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Nun Who Saved Jews Made Saint

The Catholic Church has recognized Maria Elizabeth Hesselblad and 17th-century Polish priest Stanislaus Papczynski as saints.

In a ceremony at the Vatican on June 5, Pope Francis canonized Hesselblad, a Swedish nun who sheltered Jews in her convent in Rome during World War II.

“She saved our lives, but above all, in those dark times, she recognized the dignity of our religion,” said 87-year-old Piero Piperno, one of the Jews that Hesselblad saved.

Hesselblad died in Rome in April 1957. She was beatified by Pope John Paul II in 2000. In 2004, Israel’s Yad Vashem recognized her as one of the Righteous Among the Nations.

In 2015, the Raoul Wallenberg Foundation declared the convent where she served as mother superior a “House of Life.”

Based on reporting by, Rome Reports, and Vatican Radio