[an error occurred while processing this directive]
BBC News
watch One-Minute World News
Last Updated: Sunday, 27 April, 2003, 13:50 GMT 14:50 UK
Pope beatifies 'father of cappuccino'
Pope John Paul II at the beatification
The Pope plans to make his next beatification in Spain

Pope John Paul II has formally placed a monk who inspired European resistance to Muslim invaders in the 17th Century and five other historic Italian religious figures on the path to sainthood.

Their beatification at a ceremony in St Peter's Square marks the final step before actual canonisation through the Roman Catholic Church.

Marco d'Aviano, a wandering preacher for the Capuchin monastic order, is credited with rallying Catholics and Protestants on the eve of the Battle of Vienna in 1683, which was crucial to halting the advance of Turkish soldiers into Europe.

He is also remembered by some as the man who, by legend, inspired the fashionable cappuccino coffee now drunk by millions across the globe.

Coffee was once seen by the Vatican as an "infidel" drink

The monk, who was born in the city of his name in northern Italy in 1631, was sent by the pope of the day to unite Christians in the face of a huge Ottoman army.

Legend has it that, following the victory, the Viennese reportedly found sacks of coffee abandoned by the enemy and, finding it too strong for their taste, diluted it with cream and honey.

The drink being of a brown colour like that of the Capuchins' robes, the Viennese named it cappuccino in honour of Marco D'Aviano's order.

During Sunday's two-hour ceremony, the ailing 82-year-old pontiff remained in a special chair which allows him to sit, not stand, at the altar while celebrating Mass.

The five figures commemorated along with Marco D'Aviano are the latest in a line of 1,310 people this Pope has beatified - a number greater than all those beatified by his predecessors over the past four centuries.

Giacomo Alberione (1884-1971) was an Italian priest and best-selling author who believed in preaching via modern technology and founded the Society of St Paul to this end.

The other four figures are all nuns who founded religious orders in the 19th Century.

The BBC's Nicola Kohn
"Today's ceremony brought the number of people beatified by this pope to 1,316"

Pope creates controversial saint
06 Oct 02  |  Europe
Pope holds Easter mass
19 Apr 03  |  Europe
Profile: Pope John Paul II
22 Apr 02  |  Europe

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites


News Front Page | Africa | Americas | Asia-Pacific | Europe | Middle East | South Asia
UK | Business | Entertainment | Science/Nature | Technology | Health
Have Your Say | In Pictures | Week at a Glance | Country Profiles | In Depth | Programmes
Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific