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Pope recognises Spanish Civil War martyrs

Spanish students hold portraits of clergy killed in the Spanish Civil War, during a 2007 beatification ceremony at the Vatican (Photo: CNS)

Pope Francis has recognised the martyrdom of 95 men and women who were killed during the Spanish Civil War.

The Pope’s approval of a series of martyrdom decrees has opened the way for their beatification to be scheduled. Proof of a miracle is required before any of the blessed may be canonised.

Among the new martyrs who were killed in the Spanish Civil War, which lasted from 1936 and 1939, there were 66 Marist Brothers, four Discalced Carmelites, four Sister Servants of Mary, two laymen and a diocesan priest.

The Pope also approved four other decrees recognising founders of religious orders or associations for having lived the Christian virtues in a heroic way and declaring them “venerable.”

The four people who the Pope recognised were Portuguese Bishop Joao de Oliveira Matos Ferreira, 20th century founder of a Catholic association; Italian Father Nicola Mazza, 19th century founder of educational institutes for poor children; Italian Sister Maria Celeste Crostarosa, 18th century founder of the monastic Order of the Most Holy Redeemer, also known as the Redemptoristine Nuns; and Spanish Sister Teresa Toda Juncosa, 19th century founder of the Teresian Carmelite Sisters of Saint Joseph.