Pope Francis. Photo credit: Polifoto Shutterstock Colombia flag. Photo credit: J Stephen Conn Flickr CC BY NC 20 CNA 1
Rome, Italy, Jul 28, 2017 CNA/EWTN News.- During his six-day visit to Colombia in September, Pope Francis will beatify martyrs Bishop Jesús Emilio Jaramillo Monsalve and Fr. Pedro María Ramírez Ramos, who provide a potent testimony as the country heals from decades of conflict.
Bishop Jaramillo was killed by Colombian Marxist guerrillas forces in 1989, while Fr. Ramirez was murdered at the start of the Colombian Civil War in 1948.
The two were recognized as martyrs by the Vatican earlier this year, and will be beatified during the Pope's Sept. 6-12 visit to Colombia, which he is making largely to encourage efforts for peace and reconciliation after more than 50 years of violent conflict that has left some 200,000 people dead.
Given the nature of their deaths, the two can be seen as belonging to a new wave of “modern martyrs” Pope Francis has often referred to, killed by oppressive regimes of their time such as Nazism, communism and brutal dictatorships.
Born in Santo Domingo, Colombia, in 1916, Bishop Jamillo was one of the many thousands of victims of the 52-year-long civil war between the government and guerrilla rebels.
After intensive seminary studies in philosophy, humanities and theology, in 1940 he was ordained a priest with the Xaverian Missionaries of Yarumal at the age of 24. Just four years later, in 1944, he received his doctorate in theology.