Vatican City, Mar 10, 2019 / 06:04 am America/Denver (CNA).
Pope Francis said Sunday that the nine Spanish seminarian martyrs beatified this weekend provide a witness to priests and bishops to remain pure and generous.
Blessed Ángel Cuartas Cristóbal and eight of his seminary classmates were martyred amid the "Red Terror" persecution of the Church during the Spanish Civil War in the 1930s in which more than 6,800 clergy or religious were killed.
"These young aspirants to the priesthood loved the Lord so much as to follow Him on the way of the Cross. Their heroic witness helps seminarians, priests, and bishops to remain pure and generous, faithfully serving the Lord and the holy people of God," Pope Francis said March 10.
In the martyrs’ beatification Mass in Oviedo, Spain the day prior, Cardinal Angelo Becciu, prefect of the Vatican Congregation of Saints expressed a similar sentiment.
“With the sanctity of their lives, the newly beatified speak above all to the Church of today. With their blood, the have made the Church great and have given splendor to the priesthood,” Becciu said.