Pope Francis advanced the sainthood causes of one woman and seven men, including an Italian judge who was murdered by the infamous Sicilian Mafia.
During a meeting Dec. 21 with Cardinal Marcello Semeraro, prefect of the Congregation for Saints’ Causes, the pope signed a decree recognizing the martyrdom of Rosario Livatino, who was murdered by four members of the Mafia organization, commonly known as Cosa Nostra, in 1990.
The Vatican published the decrees Dec. 22.
Born in Sicily in 1952, Livatino worked as a prosecutor and often took on cases involving Mafia criminal activity. In 1989, he was appointed as an assistant judge. One year later, he was murdered by four Mafia assassins as he was heading to court.
During a pastoral visit the southern Italian city of Agrigento in 1993, St. John Paul II met with Livatino’s parents and called him a “martyr to justice and, indirectly, to faith.”
Pope Francis, who has been outspoken in condemning the Mafia, has also praised Livatino for the consistency “between his faith and his commitment to work” and pointed to him as a role model for those who work in the field of law.
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