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Pope beatifies five for lives of inspiration

Pope John Paul II beatified four founders of religious organisations and a Hungarian doctor on Sunday.

The Holy Father said each of the five had lived "the mystery of redemption," adding that their holiness should serve as an inspiration for other Catholics. Beatification is the last formal step before possible sainthood.

Those beatified were Pierre Bonhomme (pictured left), French founder of the Congregation of the Sisters of Our Lady of Calvary; Maria Dolores Rodriguez Sopena, founder of the Sopena Catechetical Institutes; Maria Caridad Brader, Swiss founder of the Congregation of the Franciscan Sisters of Mary Immaculate; and Juana Maria Condesa Lluch, founder of the Congregation of the Handmaids of Mary Immaculate. Laszlo Batthyany Strattmann, a Hungarian doctor of aristocratic birth whose piety led him to treat the poor for free, also was beatified.

"The holiness of the new beatified stimulates us to aim for evangelical perfection, putting in practice all the words of Jesus. It is certainly a demanding ascetic itinerary, but it is possible for all," the pope said.


Saints and Blessed (Vatican website) | 21 March 1993
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Bosnian presidents invite pope for visit to beatify layman in June (Catholic News Service)

25 Mar 2003