ROME (AP) — An Italian nun who was stabbed 19 instances greater than 20 years in the past by three teenage girls apparently fascinated by Satan was honored Sunday with beatification as a martyr of the Roman Catholic Church.
Hours earlier than the beatification ceremony in northern Italy, Pope Francis praised Sister Maria Laura Mainetti and described her killers as “prisoners of evil.” Beatification is the final formal step within the Catholic Church earlier than potential sainthood.
Italian information stories concerning the June 6, 2000 slaying within the city of Chiavenna mentioned the defendants throughout interrogation recounted that the nun requested God to forgive her attackers even as they assaulted her.
After serving sentences starting from eight half to 12 years and 4 months, the convicted attackers had been launched from jail. Two had been age 16 and the opposite was 17 when the Catholic nun was slain. They had been prosecuted as minors.
Addressing the devoted in St. Peter’s Square throughout his conventional Sunday remarks, Francis spoke of the beatification, saying Mainetti, who belonged to the spiritual congregation of the Daughters of the Cross, was slain “by three girls influenced by a satanic sect. Cruelty.”
According to other Catholic clergy in the town, Mainetti went out of her convent late at night after receiving a call from one of the girls who said she became pregnant after being raped and needed help. Prosecutors later described that as an invented story to lure the nun from the convent. The nun was struck repeatedly by a brick or a stone, then stabbed 19 times in an unlit alley.
Francis said Mainetti “loved young people more than anything else, and she loved and forgave these same girls, prisoners of evil.”
The pope mentioned the nun’s legacy was her “life program — do every little thing with faith, love and enthusiasm.”
The alley the place the 60-year-old nun was slain is now a pilgrimage website. Brought to the Chiavenna sports activities stadium for the beatification ceremony was a bloodstained stone discovered the place she was slain.
Scribblings concerning the satan had been reportedly discovered within the teenagers’ writings, prompting prosecutors to hypothesize that fascination about Satan was the obvious motive for the killing. But later, information stories mentioned one of many youngsters reportedly informed investigators they killed the nun to “do something different.”