Pope to Beatify 4 From Spain and Italy

3 Women Religious and a Priest

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VATICAN CITY, MARCH 19, 2004 (Zenit.org).- John Paul II plans to beatify four religious this Sunday, including three founders of congregations.



Among the new blessed is Spain's Mother Matilde Téllez Robles, founder of the Religious Institute of Daughters of Mary Mother of the Church. She was born in Robledillo de la Vera in 1841, and died in Badajoz in 1902.

She imprinted a Eucharistic and Marian charism on the religious family she founded. Her mission was directed primarily to the poor and sick.

Another Spaniard to be beatified is Mother Piedad de la Cruz, founder of the Salesian Sisters of the Sacred Heart of Jesus. She was born in Bocairente in 1842 and died in Alcantarilla in 1916. She founded the congregation in response to the social problems of her time: poverty, illiteracy, sickness and mortality, difficulties of the rural world.

Mother Piedad founded institutions for poor orphans and young abandoned women laborers, for whom she established boarding schools and night courses, Sunday schools, and dressmaking workshops. She also opened homes and hospitals for poor elderly and for vagrants.

The other two to be beatified are Italians.

Luigi Talamoni, a priest, was born in Monza in 1848 and died in Milan in 1926. He was dedicated to the formation of future priests and of young people, and to the ministry of confession.

Known for his attention to the sick, he was also the author of works on religious topics, in particular, explanatory texts to preach the Gospel.

In 1891, together with two young women who wished to be dedicated to the sick, he founded the Congregation of Sisters of Mercy of St. Gerard. The priest encouraged the nuns to be "humble, gentle and ardent in love."

The other Italian who will be beatified is Maria Candida of the Eucharist (1884-1949). Despite her family's opposition, she entered the Teresian Carmel of Ragusa, Sicily, in 1919.

Elected prioress of the convent in 1924, she remained there, but for a brief interruption, until 1947. She died two years after giving witness of heroic love in the midst of a long and painful liver cancer.

With the four new blessed, John Paul II will have beatified 1,331 people, Vatican Radio revealed. He has canonized 477 as saints.