VATICAN CITY, MAY 15, 2005 (Zenit.org).- Two women missionaries, from the United States and Spain, are the first to be beatified during the Pontificate of Benedict XVI.
American Marianne Cope (1838-1918) and Spanish Ascensi?n of the Heart of Jesus (1868-1940) were raised to the altars on Saturday in St. Peter's Basilica. Portuguese Cardinal Jos? Saraiva Martins, prefect of the Congregation for Sainthood Causes, presided at the ceremony.
The Bishop of Rome has taken up on this occasion the Papal tradition of not presiding at beatifications, a practice that was interrupted in 1971 by Paul VI, when beatifying Polish priest Maximilian Kolbe.