A husband and wife are among several new lay people to be beatified, the Vatican has announced. Pope John Paul II presided over the ceremony on Friday, in which Cardinal Jose Saraiva Martins, prefect of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints named the group. The couple, who lived in Rome, are Luigi Beltrame Quattrocchi and Maria Corsini. Maria was an academic and educationalist and worked for several Catholic organisations. She died in 1965. Luigi was a lawyer involved in the reconstruction of Italy after the Second World War. He died in 1951. Three of their four children attended the ceremony. Cardinal Saraiva Martins, said the couple "made their family an authentic domestic Church, open to life, prayer, witness of the Gospel, the social apostolate, solidarity with the poor, and friendship. Intimately united in love and Christian ideals, they walked together on the path of holiness." Among the others named for beatification were Juan Bautista and Jacinto de los Angeles, two lay Mexicans, martyred for their faith in the state of Oaxaca in 1700. The Cardinal said: "Both wrote a splendid page of active participation in the mission of the Church and fidelity to Christ" A German trade unionist and journalist, Nicholas Gross, who was executed by the Nazis during the Second World War was also named. Cardinal Saraiva Martins said Gross, who was the father of seven, "proclaimed Christ without shame or fear, while National Socialism persecuted the Christian community in Germany. He honoured the sacrament of marriage and the family as husband and father; as a worker, unionist and journalist, he was committed to justice, truth, solidarity and peace, risking his life every day." The Cardinal said that two days before his execution, Gross wrote a very beautiful letter of farewell to his family and friends, from the Berlin-Plotzensee prison, in which he showed "a clear conscience and extraordinary serenity in face of death."
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