Pope Francis gives church hundreds of new saints


Pope Francis, middle, kisses the altar as he arrives to celebrate his first canonization ceremony in St. Peter's Square at the Vatican, Sunday, May 12, 2013. The pontiff will canonize Antonio Primaldo and his companions, also known as the Martyrs of Otranto, Laura di Santa Caterina da Siena Montoya of Colombia, and Maria Guadalupe Garcia Zavala of Mexico in a ceremony at the Vatican on Sunday. (AP Photo/Alessandra Tarantino)

VATICAN CITY (AP) — Pope Francis on Sunday gave the Catholic church new saints, including hundreds of 15th-century martyrs who were beheaded for refusing to convert to Islam, as he led his first canonization ceremony Sunday in a packed St. Peter’s Square.

The “Martyrs of Otranto” were 813 Italians who were slain in the southern Italian city in 1480 for defying demands by Turkish invaders who overran the citadel to renounce Christianity.

Their approval for sainthood was decided upon by Francis’ predecessor, Benedict XVI, in a decree read at the ceremony in February where the former pontiff announced his retirement.

Shortly after his election in March, Francis called for more dialogue with Islam, and it was unclear how the granting of sainthood to the martyrs would be received. Islam is a sensitive subject for the church, and Benedict stumbled significantly in his relations with Muslims.

The first pontiff from South America also gave Colombia its first saint: a nun who toiled as a teacher and spiritual guide to indigenous people in the 20th century.

With Colombia’s President Juan Manuel Santos among………

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Pope Francis gives church hundreds of new saints

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About Fr. Orthohippo

The blog of a retired Anglican priest (MSJ), his musings, journey, humor, wonderment, and comments on today's scene.
This entry was posted in catholic, faith, history, Islam, persecution, Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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