The head of the Catholic Church will be naming hundreds of Italian laymen to the Litany of Saints later in May, as reported by The Catholic Herald (of London, U.K.).
During the Muslim Ottoman siege of the southeastern Italian city of Otranto in 1480, Turkish soldiers had finally forced the garrison to surrender after a weeks-long siege.
Given the option of converting to Islam or every male over the age of 15 face the swordsman, every defender instead chose death.
“We Are Ready to Die…”
As cited, Blessed Antonio Primaldo, a tailor, who spoke on the behalf of the prisoners told the invaders:
We believe in Jesus Christ, Son of God, and for Jesus Christ we are ready to die.
According to the Archdiocese of Otranto’s website, popular tradition holds that when the Turks beheaded Primaldo, his body remained standing even as the combatants tried to push him over.
Pious legend maintains that the decapitated man stood until the very last prisoner was killed, at which point Primaldo’s body collapsed next to his dead comrades.
Pope Benedict’s Final Act…
Even though the canonization will be formalized under the pontificate of Pope Francis, It was Pope Benedict XVI in his final act before resigning the Papacy, authorized the raising of the 800 to the altar, as reported by EuropeNews.dk earlier this year.