Two members of the Knights of Columbus were beatified on Nov. 20. Father Andrés Solá Molist, a Spanish Claretian missionary, and Father José Trinidad Rangel Montaño, a Mexican diocesan priest from Leon, were among 13 martyrs beatified at a Mass in Guadalajara, Mexico.
Both were executed for their faith on April 25, 1927, in Rancho de San Joaquin, Mexico. Tens of thousands of Mexican Catholics were killed during the country's revolutionary period, especially between 1926 and 1929, when the Mexican government carried out systematic persecution of the Catholic Church.
Supreme Knight Carl A. Anderson traveled to Mexico to attend the ceremony, which was presided over by the Prefect of the Vatican Congregation for the Causes of Saints, Cardinal José Saraiva Martins.
Beatification is the step required by the Catholic Church prior to canonization.
"Father Molist and Father Montaño were heroes and martyrs whose bravery and profound faith are an inspiration to every Knight," Anderson said. "Their lives -- and heroic deaths -- are especially meaningful to the people of Mexico, who cherish the freedom to worship that was won at such a terrible cost by these men and many others like them."
If Father Molist and Father Montaño are canonized, they will join six other members of the Knights of Columbus who were martyred in Mexico in the 1920s and were declared saints by Pope John Paul II in 2000.
The first Knights of Columbus council in Mexico was formed in 1905, and Mexican Knights have been celebrating their centennial throughout 2005.
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