Newly announced Mexican martyrs faced death to defend Christian faith, says Pope


Thirteen Mexican martyrs were beatified Sunday in Guadalajara, Mexico--the latest in a recent string of Saints-to-be, pronounced by the Holy Father since his inauguration last spring.

Following his weekly Angelus prayer at the Vatican, Pope Benedict sent a special greeting to bishops, priests, religious and laity who had participated in the day’s event at Guadalajara’s Jalisco Stadium.

The beatification ceremony for the martyrs, killed during religious persecutions last century in Mexico, was presided at by Cardinal Jose Saraiva Martins C.M.F., prefect of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints.

At the Vatican, Benedict announced the names of the martyrs: Anacleto Gonzalez Flores, and seven companions, Jose Trinidad Rangel, Andres Sola Molist, Leonardo Perez, Dario Acosta Zurita, and fourteen-year-old, Jose Sanchez del Rio. "They faced martyrdom in order to defend their Christian faith," he said.

"On this Solemnity of Christ the King," the Pope recalled, "whom they invoked at the moment of supreme sacrifice, they are for us a permanent example and a stimulus to bear coherent witness to our own faith in modern society."

He also added that Monday, November 21st, the Feast of the Presentation of Mary in the Temple, marks "pro orantibus" Day, or the day dedicated to religious communities of contemplative life.

The Pope expressed his personal gratitude, "in the name of the whole Church, for those people who consecrate their lives to prayer and to the cloister, offering eloquent testimony of the primacy of God and of His Kingdom. Let us remain close to them with our spiritual and material support."

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