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Pope celebrates open air beatification Mass at Loreto

Pope John Paul II was greeted yesterday by about 200,000 pilgrims at a shrine in Loreto, Italy, where he beatified three members of the lay political movement Catholic Action.

The open air ceremony took place on a sound stage and altar for the beatification ceremony in a valley not far from the Adriatic Sea. The Pope was accompanied at the mass by 177 cardinals and bishops and 1450 priests.

The 84-year-old pope, who had just been in Lourdes in mid-August, was clearly summoning up a monumental physical effort in order to carry through his duties. A small part of his homily had to be read for him by Argentine cardinal Monsignor Leopardi Sandri.

The Holy Father then began reading again in a slow and tired voice, and was forced to catch his breath after every phrase. Some of what he said could not be understood. Yet he was able to see through the mass.

"Courage, Catholic Action, the Lord guide your steps towards renewal," he said.

John Paul called on those present to show their faith "through fidelity and tenderness in the family, competence at work, tenacity in the service of the common good, solidarity in social relations, creativity in works helpful to evangelising and the promotion of humanity."

Catholic Action is the largest movement of its kind in Italy, with some 400,000 members.

The beatii were: Alberto Marvelli (1918-1946), Pino Suriano (1915-1950) and Pedro Tarres y Claret (1905-1950).

Pope goes to Loreto to beatify three (Big News Network 6/9/04)
Pope defies heat, illness to celebrate giant open air mass in Italy (Yahoo/AFP 5/9/04)

Pope Celebrates Mass Near Hilltop Shrine (The Guardian/Associated Press 5/9/04)
Pope travels to Adriatic shrine (BBC 5/9/04)
"The Church Needs Catholic Action!" Exhorts John Paul II (Zenit 3/9/04)
Young Politician and Engineer "of Charity" to be Beatified Sunday (Zenit 3/9/04)
John Paul II Will Beatify Pere Tarres i Claret on Sunday (Zenit 3/9/04)
Schedule of Pope's trip to Marian shrine of Loreto announced (Catholic News Agency 3/9/04)
Pope to Catholic Action members: honour the mission the Church entrusts you with ( 5/9/04)
Pope to Catholic Action members: bring Christ's appeal to the world ( 5/9/04)
Pope beatifies three Catholic Action members in Loreto ( 5/9/04)
Pope presides at beatification in central Italy (New Zealand Herald/Reuters 6/9/04)
Pope Beatifies Three on Adriatic Coast (Voice of America 5/9/04)
Pope leads Mass near hilltop shrine (Associated Press/USA Today 5/9/04)
On Sunday the Pope will beatify a Spanish priests, assistant to Catholic Action in Spain and two lay members of the Association: Alberto Marvelli and Pina Suriano (Fides 3/9/04)
As part of the Festivities and Papal pilgrimage/visit to Loreto: a Hundred Metres for Peace: 4.500 km relay race to offer the world a message of peace and hope (Fides 3/9/04)
The Pope's pilgrimage to Loreto (Catholic World News 3/9/04)
Pope to beatify three at Loreto on September 5 (Vatican Information Service 3/9/04)

6 Sep 2004