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The Boston Globe

World

Pope canonizes Mexican, Colombian, 813 who refused conversion

VATICAN CITY — Pope Francis on Sunday gave the Catholic Church new saints, including hundreds of 15th-century martyrs who were beheaded for refusing to convert to Islam, as he led his first canonization ceremony Sunday in a packed St. Peter’s Square.

The ‘‘Martyrs of Otranto’’ were 813 Italians who were slain in the southern Italian city in 1480 for defying demands to renounce Christianity by Turkish invaders who overran the citadel.

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