They came from all over the Middle East: Jordan, Lebanon, Jerusalem and Gaza...This group of nuns traveled to Rome to attend the canonization ceremony of two Palestinian nuns. The very next day, they got a chance to greet Pope Francis in the Vatican. With the help of a translator, the Pope broke the ice with some humor.
"The president of the Palestinian state told me that a plane full of nuns took off from Jordan. Poor pilot!”
On Sunday amid a packed St. Peter's Square, Pope Francis canonized two 19th century nuns: Marie Alphonsine Ghattas and Mariam Baouardy, making them the first two modern day saints from Palestine.
The Pope called on the group of nuns to pray for persecuted Christians, so that attacks against them may end. Attacks he described as 'white glove' aggressions, meaning those that are carried out indirectly. It's a point the Pope wanted to get across. Even when the translator was having trouble with the phrase, the Pope insisted.
"Victims of 'white glove' persecution. It's hidden, but it happens. White glove persecution and terrorism with a white glove.' Pray often for peace.”
Before heading out, the Pope called on the group to pray the Hail Mary together in their own respective language, as they all called for peace.