Nineteen monks, nuns and other Catholics who had been killed at some stage in Algeria's civil warfare have been beatified on Saturday, in the first step closer to becoming a Roman Catholic saint.

The ceremony, in Algeria's second town, Oran, changed into performed through Italian Cardinal Angelo Becciu on behalf of Pope Francis.

all through a provider attended with the aid of 1,200 humans, inclusive of pilgrims, spouse and children, and friends of the beatified, Becciu examine the reputable decree mentioning that the 19 women and men might "any more be referred to as blessed."

In a message study at some stage in the rite via Becciu, Francis mentioned his hope that "this birthday party allows to heal the wounds of the beyond and create a new dynamic of assembly and living collectively".

"We accept as true with that this unparalleled occasion for your u . S . A . Will draw a amazing sign of fraternity in the Algerian sky to the whole world," the pope wrote in a greeting.

the 19 Catholic clergy had been killed between 1994 and 1996 as Algeria changed into within the grips of a decade-long civil battle between authorities forces and Islamists that left as much as 2 hundred,000 human beings dead.

Trappist clergymen the various blessed

the ones beatified included seven French Trappist priests, who had been abducted from the Notre Dame de l'Atlas monastery in Tibhirine in 1996.

a radical organization turned into blamed for their beheadings, however some observers have counseled Algeria's military became responsible.

Their deaths stimulated a 2010 French movie, Des Hommes et des Dieux, (Of Gods and guys) starring Lambert Wilson and Michael Lonsdale that won the Grand Prix at the Cannes film festival.

Others beatified blanketed former Bishop of Oran Pierre Claverie, who became killed together with his motive force in 1996 when a far off-managed bomb exploded at his house. Eleven other non secular males and females — from France, Spain, Belgium, and Malta, who were gunned down at some point of the battle — were additionally blessed.

The Church diagnosed all 19 as martyrs in January paving the way for the primary event of its kind in a Muslim u . S . A ..

The Algerian president allowed the rite in spite of persisted tensions over the deaths.

local Muslim dignitaries later on Saturday obtained the households of the slain clergy at the Ibn Badis Grand Mosque

mm/aw (AFP, AP, DPA)