Six Ugandans beatified

 On World Mission Sunday yesterday, the Pope celebrated the Eucharist in St Peter's Square and beatified six Ugandan priests, religious and lay people: Daudi Okelo (1902-1918) and Jildo Irwa (1906-1918), lay people; Italian Bishop Andrea Giacinto Longhin (1863-1936) of the Order of the Friars Minor Capuchins; Marcantonio Durando (1801-1880), priest of the Congregation of the Mission and Founder of the Nazarene Sisters; Mary of the Passion (nee Helene Marie de Chappotin de Neuville) (1839-1904), foundress of the Franciscan Missionary Sisters of Mary and Liduina Meneguzzi (1901-1941), virgin, sister of the Institute of San Francis de Sales (Salesians). In his homily, John Paul II said that the young Ugandan catechists Daudi Okelo and Jildo Irwa, killed because of hatred of the faith in October of 1918, "are for the Christian community examples of holiness and virtue and models and intercessors for catechists around the world, especially in places where people continue to suffer for defending the faith and sometimes face social isolation and even personal danger." The Pope spoke about Blessed Longhin, who was bishop of the diocese of Treviso, Italy for 32 years, highlighting that "in an age marked by dramatic and painful events he showed himself to be a father to priests and a faithful pastor to the people, always one with them, especially in moments of difficulty and danger." The Holy Father said that in the school of St. Vincent de Paul, Blessed Durando "knew how to recognize in the humanity of Christ the greatest expression, and at the same time, most accessible and disarming, of God's love for man." "Prayer and the Eucharist," he said of Blessed Chappotin de Neuville, "were the centre of her missionary commitment, because for her adoration and the mission merged on the same path. Nourished by the Scriptures and the Fathers of the Church, mystical and active, passionate and intrepid, she gave herself with an intuitive and bold willingness to the universal mission of the Church." The Pope said Blessed Meneguzzi "dedicated her life to the service of her poorest brothers and sisters and those who suffered, in particular, in the hospital of the mission of Dire Dawa in Ethiopia. With fervent apostolic ardour, she tried to help others to get to know Jesus, Our Saviour." After Mass and before praying the Angelus, John Paul II recalled "the many missionaries - priests, religious and lay people - who spend their energy in the service of Christ, sometimes paying with their blood." Finally, he thanked "those who collaborate with them through missionary work and contribute effectively in this way to building the Kingdom of God in the world." source: Vatican Information Service

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