Francis canonizes first saints of his papacy

May 12, 2013 at 8:11 AM

VATICAN CITY, May 12 (UPI) -- Pope Francis Sunday canonized the first saints of his papacy at a mass in St. Peter's Square.

Thousands of people attended the mass during which Francis formally named about 800 Italian martyrs killed in the 15th century for refusing to convert to Islam, Colombia's Laura di Santa Caterina da Siena Montoya y Upeguila, and Mexico's Maria Guadalupe Garcia Zavala, as saints, Sky News reported.

The two women founded congregations in their regions and devoted their lived to helping the poor. Both of them died in the 20th century.

The Italian martyrs were killed by Ottoman forces in 1480.

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