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Rome Reports

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A look at the life of three martyrs killed in Peru

These are the faces of Peru's first martyrs. They were Polish Franciscans, 31 year old Tomaszeck Michal and 33 year old Zbigniew Stralkowski. They were killed on August 9, 1991 in Pariacoto for practicing their faith. Also, the 60-year-old Italian priest Alessandro Dordi died three weeks later near Vinzos. FR. ANGELO PALERI Postulator, Conventual Franciscans "They are the first martyrs killed by "Sendero Luminoso,� which killed about 70,000 people in Peru alone." The "Sendero Luminoso� was a communist-terrorist group engaged in war on behalf of workers and peasants in Peru in the 1960s. Their message collided head-on with the preaching of the three priests in Chimbote, who shared a message of forgiveness and reconciliation. The three knew what was at stake. FR. ANGELO PALERI Postulator, Conventual Franciscans "The 'Sendero Luminoso' saw the strength of the diocese, and the unity of the priests, nuns and catechists. So they announced that they would kill a priest each week, beginning with foreigners." Father Paleri added that because Pope Francis has declared them martyrs, they will not need proof of a miracle to be beatified. But once they are blesseds, they will need proof of a miracle attributed to them to be canonized. PM/ATO AA SV -PR Up: GRT #World