Pope Francis has approved the next step in the canonisation process of 17 women, including 14 nuns killed during the Spanish Civil War.
Francis met with the prefect of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints, Cardinal Angelo Becciu on January 15 and recognised the martyrdom of Sister Isabella Lacaba Andia, who was known as Mother Mary del Carmen — the mother superior of a community of Franciscan Conceptionist nuns — and 13 of her companions.
The nuns were killed “in hatred of the faith” in Spain in 1936.
Recognition of the nuns as martyrs clears the way for their beatification, putting them onto the next step of the canonisation process.
Pope Francis also recognized a miracle needed for the canonisation of Blessed Marguerite Bays, a laywoman from Switzerland known for her spirituality in the face of great physical suffering and for bearing the stigmata of Christ.
Born in La Pierraz, Switzerland in 1815, Bays was a member of the Secular Franciscan Order.
Pope Francis also recognised the heroic virtues of Mother Soledad Sanjurjo Santos of the Servants of Mary. Born in Arecibo, Puerto Rico, in 1892, she extended the congregation’s work in caring for the sick throughout Cuba, the Dominican Republic and Puerto Rico. She died in 1973.
The pope also recognised the heroic virtues of Polish Sister Anna Kaworek, who lived 1872-1936, and co-founded the Congregation of the Sisters of St. Michael the Archangel.
With thanks to La Croix International and Catholic News Service, where this article originally appeared.