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Pope Francis canonises two Palestinians

Pope Francis waves to crowds as he arrives to his inauguration mass on 19 March 2013.

The head of the Catholic Church Pope Francis on Sunday canonised two 19th century nuns who lived in Ottoman ruled Palestine. With the sainthood the two nuns have become the first Palestinian nuns to be canonised in modern times.

According to BBC, Marie Alphonsine Ghattas and Mariam Baouardy were among four new saints declared in Rome’s St Peter’s square.Marie Ghattas showed the importance of living a life of service, while Mariam Baouardy who was poor and uneducated was able to provide theological explanations with extreme clarity.

The President of the Palestinian Authority Mahmoud Abbas was among over 2000 Christian pilgrims who came from the region to attend the canonisation.

Reports say the gesture by the Pope is a way of expressing support for the Christian population in the region that is already dwindling. The pope on Saturday also met the president of the Palestinian Authority Mahmoud Abbas who he describes as an ‘angel of peace.’