VATICAN CITY (CNS) – Pope Francis formally recognised the martyrdom of an Italian priest shot by Nazi soldiers after they discovered he was helping his parishioners hide about 100 Jews.
The martyrdom of Father Giuseppe Beotti, who was arrested and shot on July 20, 1944, in Sidolo in northern Italy, was one of nine decrees in sainthood causes Pope Francis signed on May 20.
The help Father Beotti “offered to many Jewish people persecuted by the Nazi-Fascists played a decisive role” in his death, according to the Dicastery for the Causes of Saints.
“To give them refuge, the priest had mobilised all the parishioners”, and helped them hide and feed about 100 Jews, the dicastery said. “The Germans searched his house, but found nothing”, but they continued to hold him while they gathered information about his activities.
The recognition of his martyrdom clears the way for his beatification.
The eight other decrees signed by the Pope involved the recognition that the candidates heroically lived the Christian virtues. A miracle attributed to the candidate’s intercession would be needed for beatification.
The eight Servants of God who thus become venerable are two priests (from Cameroon and Spain), two religious (from Brazil and Italy), and four lay people (from Brazil and Italy).
Photo: Fr Giuseppe Beotti (CNS photo/Courtesy of the Diocese of Piacenza-Bobbio)