Blaj, Romania, Jun 2, 2019 / 03:06 am
Declaring their beatification Sunday in Romania, Pope Francis said seven martyred Greek-Catholic bishops gave their lives for fidelity to the Church and in defense of the right to freedom of religion.
"The new blesseds endured suffering and gave their lives to oppose an illiberal ideological system that oppressed the fundamental rights of the human person," Pope Francis said June 2, during a Greek-Catholic Divine Liturgy in the "Field of Freedom," in Blaj, Romania.
"These pastors, martyrs for the faith," he emphasized, "re-appropriated and handed down to the Romanian people a precious legacy that we can sum up in two words: freedom and mercy."
"With great courage and interior fortitude, they accepted harsh imprisonment and every kind of mistreatment, in order not to deny their fidelity to their beloved Church," the pope said, adding that "in the face of fierce opposition from the regime, they demonstrated an exemplary faith and love for their people."