Three European missionary priests killed by Shining Path terrorists in Peru in 1991 have been beatified.
According to Associated Press, 30,000 people attended the beatification ceremony for Franciscans Fathers Michał Tomaszek and Zbigniew Strzalkowski of Poland and Fr Alessandro Dordi of Italy in a stadium in Chimbote, in northern Peru, on Saturday.
Italian Cardinal Angelo Amato presided over the ceremony and there were representatives from all of the dioceses of Peru and groups from Poland and Italy.
Father Zbigniew, 32, and Fr Michał, 30, were killed on August 9 1991 after a Mass in the district of Pariacoto.
Both were shot in the head and signs were hung around their necks calling them “imperialist lackeys”.
Fr Dordi, who was aged 60 and had served the mission since 1980, was intercepted and shot a few miles away on a rural road as he returned from saying Mass and baptising children on August 25 of the same year. He was killed by bullets to the head and chest.
Fr Zbigniew arrived in Peru in 1988, with Fr Michal join him the following year. Their work in Pariacoto included helping the community build a water pipe and organising supplies during a severe drought.
Church officials say the three are the first Catholic martyrs in Peru to be beatified and Fr Michał and Fr Zbigniew are the first beatified Polish missionary-martyrs.