Pope: Japan Beatifications Are Significant

VATICAN CITY, NOV. 23, 2008 (Zenit.org).- Benedict XVI is assuring the faithful of Japan and Cuba of his spiritual closeness as each country prepares for beatification ceremonies on their soil.

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After praying the Angelus today with those gathered in St. Peter’s Square, the Pope noted that 188 martyrs will be beatified Monday in Nagasaki, Japan. All were killed in the 17th century.

“I pledge my spiritual nearness on this occasion, which is so significant for the Catholic community, and for the whole country of the Rising Sun,” the Pontiff said.

The Holy Father also mentioned that Fray José Olallo Valdés, of the Hospitaller Order of St. John of God, will be beatified in Cuba on Saturday.

He said, “I entrust the Cuban people to his heavenly protection, especially the sick and health workers.”

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