|Banners hang from St. Peter's Basilica of the four new 19th-century women religious saints.|
On May 17, Pope Francis canonized four 19th-century religious sisters:
• French Blessed Jeanne Emilie de Villeneuve, who founded the Congregation of the Sisters of the Immaculate Conception for the education of poor children, the sick, and missions.
• Italian Blessed Maria Cristina of the Immaculate Conception, who founded an institute dedicated to education, called Congregation of the Sisters, Expiatory Victims of Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament.
• Blessed Marie-Alphonsine, who founded the Dominican Sisters of the Holy Rosary of Jerusalem.
• Blessed Mary of Jesus Crucified, a mystic and member of the Discalced Carmelites.
The latter two new Palestinian saints were "instrumental in the promotion of women in the Arab world and in efforts for interreligious dialogue toward peace," said Jordanian Father Rifat Bader. The historic Holy Land saints urged "respect for religious and ethnic difference" and were among the first religious congregation of Arab women, putting them on the map in the fields of education and religious teaching.
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