- Title: Pope Francis to beatify a priest and a bishop martyred in Colombia
- Date: 4th September 2017
- Summary: (SOUNDBITE) (Spanish) MONSIGNOR JORGE BUSTAMANTE, DIRECTOR OF EPISCOPAL CONFERENCE, SAYING: "Father Pedro Maria Ramirez embodied Christian virtues of faith, hope, charity and other signs of Christian life that were lived in a heroic and virtuous way. Secondly, his life and his death showed an encounter and a resemblance to the life and death of Jesus of Nazareth. Thirdly, that death is not any death but a death due to faith. When these three things were verified by the Church, they determined he was on a certain path to holiness. One of the steps is to declare him venerable and then blessed. At this moment Pedro Maria already arrives at that blessed step, only lacking a few miracles to become a saint."
- Embargoed: 18th September 2017 21:11
- Keywords: Pope Francis Fr Ramirez beatification Bishop Jaramillo Villavivencio Vatican violence Colombia Bishop priest
- Location: BOGOTA / LA PLATA, HUILA / ARAUCA DEPARTMENT, COLOMBIA
- City: BOGOTA / LA PLATA, HUILA / ARAUCA DEPARTMENT, COLOMBIA
- Country: Colombia
- Topics: Religion/Belief,Society/Social Issues
- Reuters ID: LVA0046X6LXS7
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text: A priest and a bishop martyred in Colombia will be beatified by Pope Francis during his Sept. 6-10 visit to the country, Vatican sources said recently.
Francis will beatify Bishop Jesus Emilio Jaramillo Monsalve of Arauca, a region neighbouring Venezuela and Father Pedro Maria Ramirez Ramos during a Mass to be held on the Esplanade of Catama in Villavicencio on September 8.
Their beatification was confirmed on July 7 after the Pope signed decrees ratifying the martyrdom of Bishop Jaramillo, who was murdered by Colombia's Marxist ELN rebel group in 1989, according to Vatican sources.
The Colombian bishop, along with one of his parish priests, was kidnapped by members of the National Liberation Army (ELN), because he had spoken out against the atrocities committed by the rebel group.
Bishop Jaramillo was shot twice in the head with an assault rifle in the rural area of Arauquita. His accompanying parish priest - Father Jose Munoz who had refused to leave Bishop Jaramillo's side - was unharmed and released. Munoz found Bishop Jaramillo's body the next day lying on his back in the shape of the cross, according to the National Catholic Reporter.
Vatican sources also reported that Francis acknowledged the martyrdom of Father Ramirez, known as "the martyr of Armero," who was murdered with a machete at the start of the Colombian civil war in 1948.
Francis, making his 20th foreign trip as pontiff and his fifth to his native Latin America, will spend five days in the country, visiting the capital Bogota and the cities of Villavicencio, Medellin and Cartagena.
The beatification comes as Francis aims to encourage a fledgling peace process that ended half a century of war between a succession of governments and the guerrilla group FARC but has left the country deeply divided.
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