberto Marvelli, an Italian engineer and politician, who died at age 28, in 1946. He was formed by the Salesians and Catholic Action. A man of profound spirituality, he aided the poor during World War II. He was a member of the Executive Council of the Christian Democratic Party in postwar Italy. He was killed in an accident.
The Pope will also beatify Italian laywoman Pina Suriano (1915-1950). She was especially dedicated in Catholic Action to the formation of girls and young people.
Up to 200,000 people are expected to attend the Mass in Loreto at which the Pope will preside. It will be celebrated in the context of the Italian pilgrimage of Catholic Action, Sept. 1-5.
During his approximately 9-hour stay, the Holy Father will be received at the Youth Center near the shrine.
Catholic Action is the largest Catholic lay organization in Italy. Present in 8,000 parishes, its ranks include 180,000 adults, 80,000 youths and 150,000 adolescents.
Catholic Action dates back to 1867, the year when two youths established the Italian Catholic Youth Society, adopting as their program the motto “Prayer, Action, Sacrifice.” Pope Pius IX approved the association in 1868. It was established with its present name and structure by Pope Pius X.