Pope creates hundreds of new saints, including canonising 800 Otranto martyrs
Charlotte Philby is a writer at The Independent with a weekly column on motherhood in The Independent Magazine. She was shortlisted for the 2013 Cudlipp award for excellence in popular journalism for her undercover investigative work, and writes for various cultural magazines.
Monday 13 May 2013
Pope Francis created hundreds of new saints in a ceremony at the Vatican today.
The newly canonised include 800 Italians – victims of Ottoman soldiers who carried out a massacre in the southern Italian town of Otranto in 1480, beheading those who refused to convert to Islam.
The Otranto martyrs meant the canonisation was the biggest by any pope at one time. It also included Colombia’s first saint, Laura of St Catherine of Siena, a nun who went into the forests in 1914 to teach indigenous people in a way that the Argentinian Pope said “respected their culture”.
Pope Francis said the newly created saints were a source of inspiration for “so many Christians, who, right in these times and in so many parts of the world, still suffer violence”.
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