VATICAN CITY (CNS) — Pope Francis issued decrees advancing the sainthood cause of four candidates, including a widowed mother of nine from Mexico, who founded groups for laypeople as well as two religious congregations.

At a meeting June 8 with Cardinal Angelo Amato, prefect of the Congregation for Saints’ Causes, the pope signed a decree recognizing a miracle attributed to the intercession of Venerable Concepcion Cabrera Arias, thus paving the way for her beatification. Another miracle would be needed for her canonization.

Born Dec. 8, 1862, in San Luis Potosi, Mexico, Venerable Cabrera was known for her spiritual devotions and writings. She married Francisco Armida in 1884 and had nine children before his death in 1901.


She founded the “Works of the Cross,” which includes a religious order for women, one for men and apostolates for laypeople. She died in Mexico City in 1937 and was declared venerable by St. John Paul II in 1999.

The pope also recognized the martyrdom of Argentine Bishop Enrique Angel Angelelli Carletti of La Rioja, Fathers Carlos Murias and Gabriel Longueville, and of a layman, Wenceslao Pedernera.

Bishop Angelelli was killed Aug. 4, 1976, while returning from celebrating a Mass for the two priests who were murdered a month earlier. Pedernera was murdered one week after Fathers Murias and Longueville were murdered.

The Argentine bishop had collected evidence regarding the military’s involvement in the death of the two priests and was targeted for assassination by the dictatorial government. The car he was riding in was forced off the road.

Although his autopsy revealed that he died to trauma from a blunt object, authorities at the time ruled that his death was an accident. In 1986, the newly established democratic government in Argentina confirmed his death was a homicide.

A recognition of martyrdom means the four can be beatified, a step toward sainthood, without a miracle attributed to their intercession.

The other decrees signed by the pope recognized miracles attributed to:

— Blessed Nunzio Sulprizio, an Italian layman born April 13, 1817. He died in Naples in 1836.

— Venerable Guadalupe Ortiz de Landazuri, a Spanish laywoman and member of Opus Dei. She was born in Madrid in 1916 and died in 1975.