Catholic Church leader Pope Francis has beatified two clergymen from Colombia who were assassinated in acts of deadly political violence that has marred the country’s history.
The most prominent of the two new martyrs is former Bishop Jesus Emilio Jaramillo who was murdered by ELN guerrillas in 1989, according to the pope because of the Catholic guerrillas’ “hatred to the faith” or Odium Fidei.
The second clergyman who was granted formal martyrdom was Father Pedro Maria Ramirez who was murdered in 1948 as one the first of more than 200,000 killed during “La Violencia,” a 10-year war between supporters of the Liberal Party and the Conservative Party.
Ramirez, informally already called “the martyr of Armero,” was assassinated just one day after the murder of Jorge Eliecer Gaitan that spurred the bipartisan war.
The pope has yet to decide on which days the two new “martyrs” will be honored in Colombia.
The Vatican announced the pope had also approved the “heroic virtues” of the late arch bishop of Bogota, Ismael Perdomo, who died in 1950.
The formal recognition of martyrdom of both priests allows their beatification without the necessity of locals to report miracles allegedly performed by the spirits of the dead.
Pope Francis will visit Colombia in September in support of the country’s ongoing peace process with the FARC, until November last year Colombia’s largest Marxist guerrilla group.