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Francisco Cástor Sojo López, Millán Garde Serrano, Manuel Galcerá Videllet, Aquilino Pastor Francisco Cástor Sojo López, Millán Garde Serrano, Manuel Galcerá Videllet, Aquilino Pastor 

Cardinal Semeraro: New Spanish Blesseds show Cross is 'path of love'

Cardinal Marcello Semeraro celebrates Mass for the beatification of four martyrs of the Spanish civil war, saying their death in the name of Christ was a free choice and bore witness to His love.

By Devin Watkins

The Prefect of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints, Cardinal Semeraro, beatified Francisco Cástor Sojo López and his three companion martyrs on Saturday morning.

The beatification Mass took place at the Basilica of Santa Maria in Tortosa, in Spain’s Catalonia region.

Everyone invited to follow Christ

In his homily, Cardinal Semeraro said Francisco Cástor Sojo López, Millán Garde Serrano, Manuel Galcerá Videllet, and Aquilino Pastor bore witness that those who lose their lives for Christ will find it again in Him.

Jesus, he said, told everyone: “If anyone wishes to come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me.”

The Cardinal noted that Jesus made this demand to “everyone”, not just the courageous or holy, and that His invitation entails a free choice on the part of the disciple.

An image of the four Blesseds
An image of the four Blesseds

Christ and His cross

Denying ourselves, continued Cardinal Semeraro, requires us to put aside our personal interests and selfishness for Christ’s sake, while taking up our own cross.

Though Jesus bore His cross once for the salvation of all, we, on the other hand, have to “take it up every day and set off on the path of discipleship”, in order to overcome the temptation to follow a “cross-less Christ”.

But, added the Cardinal, “Jesus reminds us that His way is the way of love, and there is no true love without the sacrifice of self.”

Finding eternal life

Cardinal Semeraro said the new Blesseds were priests who endured the brutality of the Spanish civil war (1936-1939).

“They did not seek martyrdom, because martyrdom is not sought after but endured,” he said. “But when the moment came to bear witness to Christ with their blood they did not hesitate but embraced their cross with love.”

Blessed Francisco Cástor Sojo López and his three companions, concluded the Cardinal, found their true life because they freely gave their earthly lives for Christ.

30 October 2021, 14:29