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Pope recognizes martyrdom of Trappists in Algeria, clearing path to beatification

Inés San Martín Jan 27, 2018

Olivier Perrier and Philippe Laudenbach, foreground, Lambert Wilson, Olivier Rabourdin, Jean-Pierre, Jacques Herlin and Jean-Marie Frin star in a scene from the 2010 movie “Of Gods and Men.” The seven Trappist monks depicted in the film are among the victims of Algeria’s civil war and will officially be recognized as martyrs. (Credit: CNS photo/Sony Pictures Classics.)

ROME – It’s official: A bishop, seven Trappist monks and 11 other religious men and women killed by extremists in Algeria between 1994 and 1996 have been recognized as martyrs by Pope Francis on Saturday.

The decree signed by the pontiff was released on Saturday morning Rome time, confirming that the Servant of God, Pierre Lucien Claverie, bishop of Oran, together with 18 companions have been acknowledged as dying in odium fidei, meaning in “hatred of the faith.”

The monks of Tibhirine knew that they were in danger and would likely be killed if they remained in Algeria, at the time divided by a war between extremist rebels and the Algerian government forces. Their story was depicted in a 2010 French drama “Of Gods and Men,” recipient of the Grand Prix, the second most prestigious award of the Cannes Film Festival.


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