Pope advances sainthood causes for 127 Spanish martyrs

Flowers are seen on a mass grave of people killed during and after the 1936-1939 Spanish Civil War in Ronda, Spain (CNS/Jon Nazca, Reuters)

Pope Francis has advanced the sainthood causes of 127 Spanish martyrs, three Italian religious women, an Italian archbishop and three priests. Source: Crux.

One priest, Fr Alfonso Ugolini, distributed what would be valued today as $9.5 million in donations to people in need, including his own winnings from a soccer betting pool.

The Pope signed the decrees on Monday during a meeting with Cardinal-designate Marcello Semeraro, prefect of the Congregation for Saints’ Causes. The Vatican published the decrees on Tuesday.

The Pope recognised the martyrdom of Fr Juan Elias Medina and 126 companions — priests, religious and lay men and women from the Archdiocese of Cordoba — who were killed “in hatred of the faith” between 1936 and 1939, during Spain’s civil war. The decree clears the way for their beatification.

The Pope also recognised the miracle needed for the beatification of Fr Mario Ciceri, who was born in northern Italy in 1900 and died in 1945. Serving the Archdiocese of Milan, he dedicated himself to the pastoral care of young people, the sick, and former prisoners and soldiers by publishing a newsletter for them. It was said he could never be found at home because he was always helping others, including doing their cooking and chopping wood.

When he was hit by a horse-drawn vehicle while riding his bike after hearing confessions, parishioners lined up to donate blood to help save him. He died two months later at the age of 44.

Among the other decrees, Pope Francis recognised the heroic virtues of Fr Alfonso Ugolini, a prolific fundraiser who died aged 91 in 1999. Fr Ugolini created an association for raising and distributing funds and services to anyone who requested help.


Pope advances sainthood causes for Spanish martyrs, Italian almoner (By Carol Glatz, CNS via Crux

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