Vatican City — Pope Francis recognized the martyrdom of 95 men and women religious and laymen who were killed during the Spanish Civil War.
The pope's approval of a series of martyrdom decrees Monday opened the way for their beatification to be scheduled. A miracle is required before any blessed may be canonized.
Among the new martyrs were 66 Marist Brothers, four Discalced Carmelites, four Sister Servants of Mary, two laymen and a diocesan priest. They were killed between 1936 and 1939 during the Spanish Civil War.
The pope also approved four other decrees recognizing four founders of religious orders or associations for having lived the Christian virtues in a heroic way and declaring them "venerable." Recognition of a miracle attributed to each candidate's intercession is needed for that person's beatification.
The four whom the pope recognized as venerable were Portuguese Bishop Joao de Oliveira Matos Ferreira, 20th-century founder of a Catholic association; Italian Fr. Nicola Mazza, 19th-century founder of educational institutes for poor children; Italian Sr. Maria Celeste Crostarosa, 18th-century founder of the monastic Order of the Most Holy Redeemer also known as the Redemptoristine Nuns; and Spanish Sr. Teresa Toda Juncosa, 19th-century founder of the Teresian Carmelite Sisters of Saint Joseph.