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Vatican: beatifications.

Pope John Paul II continues his push for beatifications with renewed emphasis on the twentieth century. In May he beatified a Lebanese monk, Nimatullah Kassab al-Hardini, who died in 1858, and eleven Spanish nuns, ten of whom were martyred in 1936 during the Spanish Civil War. On his latest visit to Poland in July, the Holy Father will beatify over 100 people who were martyred during the Second World War.

Croatia's bishops have announced that the Holy Father will make his second pastoral visit to their country on October 3 and 4 and beatify Cardinal Alojzije (Aloysius) Stepinac, who died in 1962. Stepinac was under house arrest at the time--sentenced by the Communists to jail for supposedly collaborating with the Utashi, the German puppet regime in Croatia during the war. Croatian Catholics regard him as a hero for resisting postwar Communist attempts to suppress their religion.

Although Archbishop Stepinac initially supported the wartime regime of Anton Pavelic in 1941, once he knew what it was about he denounced its genocidal policies against Serbs, Jews, and Gypsies. He helped save lives and spoke out against atrocities. Retired Cardinal Kuhari of Zagreb said that his predecessor "had an incorruptible sense of justice."

Also in October the Pope will canonize Edith Stein who died in Auschwitz in 1943.

The beatification of Padre Pio will take place in the spring of 1999. Padre Pio is the saintly Capuchin monk who for fifty years bore the holy Stigmata, the five bleeding wounds of Christ. He died at his monastery in San Giovanni Rotondo, Italy, in September of 1968. He was declared Venerable on December 22, 1997.

A recent article in Homiletic and Pastoral Review (May 1998) shows that Padre Pio has no connection whatever with the so-called prophecy of the Three Days of Darkness, which, according to some, will precede the Second Coming of Christ.
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Publication:Catholic Insight
Date:Jul 1, 1998
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