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The Mafia Martyr Saint | KFP Articles
The Mafia Martyr Saint PDF Print E-mail
Saturday, 25 May 2013 22:11

This is an amazing story.  I remember hearing about the murder of a priest who spoke out against the mafia in Sicily.  At the time I found it disheartening that such pressure still existed on priests in areas such as Sicily.  To speak out against mafia crime should not be a death sentence.  Apparently, the six mafia responsible for the murder are paying the price but more importantly the Vatican is sebding a bigger and mor eimportant message by recognizing a modern day saint Blessed Giuseppe Puglisi.  Here's the story from BBC News:

Code of silence

Born in Palermo, Father Puglisi was the son of a shoemaker and seamstress, and was ordained at the age of 22.

He taught mathematics and religion in several schools, served as the chaplain in an institute for orphans, and went on to work in run-down areas of Palermo.

But he became a target as he grew increasingly outspoken in denouncing crime and alleging collusion between politicians and mafia figures.

Don Giuseppe Puglisi has been declared a martyr of the church, murdered "in hatred of the faith".

He was famous for a rhetorical question, which he used as a catch phrase in order to encourage Sicilians to stand up and fight organised crime: "And what if somebody did something?"

The BBC's David Willey in Rome says the Catholic Church has been accused in the past of an ambiguous relationship towards Cosa Nostra, the men who for decades have controlled organised crime on the Mediterranean island.

By beatifying Father Puglisi, the Church is making a strong stand against mafia crime - which has been protected by a code of silence - our correspondent says.

Earlier this month, Pope Francis proclaimed the first saints of his pontificate in a ceremony at the Vatican - a list which includes 800 victims of an atrocity carried out by Ottoman soldiers in 1480.

These meant that, within two months of taking office, he had proclaimed more saints than any previous Pope, although his predecessor Pope Benedict had given the go ahead for their canonisations.

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