VATICAN CITY (EWTN News) — Pope Benedict officially recognized the miracles, martyrdom and heroic virtues of 27 Catholic men and women on June 27, moving them one step closer to sainthood.
The Pope met on Monday with Cardinal Angelo Amato, the head of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints, and authorized decrees for the candidates, many who lived within the last hundred years.
The list included several martyrs who were killed under anti-Christian persecution during 20th-century wars.
Among them was Father Karl Lampert, an Austrian diocesan priest and vicar of the apostolic administration in the city of Innsbruck Feldkirch.
Father Lampert was arrested and taken to the Dachau concentration camp by Nazi forces during World War II after he published an obituary calling attention to the unjust death of a fellow priest and friend. He was executed by the Gestapo for “inciting the people” in Torgau in 1944.
Also recognized as a martyr on was Salvio Huix Miralpeix, bishop of Lleida, Spain. Bishop Miralpeix was murdered in 1936 by revolutionaries during a wave of intense anti-Christian sentiment that plagued the country during its civil war.
The Pope recognized Josefina Martinez Perez and her 12 companions as well, who were members of the Congregation of the Daughters of Charity of St. Vincent de Paul; they were also killed during the Spanish Civil War in1936.
Pope Benedict also acknowledged several miracles, with one attributed to the intercession of Hildegard Burjan, a German laywoman who founded the Society of Sisters of Caritas Socialis and died in 1933.
In addition, miracles were recognized due to the intercession of Maria Ines-Teresa, the Mexican foundress of the Poor Clare Missionary Sisters of the Blessed Sacrament who died in 1981, and Father Mariano Arciero, an Italian diocesan priest who lived in the 1700s.
A miracle was also attributed to Father Jean-Joseph, a 19th-century French priest of the Order of Friars Preachers and founder of the Sisters of the Third Order of St. Dominic of Betania.
The recognition of a miracle by Pope Benedict will now move the men and women closer to beatification, which confers the title “Blessed.”
Pope Benedict also approved eight other decrees acknowledging Catholics who lived Christian virtue in a heroic way, which enables them to be called “Venerable.”