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Martyrs of Nazism and of the Moors among other causes for beatification in Poland and Spain

The processes of beatification continue in the Order of St. Augustine all over the world

One year after the closing of the diocesan phase of the cause of beatification or declaration of martyrdom of the Servant of God Gaczec and three companions, presumed martyrs in the Nazi concentration camps, a Mass of thanksgiving was celebrated for the happy evolution of this process.

It was precisely on 14 November 2021 that the diocesan phase of the process was closed. At that time, given the situation caused by the pandemic, it was done privately and without the participation of the people.

Now, one year later, the thanksgiving mass, celebrated within the framework of the patronal feast of St. Catherine of Alexandria, virgin and martyr - to whom the historic and magnificent Augustinian church of Krakow is dedicated - was presided over by Mgr Marek Jędraszewski, Archbishop of Krakow. Present were the members who conducted the diocesan investigation, among them the postulator general, Fr. Josef Sciberras; the vice-postulator, Fr. Marek Donaj; the provincial superior, Fr. Beniamin Kuzala, and other Augustinian brothers and sisters, accompanied by parishioners and representatives of the diocesan clergy.

The cause of Gulielmo Gaczec and his three brothers in Christ is currently in the initial stage of the Roman phase, in which the procedural documents containing the evidence of the martyrdom of the four Augustinian servants of God will be studied.

A meeting with the bishop of Mallorca on the subject of Francisco Cantarellas

On the other hand, during the last few weeks, the General Postulation has had work to do in Spain, due to the various open causes that occupy the Order, from the preliminary phase to the diocesan conclusion.

The Postulator General, Fr. Josef Sciberras OSA, was in the Spanish city of Mallorca to review the progress of the process of beatification and canonization of the Servant of God Francisco Cantarellas Ballester OSA (1884-1968).

He is an Augustinian religious, a native of Muro, whose cause was initiated a year ago in the Balearic diocese at the request of the Order, in a solemn ceremony that took place in the church of the Virgen del Socorro in Palma. On Monday 28 November, its rector, Father Jesús Miguel Benítez OSA, together with Monsignor Sebastià Taltavull, titular bishop of the island diocese, met with Father Josef to discuss the final details of this diocesan stage and the next steps to be taken.

After the meeting with Bishop Taltavull, Father Sciberras met in the "Casa de la Iglesia" with the president of the diocesan tribunal, Mons. Gabriel Ramis, and with the historical commission that is carrying out the documentary research, ultimately responsible for drawing up the historical account of the process.

The commission for this cause is made up of Fr. Jesús Miguel Benítez, OSA, Fr. Pere Fiol and Dr. José Manuel Díaz.

The preliminary evaluation of Fr. Félix Carmona

During his stay in Spain, Fr. Josef Sciberras had the opportunity to visit the Royal Monastery of San Lorenzo de El Escorial to know more in detail the fame of sanctity that adorns the recently deceased Friar, Félix Carmona OSA (+2021)

An academician who carried out much of his work in Palma de Mallorca and Quito, Fr. Carmona was sent as a missionary to Ecuador, where he later served the Order as Prior Provincial, contributing with his presence and work to the revitalisation of this circumscription.

"There are sufficient elements to begin the process of beatification"

The Curia Communications Office has been informed by the Postulation General that "what will be undertaken in the coming months is a preliminary investigation to see if there are sufficient elements to begin the process of beatification". After the five years that must elapse in this phase, it will have to be decided whether or not to open his cause, which will depend, to a large extent, on whether the evidence gathered proves that Father Carmona lived to a heroic degree the virtues of faith, hope and charity, and the other virtues, essential elements for the process.

For the time being, his belongings and documentation have been kept and sealed in El Escorial, where he lived during the last years of his life.

13 Augustinians among the presumed martyrs of La Alpujarra

This cause, with a number of martyrs yet to be decreed and for which the exact number is expected to be known by the beginning of 2023, dates back to the middle of the 16th century, a period of upheaval and social instability in some regions of the Iberian Peninsula.

During the uprisings of 1568, a group of Moors burned alive the members of the Augustinian community of Huécija, as well as causing other damage to the Christian population.

For the general investigation of this cause, which has as co-actors the Order of St. Augustine and the Spanish dioceses of Granada, Guadix and Almeria, Father Josef Sciberras has been appointed to be responsible for all the investigations, which will begin in six months' time. In addition, among the tasks of the co-actors will be to ensure the legality and honesty of the process.

The cause, which has as references Diego Pérez de Guzmán, who was a canon of the chapter of the cathedral of Granada, and Pedro de Villegas, prior of the community of Huécija at the time of the persecution, already has the sources published by the dioceses, so we are now between the preliminary phase and the first formal step to recognise the martyrdom sacrifice of these men who gave their lives for Christ and for his Church.



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