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.
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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.