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Albanian Bishops: 38 Albanian martyrs to be beatified in Shkodër on 5 November

The 38 Albanian martyrs killed between 1945 and 1974 by the Communist regime will be beatified in Shkodër, Albania, on 5 November 2016, Mgr. Angelo Massafra, Archbishop of Shkodër-Pult and President of the Albanian Bishops’ Conference (CEA), announced today. In a statement issued on behalf of Mgr. Massafra, Fr. Gjergji Meta, spokesman for the CEA, recalls that the beatification comes “after a considerable long time”: a “massive work” has been carried out, aimed at “ending the canonical process for the recognition of the martyrdom and the official approval of their witness and sacrifice for the faith and the homeland of Mgr. Vinçenc Prennushi and his 37 martyred companions”. The diocesan process, Fr. Meta recalls, which “started on 10 November 2002 and ended on 8 December 2010, was vetted by the experts of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints; and Pope Francis’ decree on 26 April 2016 gave the green light for the beatification of the Albanian martyrs”. The beatification rite will take place on the square of St Stephen’s Cathedral in Shkodër and will be presided over by Card. Angelo Amato, prefect of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints. “Now it is up to us – Mgr. Massafra pointed out – to elevate our martyrs and honour them with a joyful spiritual celebration. As the archbishop who has taken forward the beatification cause of the martyrs, together with the team of the Church tribunal which I thank, and as the bishop of the place where the beatification will take place and on behalf of the Bishops’ Conference, I invite and encourage you to celebrate with dignity this historic moment for the Church and the nation”.

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