The four bishops of Algeria have just announced that the 19 martyrs of the Maghreb will be formally beatified in a solemn Mass on 8th December 2018, the feast of the Immaculate Conception.
The Mass will be celebrated in Oran, Algeria, in the Sanctuary of Our Lady of Santa Cruz and the main celebrant will be Cardinal Becciu, Prefect of the Congregation for the Causes of the Saints.
The martyrs are a former Bishop of Oran, religious sisters, priests and monks who were murdered during the years 1994 - 1996. In a statement earlier in the year the bishops stressed that this beatification was meant to be an act of solidarity with the thousands of native Algerian Muslims who were also killed during this time of trouble. It is in this sense that the Algerian Minister for Religious Affairs has given his full accord.
The Mass will be celebrated with all the bishops but the number of participants will of necessity be restricted because of lack of space. Muslim friends will be invited, but there will be celebrations at different venues in the country for priests, religious, lay Christians and Muslim friends.
The four White Fathers included in the Martyrs of the Maghreb - Jean Chevillard, Alain Dieulangard, Christian Chessel, and Charles Deckers were murdered on 27th December 1994.