In his Regina Coeli address Sunday, Pope Francis applauded the beatification of six Cistercian monks who were martyred while trying to protect the Eucharist from desecration by French soldiers in 1799.
Blessed Siméon Cardon and five other Cistercian monks were beatified on April 17 in the Italian abbey where they were martyred more than 200 years ago.
Speaking from the window of the Vatican’s Apostolic Palace for the first time in weeks, Pope Francis asked the pilgrims gathered in St. Peter’s Square on April 18 to applaud “the new Blesseds”.
“In 1799, when French soldiers, in retreat from Naples, sacked churches and monasteries, these meek disciples of Christ resisted with heroic courage, unto death, to defend the Eucharist from desecration,” the pope said.
“May their example spur us to a greater commitment of fidelity to God, capable of transforming society and making it more just and fraternal.”
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