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14 monks killed in 1611 beatified in Prague

Published on Oct 13, 2012 9:46 PM

PRAGUE (AFP) - Fourteen monks of the Order of Friars Minor, lynched by an angry crowd in 1611 after coming to then-Protestant Prague to preach Catholicism, were beatified in Prague on Saturday.

Vicar Frederic Bachstein and his 13 companions were given the honorific of "blessed" in St Vitus Cathedral at Prague Castle by Cardinal Angelo Amato, prefect of the Vatican's Congregation for the Causes of Saints.

In a letter, local clerics described the killing as "a memento which, even after four centuries, can help understand more deeply certain historic rifts between the Catholics and Protestants and heal them".

Pope Benedict XVI signed a decree to beatify the Italian, German, Czech, Spanish, French and Dutch monks on May 10 in the first such ceremony to be held in the Prague archdiocese.

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