#ShortNews: Pope beatifies 7 Romanian Greek Catholic bishop-martyrs

All seven of the Greek-Catholic bishops were arrested in 1948. All of them were imprisoned and left to die of hunger, exposure, disease, or the effects of hard labour, and then buried in unmarked graves. The liturgical chair used during the Divine Liturgy in Blaj on Sunday, was made from the wooden planks of the prison beds, and from the iron bars of the prison windows where some of the martyrs died.

Iuliu Hossu, a theology student in Rome. He spent 22 years in prison. His last words were: “My battle is over, yours continues”. He never knew that Pope Paul VI had created him a Cardinal “in pectore” in 1969.

Vasile Aftenie, a theology student in Rome. A year after his arrest he was transferred to the infamous Ministry of the Interior where he suffered terrible tortures and eventually died of his wounds in 1950.

Ioan Balan, in 1929 Ioan Balan was appointed to the Vatican Commission to draw up the new Code of Canon Law of the Eastern Churches. After his arrest in 1948, he was placed in solitary confinement and died in 1959 without ever being tried or sentenced.

Valeriu Traian Frentiu, was ordained a bishop when he was only 37 years of age. Also arrested in 1948, he spent the rest of his life in a concentration camp. When he died in 1952, his body was thrown into an unmarked grave.

Ioan Suciu, was ordained a priest in 1931. He too died of hunger and disease while in prison. In his last letter to the faithful before his arrest, he wrote: “Do not be deceived by vain words, promises, lies… We cannot sell Christ or the Church”.

Tito Liviu Chinezu, was ordained a bishop in prison by those bishops who were themselves prisoners. When the secret of his ordination leaked out, he was transferred to a prison where he died of cold and hunger.

Alexandru Rusu, was consecrated bishop in 1931. Arrested in 1948, he was sentenced to 25 years in prison for instigation and high treason. He died in 1963 and was buried in the prison cemetery without any religious rite.

Source;

https://www.vaticannews.va/en/pope/news/2019-06/pope-francis-romania-beatification-7-greek-catholic-martyrs.html

https://www.americamagazine.org/faith/2019/06/02/joyous-celebration-romania-pope-francis-beatifies-seven-bishop-martyrs

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