Pere Tarrés Aimed to Be a Holy Priest, at All Costs

John Paul II Recalls Catalan at Beatification

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LORETO, Italy, SEPT. 5, 2004 ( John Paul II pointed to the testimony of Pere Tarrés i Claret, a doctor who became a priest on his way to beatification.

Born in Manresa, Spain, on May 30, 1905, Pere Tarrés was a member of the Federation of Christian Youth of Catalonia and of Catholic Action. He founded the sanatorium-clinic of Our Lady of Mercy in Barcelona.

«In the exercise of his medical profession, he dedicated himself with special solicitude to the sick who were poorest, convinced that ‘the sick person is a symbol of the suffering of Christ,'» the Pope said during his homily at today’s beatification Mass, celebrated near the Shrine of Loreto.

As a refugee in Barcelona during the Spanish Civil War, Tarrés secretly took Communion to the persecuted. He also acted in his capacity as a field doctor, heroically caring for numerous wounded.

He returned home from the front in 1939 and entered the Barcelona seminary that same year. He was ordained a priest in May 1942.

Tarrés «consecrated himself with generous audacity to the tasks of his ministry, remaining faithful to the commitment assumed on the eve of his ordination: ‘Only one purpose, Lord: to be a holy priest, no matter what it costs,'» the Pope said in the homily.

«He accepted with faith and heroic patience a terrible sickness, which led to his death when he was only 45,» the Holy Father said. «Despite his suffering, he often repeated: ‘How good the Lord is to me!’ And, ‘I am really happy.'»

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