DAILY CATHOLIC     TUESDAY     March 9, 1999     vol. 10, no. 47

from a CATHOLIC perspective

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          VATICAN (CWNews.com) -- Pope John Paul II presided at the beatification of ten people on Sunday, March 7.

          Those beatified included eight martyrs of the Spanish Civil War. Blessed Vincent Soler and his 7 companions-- all Augustinian monks-- died in Motril, near Grenada, in 1936, along with Blessed Manuel Martin Sierra, a diocesan priest. Pope John Paul II referred to them as "simple men of peace, far removed from all political debate, who had worked for the faith in missionary territories-- in the Philippines, Brazil, Argentina, and Venezuela- - and who were engaged in social and educational work in Spain." He asked their intercession for "those who work for reconciliation in the world of today."

          The Pope also pronounced the beatification of Nicolas Barre, a French monk of the 17th century and founder of Parisian schools which now serve thousands of young people. Some 7,000 students from those schools were present at the beatification ceremony, to hear the Pope praise Blessed Nicolas Barre as a model educator, who worked at a time when many people lived in "religious ignorance," and who fought valiantly against the corrupting tendencies of secular thought in his day.

          Blessed Anna Schaffer, a Bavarian lay woman born in 1882, suffered crippling injuries in an accident that occurred when she was 19. Confined to her bed for most of her remaining years, she entered into an intense life of mystical prayers, identifying her own suffering with that of Jesus on the Cross. Her fame spread along with reports that she had been marked with the stigmata: the wounds of the Passion. Soon after her death in 1925, her tomb became a popular site for pilgrimages.

          As Pope John Paul presided at the beatification ceremonies, the concelebrants included Cardinals Jean-Marie Lustiger of Paris and Friedrich Wetter of Munich, as well as Archbishop Antonio Canizares Llovera of Grenada.

          Pope John Paul has now presided at 819 beatifications, in 114 separate ceremonies, of which 47 have taken place at the Vatican. He has also led 35 canonization ceremonies, proclaiming a total of 280 new saints.

Articles provided through Catholic World News and Church News at Noticias Eclesiales. Both CWN and NE are not affiliated with the Daily CATHOLIC but provides this service via e-mail to the Daily CATHOLIC Monday through Friday.

March 9, 1999       volume 10, no. 47


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