During his visit to South Korea in 2014, Pope Francis beatified the three along with 121 other martyrs persecuted and killed during the rule of the Joseon dynasty in Korea.
After a raging fire destroyed two-thirds of Rome in 64, Emperor Nero blamed Rome’s Christians to divert suspicion from himself.
Pope Francis pointed to the number of lay catechists declared martyrs, blesseds or saints by the church.
An extensive research beginning around 1979 by great nephew helped bring about the cause of canonization of the two martyrs from Baabdat: Fathers Melki and Saleh.
Sisters Maura Clarke, Ita Ford, Carla Piette, Dorothy Kazel and lay missionary Jean Donovan are remembered each Dec. 2, the day of their deaths, in the diocese as part of a long list of local martyrs.
As El Salvador declared a jubilee year for its martyrs, there is the possibility that the country would receive news from Rome of several new beatified Salvadorans this year.
The martyrs of different Christian churches throughout the Middle East are together in heaven, interceding for peace in the region and enjoying the unity for which all Christians on earth must strive, Pope Francis said.
Pope Francis advanced the sainthood causes of three women and recognized the martyrdom of 14 religious sisters who were killed during the Spanish Civil War.