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Pope to canonize two Palestinian nuns on Sunday

2015-05-15

Pope Francis is set to canonize the first two modern day Palestinian saints on Sunday May 17th.  The first is Marie Alphonsine Ghattas, founder of the Sisters of the Most Holy Rosary of Jerusalem.  The other is descalzed Carmelite, Mariam Baouardy. 

The order founded in the 19th century by Ghattas has dozens of centers and schools throughout the Middle East. Her canonization moved forward when an electrician who suffered an accident thta caused serious brain damage while at work, fully recovered after his family prayed for the intercession of Ghattas. 

FR. RIFAT BADER
Catholic Centre for Studies and Media
"During her beatification ceremony in 2009, sisters of the Holy Rosary started praying for the recovery of this man. Two days later, he had fully recovered. He will be here in Rome for the canonization to share his testimony.” 

Through Baouardy's intercession, the Vatican says a  newborn with a deadly heart defect, was completely cured. 

The canonization ceremony will come just days after the Holy See officially referred to Palestine as a state in a treaty. Furthermore more than 2,000 people from Palestine and Jordan are expected to attend the ceremony. Among them is Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas, who is Muslim. He is scheduled to meet with Pope Francis just one day before the canonization.

The ceremony is expected to lift the spirits of the dwindling Christian minority in the area. 

FR. RIFAT BADER
Catholic Centre for Studies and Media
"So many of them have left. The Christian presence in Palestine is about 2 percent in Palestine, but there are also Christian Arabs who live in Israel.”

In addition to the two late Palestinian nuns, two other female religious will also be canonized: Jeanne Emilie de Villeneuve from France and from Italy, Maria Cristina of the Immaculate Conception Brando. 

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