Virginia Diocese Opens Cause for 8 Jesuits Who Died in 1571

WASHINGTON, D.C., AUG. 27, 2002 ( Bishop Walter Sullivan of Richmond has opened the diocesan phase of the beatification process for eight Spanish Jesuits who were put to death in 1571.

The cause should ascertain the martyrdom of the religious, who were killed by the Indians of a village near present-day Yorktown.

Two of the victims were priests: Father Juan Bautista de Segura, vice provincial of Havana, and Father Luis de Quirós. Three were lay brothers and three were novices.

The diocese received authorization March 2 from the Vatican to proceed, and the first tribunal meeting to gather information for the cause of canonization was held June 26.

Father Russell Smith, current postulator of the cause, told the Vidimus Dominum news service that the process of canonization for martyrs “does not require proof of miracles.”