EFESan Salvador

Priests Rutilio Grande and Cosme Spessotto, and lay people Nelson Lemus and Manuel Solórzano, became new martyrs of the Catholic Church of El Salvador on Saturday when they were beatified more than 40 years after their deaths during the civil war.

The ritual was carried out in a festive atmosphere with a small number of attendees due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

"With our apostolic authority we grant that the venerable servants of God – Rutilio Grande, Manuel Solórzona and Nelson Lemus, as well as Cosme Spessotto – martyrs, heroic witnesses of the kingdom of God and the kingdom of justice (...) from now on be called blessed," Father Rodolfo Cardenal proclaimed when reading the apostolic letter sent by Pope Francis.

The beatification, led by Cardinal Gregorio Rosa Chavez, was celebrated by attendees with a long applause, while a huge portrait with the faces of the four martyrs was unveiled amid shouts of joy.