Pope Beatifies Five Italians and One Belgian

VATICAN CITY—Calling them “faithful workers in the Lord's vineyard,” Pope John Paul II beatified five Italians and a Belgian during a Mass in St. Peter's Square.

The freshly scrubbed facade of St. Peter's Basilica was hung with huge images of the newly beatified men. Some 20,000 Italian and Belgian pilgrims joined the Pope for the sunny outdoor ceremony Oct. 3.

“In today's celebration we have the joy to see elevated to altars of glory six faithful workers in the Lord's vineyard,” the Pope said. “In different times and in different ways, each of them generously gave of their own lives in service to the Gospel.”

The newly-beatified are:

— Ferdinando Maria Baccilieri (1821-1893), a parish priest and founder of the Servite Sisters of Galeazza.

— Edward Joannes Maria Poppe (1890-1924), a rural Belgian priest and former soldier.

— Arcangelo Tadini (1846-1912), a priest and founder of the Sister Workers of the Holy House of Nazareth religious congregation.

— Mariano da Roccacasale (1778-1866), a Franciscan brother.

— Diego Oddi (1839-1919), a Franciscan brother.

— Nicola da Gesturi (1882-1958), a Capuchin monk known as “Brother Silence.”

“In a world too often values-poor and saturated with words, there is need of men and women who, like Blessed Nicola da Gesturi, underline the urgency of recapturing the ability to be silent and listen,” the Pope said.

Pope John Paul has beatified 938 people during his 21-year pontificate.