Pope Francis gives church hundreds of new saints
Vatican City: Pope Francis has given the Catholic church hundreds of new saints as he leads a canonisation ceremony in St. Peter`s Square.
Among those upon whom he bestowed the church`s highest honour today are 813 Italians who were martyred in the late 15th century for refusing to convert to Islam as demanded by Turkish invaders of a southern Italian city.
Two others were canonised, a woman who helped Colombia`s indigenous peoples and is now that country`s first saint, and a Mexican woman who helped Catholics avoid persecution during a government crackdown of the faith in the 1920s.
The new saints were all approved for canonisation in a decree read by Pope Benedict XVI on February 11 during the same ceremony in which he announced he was resigning as pontiff.
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