Homily of Cardinal Giovanni Angelo Becciu
“Dear brothers and sisters,
These words of Saint Paul, proclaimed in the first Letter, can be applied today to the fourteen nuns of the Franciscan Order of the Immaculate Conception (Conceptionists) killed during the religious persecution that sought to eliminate the Church in Spain. They remained strong in the faith: they did not take fright in the face of outrages, anguish and persecutions. They were ready to seal with their life the Truth they professed with their lips, joining to the martyrdom of Jesus their martyrdom of faith, hope and charity…
All the testimonies we have received enable us to affirm that these Conceptionist nuns died because they were disciples of Christ, because they did not want to deny their own faith and break their religious vows. When at the beginning of the war, in the republican zone the Communities transferred to the homes of relatives and friends, they adapted without complaint, giving an example of heroism. They never had attitudes of animosity towards those who were the cause of their sufferings, but they responded with charity. They approached sacrifice, glorifying God and forgiving their executioners, following the example of Christ Who on the cross said, “Father, forgive them for they know not what they do” (Lk 23: 34).
…These fourteen new Blesseds, who remained steadfast in their faith even in the moment of supreme oblation, represent an encouragement to continue with joy and hope in bearing witness in every environment to the love and mercy of God, who never abandons us, especially at the moment of failure and defeat.”