Spain to see “great beatification” of victims of religious persecution in 2009

.- The Bishops’ Conference of Spain is preparing a “great ceremony of beatification” for more than 200 martyrs of the Spanish Civil War, which could take place throughout 2009, when the 70th anniversary of the end of the conflict is observed.

According to the Spanish daily “ABC,” officials said the plan is part of the bishops’ pastoral plan for 2006-2010, in which they pledged to organize “at least one great ceremony of beatification of numerous martyrs of the religious persecution in Spain (1936-1939), accompanied by a thorough and opportune pastoral action promoting the holiness of Christian life and the testimony of faith.”

According to “ABC,” “the intention of the bishops is to combine into one celebration the different processes that are currently open, as well as others that are about to be initiated, in order to celebrate one great ceremony in our country throughout 2009.  It is hoped that by that time, the Holy See will have raised to the altar of the Blessed more than 200 martyrs.”

The report said another dozen bishops are preparing to open new causes, which could put the number of those to be beatified well above 200.

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