By Sr Bernadette Mary Reis, fsp
“Today, in the Shrine of Our Lady of the Holy Cross in Oran, Algeria, Bishop Pierre Claverie and 18 men and women religious, killed in hatred of the faith, were beatified.”
With these words, Pope Francis announced to thousands gathered in St Peter’s Square on Saturday the beatification of 19 martyrs. He called them “martyrs of our time” and “faithful proclaimers of the Gospel, and heroic witnesses of Christian love”. Pope Francis said their “courageous witness is a source of hope” for Catholics in Algeria, “a seed for dialogue”.
The Pope said he hopes that their Beatification will be “an incentive for everyone to build together a world of brotherhood and solidarity”.
And as has become customary, Pope Francis asked the faithful present in the square to give a round of applause for the newly beatified martyrs.