Vatican City (CNA)—Pope Francis said that the nine Spanish seminarian martyrs beatified on March 9 provide a witness to priests and bishops to remain pure and generous.
Blessed Ángel Cuartas Cristóbal and eight of his seminary classmates [Mariano, Jesus, Cesar Gonzalo, Jose Maria, Juan Jose, Manuel, Sixto, and Luis] 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, they have made the Church great and have given splendor to the priesthood,” Becciu said.
“We are all troubled by the scandals that seem to have no end and that disfigure the face of the Bride of Christ. We need seminarians, priests, consecrated persons, generous pastors like these martyrs of Oviedo,” the cardinal continued.
“We need honest and irreproachable priests who bring souls to God and do not cause