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Romanian bishop beatified as a martyr

May 19, 2014

A Romanian bishop who was imprisoned, tortured, and killed by the post-World War II Communist regime was beatified as a martyr on May 17.

Cardinal Angelo Amato, prefect of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints, presided at the beatification of Anton Durcovici (1888-1951), which took place in Iasi, a city of 300,000 in northeastern Romania. Nine O’Clock, a Romanian newspaper, reported that 20,000 people, including the nation’s prime minister, filled the soccer stadium where the beatification occurred.

Following his ordination to the priesthood, Blessed Anton Durcovici served as a seminary professor and rector for nearly two dozen years. He was consecrated bishop of Iasi in 1948.

The following year, he was abducted by the secret police and imprisoned for two years. Pope Francis noted at the conclusion of his May 18 Regina Caeli address that the “zealous and courageous pastor was persecuted by the Romanian Communist regime and died in prison, died of hunger and thirst.”


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