Thirty-eight martyrs slain by Albania’s Communist regime between 1945 and 1974 were beatified in Shkodër, Albania, on November 5.
“While the persecutors dissolve like so many black shadows which are lost forever in the darkness of eternal oblivion, martyrs are guiding lights that shine in the sky of humanity, showing the true face of man’s goodness, his profound identity created in the image of God,” Cardinal Angelo Amato, prefect of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints, preached during the Mass of beatification.
On November 6, Pope Francis said following his Angelus address that the martyrs were “victims of severe persecution of the atheist regime that dominated a long time in that country in the last century.”
“They preferred to suffer imprisonment, torture and eventually death, in order to remain faithful to Christ and the Church,” he continued. “May their example help us find strength in the Lord who offers support in times of trouble, and inspires attitudes of kindness, forgiveness and peace.”