...By Jack Sylva for TDPel Media.
In a significant announcement, Pope Francis has granted approval for the beatification of Father Giuseppe Beotti, a young Italian priest who was martyred during World War II at the hands of Nazis.
Additionally, the causes for beatification of eight other individuals have been advanced by the Pope.
Father Beotti, known for his unwavering dedication, was tragically shot by German forces just one month shy of his 32nd birthday.
Despite facing threats to his life, he firmly declared his commitment to remain in his parish, stating, “As long as there is a soul to care for, I stay in my place.”
Born in a small town near Naples in 1912, Beotti pursued his calling to priesthood despite his family’s financial constraints and attended seminary in northern Italy.
Ordained at the age of 25 in 1938, Father Beotti served as the pastor of the parish church in Sidolo, a secluded town nestled in the Apennine Mountains.
Throughout his life, he selflessly shared his possessions with the less fortunate, including money and clothing.
During World War II, he opened his home to those in need, extending his hospitality to Jews, wounded soldiers, and partisans.
Tragedy struck in the summer of 1944 when Sidolo became a target for Nazi-Fascist forces during Operation Wallenstein.
Father Beotti, alongside another priest and six others, met his untimely death on July 20, 1944.
Witnesses reported that he remained steadfast, holding his breviary and making the sign of the cross until his last breath.
Among the other individuals whose beatification causes have been advanced is Lorena D’Alessandro, a courageous 16-year-old who battled a metastasized lung tumor before passing away in 1981.
Lorena became disabled at the age of 12 due to the amputation of her left leg caused by a tumor.
Despite her physical challenges, she actively participated in her parish, becoming a youth catechist.
She possessed a deep spirituality and often sang and played the guitar during Mass.
Maria Cristina Ogier, a laywoman from Florence, Italy, was also declared venerable.
Diagnosed with a brain tumor at the tender age of four, Ogier dedicated her life to helping the sick.
She actively engaged in the abortion debates in Italy during the 1970s, organizing talks in support of unborn life alongside her father, who was a prominent obstetrician.
Their efforts led to the establishment of Italy’s first “Aid to Life” Center, which later served as inspiration for the national pro-life organization, Movement for Life.
Ogier passed away in Rome in 1974 at the age of 19.
Brazilian seminarian Guido Vidal França Schäffer, a lifelong member of the Catholic charismatic movement, also took a step forward on the path to beatification.
Known for using his passion for surfing as a means to spread the Gospel and connect with young adults, Schäffer was on the verge of ordination when tragedy struck.
In 2009, at the age of 34, he tragically drowned while surfing off the coast of Brazil.
Additionally, Pope Francis recognized the venerable status of several priests and religious sisters who dedicated their lives to service and devotion.
These individuals include Father Simon Mpeke, Father Pedro Díez Gil, Sister Edda Roda, and Sister Tereza Margarida do Coração de Maria.
The beatification of Father Giuseppe Beotti and the recognition of these faithful servants offer inspiration and encouragement to believers worldwide, highlighting their unwavering faith and sacrifice in the face of adversity.
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