By Sr Bernadette Mary Reis, fsp
After reciting the Angelus in St Peter’s Square on Sunday, Pope Francis recalled important events.
16 Beatified in Spain
Pope Francis announced that Father Teodoro Illera of Olma and 15 other Spanish martyrs were beatified. The Beatification Ceremony took place in Barcelona on Saturday.
The group, Pope Francis explained, is composed of 13 men and women religious and three lay people. Nine of the newly Beatified were religious and lay people who belonged to the Congregation of St Peter in Chains. Three of them were women religious from the Capuchins of the Mother of the Divine Shepherd, and one was a sister of the Franciscans of the Sacred Heart.
All of them lost their lives due to the Faith in different parts of Spain and on different dates during the religious persecution that took place during the Spanish civil war in the last century.
Pope Francis ended the announcement, saying:
“Let us praise the Lord for these courageous witnesses.”
World War I
“Today marks the centenary of the end of the First World War, which my predecessor, Benedict XV, defined as the ‘useless slaughter’ ", Pope Francis said. Bells throughout the world are to ring at 1:30pm Italian time to honor the date, he said. He also said that World War I is a “strong warning” to reject the “culture of war” and to “seek every legitimate means to put an end to those conflicts that are still making blood flow in many regions of the world”. He proposed St Martin of Tours, whose Feast is celebrated today, as a symbol of investing in peace. “He cut his cloak in two to share it with a poor man. May this gesture of human solidarity indicate to everyone the way toward constructing peace”, Pope Francis said.
Second World Day for the Poor
The final date the Pope spoke of is the Second World Day for the Poor to be celebrated next Sunday with many initiatives. He said that a First Aid station will be set up in St Peter’s Square where those in need can receive medical care. “I hope that this Day will encourage greater attention to the needs of the least and the marginalized”, he said.