Pope Francs noted the beatification of four Martyrs in Argentina in ceremonies April 27, 2019. His remarks came after reciting the Regina Coeli April 28 with the crowds of pilgrims gathered in St. Peter’s Square.
“Proclaimed Blesseds yesterday in La Rioja, Argentina, were Enrique Angel Angelelli, diocesan Bishop; Carlos de Dios Murias, Conventual Franciscan; Gabriel Longueville, fidei donum priest, and Wenceslao Pedernera, catechist, father of a family,” Francis said. “These martyrs of the faith were persecuted for the cause of justice and evangelical charity. May their example and intercession support, in particular, all those who work for a more just and solidary society. One of them was French; he went to Argentina as a missionary. The other three were Argentines. Let us applaud all the new Blesseds!”
Angelelli, who was part of a group of bishops who denounced human rights violations committed during the dictatorship, died on August 4, 1976, after the car he was driving overturned on a highway in La Rioja. At the time of his death, Angelelli, who was 53 years old, was drafting a report regarding the investigation into the murder of Murias and Longueville by the army. The military regime had tried to make believe that the Bishop’s death was due to injuries caused in the alleged car accident near the city of Punta de Los Llanos, but then justice showed that the accident had been caused by another car and that the bishop died due to a blow inflicted on his neck.
Murias and Longueville had been kidnapped, tortured and shot on July 18, 1976, in Chamical, while the lay Pedernera was murdered in the district of Chilecito, also in Rioja a week later.