POPE John Paul II celebrated his feast day last Nov. 4 by beatifying two women and six men, one of them a Dominican, and presenting them as examples of life in a world gripped by fear and violence.

The Pope celebrated the Holy Eucharist in St. Peter’s Square and beatified Pavol Peter Gojdic (1888-1960), Metod Dominik Trcka (1886-1959), Giovanni Antonio Farina (1803-1888), Bartolomeu Fernandes dos Martires (1514-1590), Luigi Tezza (1841-1923), Paolo Manna (1872-1952), Gaetana Sterni (1827-1889), and Maria Pilar Izquierdo Albero (1906-1945).

Through his homily, the Pope recounted the heroic stories and martyrdom of the new Blesseds. The Slovak bishop Gojdic, of the Basilian Order of St. Josaphat, was arrested and imprisoned after the communist regime made the Greek-Catholic Church illegal. Thus, he began a long calvary of suffering, maltreatment and humiliation, leading to his death for his faith in Christ and for his love of the Church and the Pope.

On the other hand, Slovak priest Trcka “placed his entire existence at the service of the Gospel and the salvation of his brethren, arriving at the supreme sacrifice of his life,” the Holy Father said. Due to prolonged hardship and sickness, he died together with his Redemptorist brothers after they were taken to a concentration camp during the communist regime.

Farina, an Italian bishop, founded the Teaching Sisters of St. Dorothy, Daughters of the Sacred Heart. “He was characterized by a vast apostolic activity, constantly directed to the doctrinal and spiritual formation of the clergy and of the faithful. … In all of the pages of his writings emerge a lively vision of the person of Jesus, center of the life and raison d’etre of the mission,” the Pope recalled.

'About a boy' and true family

Meanwhile, Tezza, an Italian priest of the Order of Clerics Regular, Ministers of the Sick and founder of the Daughters of St. Camillus, was the “shining example of an existence entirely offered up to the exercise of charity and mercy towards those who suffer in body and in spirit.”

The Pope said that Sterni, “having understood that the will of God is always love, also dedicated herself with indefatigable charity to the excluded and the suffering.”

Blessed Martires of the Order of Preachers from Braga, Portugal, “was a bishop who dedicated himself with great solicitude and apostolic zeal to the safeguarding and renewal of the Church.”

Furthermore, the Pope said that the brief life of Spanish Blessed Albero, foundress of the Missionary Work of Jesus and Mary, is a shining example “of self-denial and of generosity in order to help others to commit themselves ever more to the service of the needy.” Alder T. Almo


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