5 Martyrs Recognized from Bosnia-Herzegovina

Heroic Virtue in American Diocesan Priest Decreed

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VATICAN CITY, JAN. 14, 2011 (Zenit.org).- Five women religious who were killed in Bosnia-Herzegovina in 1941 have been recognized as martyrs.

Benedict XVI today authorized their decrees of martyrdom, along with three decrees recognizing miracles, and five decrees declaring heroic virtue.

The three who gained miracles through their intercession are recognized as Venerable Servants of God, and are now qualified for beatification: 

— John Paul II (1920-2005) (born Karol Wojtyla), Polish Supreme Pontiff; 

— Antonia Maria Verna (1773-1838), Italian founder of the Institute of the Sisters of Charity of the Immaculate Conception;

— Giuseppe Toniolo (1845-1918), Italian layman and father.


The martyrs recognized by the Pope’s decree are professed religions of the Institute of Daughters of Divine Charity, who were killed in hatred of the faith in Bosnia-Herzegovina between Dec. 15-23, 1941. They are Servants of God: 

— Marija Jula (born Kata Ivanisevic);

— Marija Bernadeta (born Terezija Banja);

— Marija Krizina (born Jozefa Bojanc);

— Marija Antonija (born Jozefa Fabjan);

— and Maria Berchmana (born Karoline Anna Leidenix).

Heroic virtues

Heroic virtues were recognized for the following five people, now Servants of God: 

— Antonio Franco (1585-1626), Italian bishop of Santa Lucia del Mela;

— Franziskus Maria vom Kreuze (1848-1918) (born Johann Baptist Jordan), German priest and founder of the Society of the Divine Saviour and of the Congregation of Sisters of the Divine Savior;

— Nelson Baker (1842-1936), American diocesan priest; 

— Faustino Perez-Manglano Magro (1946-1963), Spanish student and postulant of the Marianist Fathers; 

— Francisca de Paula de Jesus (1810-1895) (also called Nha Chica), Brazilian laywoman.

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