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Romanian priest and martyr beatified


(Vatican Radio) Bucharest, Romania, was the scene on Saturday of the beatification of Vladimir Ghika, a convert to Catholicism who was martyred by his country’s Communist government in 1954. Born into an illustrious family of princely nobility, the young Vladimir studied political science in Paris and philosophy in Rome, and the intistitution that would become the Pontifical University of St Thomas Aquinas – the Angelicum. He converted to Catholicism in 1902 and dedicated himself to doing works of charity, while discerning a vocation to the priesthood. He served as a diplomat for several years, including those of the I World War. In 1923, he was ordained to the priesthood. Returned to Romania when the II World War broke out, he refused to leave despite the danger of Allied bombing. When the Communists seized power in Romania, he again refused to leave. He was arrested in 1952 and charged with high treason because he refused to foreswear loyalty to Rome and recognize the schismatic Church the Communist government was working to establish. After years of maltreatment, he died in prison on May 16th, 1954. Listen to our interview with the spokesman for the Archdiocese of Bucharest, which is sponsoring Bl. Vladimir Ghika’s cause, Fr. Francisc Dobosc, who spoke with Christopher Wells: RealAudioMP3