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Romanian martyr beatified

Catholic World News - September 02, 2013

Father Vladimir Ghika (1873-1954), a priest who died of hunger in a Communist prison following torture, was beatified in Bucharest on August 31.

Cardinal Angelo Amato, prefect of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints, presided at the Mass of beatification.

Ghika, who was baptized Romanian Orthodox, converted to Catholicism in 1902 and devoted himself to charitable works until his ordination to the priesthood in France in 1923. As World War II began, he reentered Romania, refusing to leave as the Communists took power after the war.

Romania’s national news agency reported that Pope Francis called Ghika “a zealous shepherd and persevering witness of God's love, a fearless defender of the Catholic faith, as well as of communion with the Roman Church,” in the words of a letter read at the beatification ceremony.

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