Farmer beheaded by Nazis beatified in Austria

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An Austrian farmer beheaded by the Nazis for refusing to serve in Hitler's army was beatified by the Roman Catholic Church on Friday in a ceremony attended by his 94-year-old widow.

Around 5,000 people joined 27 bishops and cardinals to honour Franz Jaegerstaetter, a devout Catholic who died in 1943, aged 37.

"He gave his life in mighty-hearted self-denial and with an upright conscience, in loyalty to the gospel and for the dignity of mankind," Pope Benedict wrote in a Latin message read out during the service in Linz.

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