Pope Francis to beatify Myanmar martyr Isidore Ngei Ko Lat
Isidore Ngei Ko Lat, a lay catechist, martyred in 1950, on path to sainthood
Pope Francis has authorized a decree recognizing both the martyrdom of Italian priest Fr. Mario Vergara of the Pontifical Institute for Foreign Missions and Isidore Ngei Ko Lat, a lay catechist, martyred in Shadaw, or Myanmar on May 24, 1950. Archbishop Charles Bo of Yangon of Myanmar has since hailed the upcoming beatification as a sign of the Pope's love for the Church in Myanmar, formerly Burma.
Italian priest Fr. Mario Vergara of the Pontifical Institute for Foreign Missions and Isidore Ngei Ko Lat, inset, a lay catechist, were martyred in Shadaw, or Myanmar on May 24, 1950.
The recognition of their martyrdom was among 12 decrees by the pope. One of these included a miracle and 10 heroic virtues that Pope Francis authorized. Another forthcoming beatification is of 19th century Italian nun, Giovannina Franks, through whose intercession a miracle has been recognized.
The "great joy and happiness," of the Catholic community in Myanmar was caught by surprise. While it was admittedly a long awaited announcement, the Myanmar martyr's journey to sainthood began in May 2008. At that time, the Catholic Bishops' Conference wrote a letter to Pope Benedict XVI to "humbly ask the Pope to authorize the study of the cause."
The beatification of Fr. Vergara and his catechist, the bishops wrote, will be a source of " encouragement" for the whole community to live" a faith more in line " with the Gospel and to witness to it "in a brave and heroic" way, even at the cost of dying because of hatred for the faith and giving their lives "for the Gospel."
The Church in Myanmar is preparing to celebrate 500 years of history and hopes for a visit by Pope Francis to the country. Archbishop Bo says that the beatification is a first step on a long journey and "there are many others", because they have many martyrs in Myanmar, who deserve sainthood.
© 2014 - Distributed by THE NEWS CONSORTIUM
Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for March 2014
Respect for Women: That all cultures may respect the rights and dignity of women.
Vocations: That many young people may accept the Lordís invitation to consecrate their lives to proclaiming the Gospel.
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