Welsh language used in the Vatican

The Welsh language is used within the Vatican for the first time on an official occasion, as part of a beatification ceremony.

John Paul II formally raised eighty-five British martyrs, three of which were from Wales, to the rank of Blessed. Most of them were priests, convicted under the penal laws of Queen Elizabeth I and were executed by being hanged, drawn and quartered.

Over 150 relatives claiming direct descent from the martyrs were among the large group of pilgrims who travelled to Rome for the ceremony. Although the majority of the new Blesseds are English, they include three Welsh men, one Irish man and a Scot.

Beatification is the last step before being declared a Saint in the Catholic church - a person singled out for special veneration for having laid down his life for his religious convictions.

Note:Spoken Welsh is not heard in this clip.

22 November 1987

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