Father Francesco Zirano (1564-1603), a Franciscan Conventual friar who was flayed alive in Algeria after he refused to renounce his faith, was beatified in Sassari, Sardinia, on October 12. Cardinal Angelo Amato, the prefect of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints, presided at the Mass of beatification.
Father Zirano had traveled to Algeria in an attempt to ransom Christian slaves. “We give thanks to God for this priest-martyr, a heroic witness of the Gospel,” Pope Francis said following his Angelus address. “His courageous fidelity to Christ was an act of great eloquence, especially for these times of brutal persecution against Christians.”