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Marist Bulletin - Number 275


Decree on the martyrdom of Brother Laurentino, Virgilio and forty-four other brothers

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Church to Canonize 4 and Beatify 78. Including Dozens Killed in 1930s Spain


By Benedict XVIs decision the Church will soon canonize four more saints and proclaim 78 new blessed.
On Saturday, in a private audience to Cardinal José Saraiva Martins, prefect of the Congregation for Saints Causes, the Pope authorized the promulgation of decrees of recognition of the candidates miracles or martyrdom.

The four blessed to be canonized saints are:
- Szymon of Lipnica, Polish, priest of the Order of Friars Minor (1439-1482).
- Antonio de Santa Ana (born Antonio Galvão de Franca), Brazilian, priest of the Order of Alcantarine or Discalced Friars Minor, and founder of the Convent of Conceptionist Sisters (1739-1822).
- Charles of St. Andrew (born Johannes Andreas Houben), Dutch, priest of the Congregation of the Passion of Our Lord Jesus Christ (1821-1893).
- Marie Eugenie de Jesus (born Anne-Eugenie Milleret de Brou), French, founder of the Institute of Sisters of the Assumption of the Virgin Mary (1817-1898).

The Holy Father also authorized the publication of decrees of recognition of miracles attributed to the intercession of four Servants of God, thus opening the doors of beatification to them.
They are:
- Carlo Liviero, Italian, bishop of Citta di Castello and founder of the Congregation of Little Handmaidens of the Sacred Heart (1866-1932).
- Stanislaus of Jesus Mary (born Jana Papczynski), Polish, priest and founder of the Congregation of Marian Clerics of the Immaculate Conception of the Virgin Mary (1631-1701).
- Celina Chludzinska, Polish, widow and founder of the Congregation of Sisters of the Resurrection of Our Lord Jesus Christ (1833-1913).
- Marie Celine of the Presentation (born Jeanne-Germaine Castang), French, nun of the Second Order of St. Francis (1878-1897).

In addition to the four blessed, the Pope has authorized the beatification of 74 Servants of God by recognizing their martyrdom through the publication of the necessary decree. In the case of martyrs, no miracle through their intercession is necessary for their beatification.
The 74 martyrs who will soon be beatified are:
- Manuel Gómez González, Spanish, diocesan priest born in 1877, and Adilio Daronch, Brazilian, lay person born in 1908, both killed in Feijao Miudo, Brazil, in 1924.
- Albertina Berkenbrock, Brazilian, lay person born in 1919, killed in 1931.
- Eufrasio of the Baby Jesus (born Eufrasio Barredo Fernández), Spanish, born in 1897, priest of the Order of Discalced Carmelites, killed during religious persecution in Spain in 1934.
- Laurentino, Virgilio and 44 companions of the Institute of Brothers of the Marist Schools, Spanish, killed during religious persecution in Spain in 1936.
- Enrique Izquierdo Palacios and 13 companions, Spanish, of the Order of Friars Preachers, killed during religious persecution in Spain in 1936.
- Ovidio Beltrán, Hermenegildo Lorenzo, Luciano Pablo, Estanislao Víctor y Lorenzo Santiago, Spanish, members of the Institute of Brothers of the Christian Schools, and José María Cánovas Martínez, Spanish, parish helper, killed during religious persecution in Spain in 1936.
- María del Carmen, Rosa and Magdalena Fradera Ferragutcasas, Spanish, religious of the Congregation of Daughters of the Blessed and Immaculate Heart of Mary, killed during religious persecution in Spain in 1936.
- Lindalva Justo de Oliviera, Brazilian, of the Sisters of Charity of St. Vincent de Paul, born in 1953, killed in 1993 in São Salvador de Bahia, Brazil.

In addition, the Pope proclaimed the heroic virtues - a decisive step toward beatification - of the following Servants of God:
- Mamerto Esquiú, Argentinean (1826-1883), of the Order of Friars Minor, bishop of Cordoba, Argentina.
- Salvatore Micalizzi, Italian (1856-1937), professed priest of the Congregation of the Mission.
- José Olallo Valdés, Cuban (1820-1889), professed religious of the Hospitaller Order of St. John of God.
- Stefan Kaszap, Hungarian (1916-1935), novice of the Society of Jesus.

The Church officially recognises that our brothers are martyrs
Brother Giovanni Maria Bigotto

Today, the 18th December 2006, towards the end of the afternoon, the Vatican’s Information Service brought us the news that the Holy Father, Benedict XVI, had permitted the Cardinal Prefect of the Congregation for the causes of the Saints, His Eminence José Saraiva Martins, to promulgate a certain number of decrees on miracles and on martyrdom. We had the joy of reading that one of these decrees concerns our Brother Laurentino, Virgilio and forty-four other brothers killed during the night of the 8th October 1936 as men of God.
We already had received the news of the cause of Brother Bernardo which had received its decree on the martyrdom on the 22nd June 2004, under Pope John Paul II.
Thus, now our two causes, that of Brother Bernardo and that of Brother Laurentino, Virgilio and forty-four others, have received the decree on the martyrdom. We only now have to wait for the date of the beatification. This could be in May but more probably in autumn of 2007. In effect, there still remains one cause, of twenty-three groups to be studied by the Cardinals and Bishops. That will be in January or February 2007.
What is the meaning of the decree on the martyrdom? This decree, signed by the Pope, says that the Church officially recognises that our brothers are martyrs, witnesses to Christ to the point of shedding their blood, models of a Christian life and of love in the people of God, pathways towards the Lord and also friends in heaven capable of interceding for us. We can tranquilly offer our prayers to heaven; they are our brothers, faithful until death, capable of a total gift in a very hard context of true persecution.
This decree puts an end to the long pathway to beatification. The cause of Brother Laurentino, Provincial, and of his group started in the diocese of Barcelona in 1963. The diocesan process was recognised as valid in Rome in 1990. Brother Gabriele Andreucci wrote the positio and on the 25th January 2005, all recognised that our brothers were martyrs. The Cardinals and the Bishops took up this same study to come to the same conclusions as the theologians on the 20th June 2006. Today, 18th December 2006, with the decree on the martyrdom, we have reached the final point before the beatification.
Even though we do not have a precise date at the moment, or place for the beatification, which everyone would prefer to be Rome, we can start to open our heart and our prayers more to these brothers. Since 1931, they knew they were heading towards martyrdom. In 1933, Brother Laurentino, Provincial, wrote a letter to his brothers that said clearly and strongly that the time had come to show that they truly loved God, not in word, but by the gift of their lives. We should stress that this Brother Laurentino, Provincial, before being killed himself with forty-five of his brothers, had seen in the days that preceded this more than one hundred of his brothers killed. In the Province that was called Spain, all the men who counted were killed: the Provincial, the Vice Provincial, Brother Eusebio, Visitor, the Master of Novices, the Director of the Scholasticate and nearly all the directors of schools and colleges.
If we fix our eyes now on our one hundred and seventy-three martyrs of Spain, our fraternal love has the right to celebrate with pride all our martyred brothers of Oceania, China and Africa. Truly we are not lacking in martyrs or in saints and certainly they stimulate our generosity and our audacity, this audacity which we note in the current reality of Mission ad gentes.
Let us be men who know how to say thank you to God since he always has done marvels among us,. a gratitude that is also addressed to the Mother of the Lord, she who has done everything for us, to our Founder, Marcellin and to all the brothers who have preceded us in service, love and in heaven.

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