Josep Samsó Offered as Model for Priests

Martyr-Priest Beatified in Spain

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VATICAN CITY, JAN. 25, 2010 ( Benedict XVI proposed Blessed Josep Samsó i Elias as a model both for priests and the laity on the day after the priest-martyr was beatified in his native Spain.

After praying the Angelus on Sunday, together with the pilgrims gathered in St. Peter’s Square in the Vatican, the Pope expressed his wish that the example of the priest may «serve as stimulus to presbyters in the solicitous exercise of their pastoral ministry and encourage the faithful to give at all times courageous and convinced witness of their faith.

«For priests, especially for parish priests, he constitutes a model of dedication to catechesis and to charity to the poor,» he added.
Speaking in Catalan, the Pope continued: «May the new Blessed Josep Samsó i Elias bless you and protect you. Happy Sunday.»
Father Josep Samsó i Elias, martyred in 1936, was beatified Saturday at St. Mary’s Basilica in the city of Mataro, near Barcelona, where he was a parish priest. The beatification was attended by some 1,500 people, among them some 20 bishops and 450 priests.

Benedict XVI described the priest, who was killed during the Spanish Civil War, as a «true witness of Christ» who «died forgiving his persecutors.»
«In his martyrdom, he generously gave his life to the Lord with words and gestures of forgiveness and mercy,» the Pontiff added.

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