Italy prepares for beatification of anti-Mafia priest

May 24, 2013 at 10:17 AM

PALERMO, Italy, May 24 (UPI) -- More than 80,000 people are expected to attend a beatification ceremony for an Italian priest who was killed by the mob in 1993, officials said.

The beatification ceremony for Father Giuseppe "Pino" Puglisi, an outspoken anti-Mafia advocate, begins Saturday in Palermo, Italy's ANSA news agency reported.

Puglisi was killed on his 56th birthday in the Brancaccio neighborhood in Palermo. In April, his remains were moved to the main cathedral there, where the beatification ceremony will take place.

"The martyrdom of Father Puglisi is a call for us to remember that the Church must be on the frontline," said Cardinal Paolo Romeo, Archbishop of Palermo. "Don Puglisi has become a worldwide example of faith and social commitment," Romeo said.

Cardinal Salvatore De Giorgi will attend that ceremony as a representative for Pope Francis.

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