Five new blesseds include 'Passion' nun, last Emperor of Austria

 Pope John John Paul II presided over five beatifications yesterday. They are: Anne Catherine Emmerick a German nun who lived from 1774 to 1824 whose book 'The Dolorous Passion of Our Lord Jesus Christ' was used by Mel Gibson in his film the Passion; Austria's last emperor, Karl; French priests Pierre Vigne and Joseph-Marie Cassant, who lived in the 17h and 19th centuries, and Maria Ludovica De Angelis, an Italian nun who died in the last century. Critics have objected to Blessed Anne's beautification as they claim her book was anti-Semitic. In his homily, read for him in German, the Pope did not mention Emmerick's book, but praised her pious character and concern for the poor. Others have protested over the beatification of Blessed Karl, as he ruled the Austro-Hungarian Empire, during World War One when his troops used mustard gas. Karl because emperor in 1916 and made futile efforts the next year for peace talks with France. He died in exile in 1922. The Pope praised him as a man who hated war, sought peace and was guided by his Christian faith in his political decisions. A smaller crowd than usual - about 25,000, attended yesterday's ceremony. Among them some of Europe's current crowned heads and members of Italy's former royal family. Source: VIS/Fides

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