813 Italians made saints by Francis
Published: Sunday, May 12, 2013, 8:39 p.m.
Pope Francis on Sunday proclaimed as saints 813 Italians killed in the 15th century for refusing to convert to Islam and said many Christians were still being persecuted for their faith.
The Vatican seemed at pains not to allow the first canonizations of Francis' two-month-old papacy to be interpreted as anti-Islamic, saying the deaths of the Otranto Marytrs must be understood in their historical context.
The 800 were killed in 1480 in the siege of Otranto, on the southeastern Adriatic, by Ottoman Turks who sacked the city, killed its archbishop and told the citizens to surrender and convert.
When they refused, the Ottoman commanding officer ordered the execution of all men aged 15 or older, most by beheading.
“While we venerate the Otranto Martyrs, we ask God to sustain the many Christians who, today, in many parts of the world, right now, still suffer violence and give them the courage to be faithful and to respond to evil with good,” Francis said before more than 70,000 people in St. Peter's Square.
The Vatican has expressed deep concern recently about the fate of Christians in parts of the Middle East, including Coptic Christians who have been caught up in sectarian strife in Egypt.
The first pontiff from the Americas 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 in attendance, the Argentine pope held out Laura of St. Catherine of Siena Montoya y Upegui as a potential source of inspiration to the country's peace process, attempted after decades-long conflict between rebels and government forces.
He also canonized another Latin American. Maria Guadalupe Garcia Zavala, a Mexican who dedicated herself to nursing the sick, helped Catholics avoid persecution during a government crackdown on the faith in the 1920s.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Robert Gumbita retains Mt. Pleasant School Board president seat
- Canada reportedly permitted NSA surveillance at G-20
- Bolshoi dancer sentenced to prison
- Empty, $36M facility justified, general finds
- U.S. can’t get China to yield on contentious air zone
- Hezbollah commander shot down
- Police: Toronto mayor tried to buy crack tape
- ‘Dangerous’ radioactive material found in Mexico
- Egyptian satirist says show’s suspension wasn’t ‘nice’