SEPT. 28, the Holy Father beatified a young martyr with two more to follow in the coming weeks. They are from different countries and all were executed for their faith in the 20th Century.
BL. MIROSLAV BULESIC (1920-47) was a Croatian priest who died under Communist persecution in 1947. Born of Pius parents, he later studied in Rome at the Gregorian University. He became a priest (1943) during WW II. At the time in Istria (area of Croatia) there were three armies - partisan, German and Italian. Bl. Miroslav devoted his life especially to the education of children and youth and to those who were in need. He gave himself to all people saying: "I am a Catholic priest and I divide the holy sacraments to all who request it - Croat, German, Italian .
"He received threats from all sides, and in his diary, wrote: "My life I give You completely for Your flock ... I die for Your glory and the salvation of their souls."
In 1946 he became a teacher in the Seminary and High School in Pazin. He also fought for freedom of religion. In the spring of 1947 the Communist government presented the "Five-Year Plan", which promoted work on Sundays, a ban on religious education in schools and the removal of the Church from public life. Bl.Miroslav was adamantly opposed, along with other priests.
The Communists wanted to prevent Mass and confirmation, but failed. In August the Communists attacked Bl. Miroslava in the parish house and stabbed him in the throat. His blood filled the hallways of the rectory and he died of his wounds. At the time it was said: The Communists have lost, they killd a young priest, who is now a martyr. He was beatified in his own country in Pula.
BL. ROLANDO RIVI was born in Reggio Emilia, Italy in 1931 to a farming family. He became a seminarian with a plan to become a missionary priest. He was abducted, abused and tortured for three days, and then murdered by Communist partisans for being a Christian, April 13, 1945 in a wooded area near Piani di Monchio, Modena, Italy. He was only 14 years of age.
Rolando Rivi is the first Italian Blessed, who was in a junior seminary and the first among the 130 priests and seminarians who were killed during the Civil War with Italian Communists. He was be beatified October 5.
BL. ISTVAN (STEPHEN) SANDOR was born in 1914 in Szolnok, Hungary. He was a printer studying to become a Salesian working especially with youth.
In 1950, the government banned the operation of religious orders which meant the dissolution of the Salesian order. Bl. Istvan found a job, but also continued, now underground, to work with youth teaching catechism.
Arrested in 1952 by the Hungarian Communist authorities in a crackdown during which all religious groups were outlawed, he received a show trial in October and was sentenced to death by hanging for being actively Christian. His beatification was October 19.
The books on their lives are not yet in English, but they are no less BLESSED!