8 Martyrs of Spain Beatified

They Forgave Their Persecutors, Says Holy Father

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VATICAN CITY, OCT. 30, 2005 (Zenit.org).- Eight newly beatified martyrs who were killed during the Spanish Civil War died «forgiving their persecutors,» says Benedict XVI.

On Saturday afternoon, Cardinal José Saraiva Martins, prefect of the Congregation for Sainthood Causes, presided over the beatification Mass in St. Peter’s Basilica and, at the Pope’s request, read the Holy Father’s apostolic letter for the occasion.

At the end of the celebration, Benedict XVI went to the basilica to venerate the martyrs’ relics and to say a few words in Spanish and Catalan to pilgrims about the newly beatified.

The beatified included Josep Tàpies and six other Catalan priests, one of French origin. They were dedicated to pastoral care in the Parish of Pobla de Segur, Lerida, and neighboring areas.

«Forgiving their persecutors, they gave their lives invoking the King of the Universe,» the Pope said. The martyrs were shot on Aug. 13, 1936.

The Holy Father then mentioned María de los Ángeles Ginard Martí (1894-1936), of the Congregation of Religious Zealous of Eucharistic Worship, who suffered martyrdom in Madrid during the same persecution.

The Pope underlined that the surrender of her life was prepared by «long hours of adoration of the Blessed Sacrament, without neglecting her service to the community.»

Sister María de los Ángeles gave her life to save a woman who had been confused for a nun. «I am the only nun» here, she said, before being imprisoned at nightfall on Aug. 26 and later shot.

Benedict XVI said: «These new blessed are for us all a strong example of priestly identity and religious consecration.»

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