Two Catholic priests martyred under the Ottoman Empire were beatified on June 4 in Lebanon. Cardinal Marcello Semeraro, the prefect of the Dicastery for the Causes of Saints, presided over the beatification mass at Convent of the Cross, Beirut.
The Capuchin fathers, Fr. Leonard Melki and Fr. Thomas Saleh, were arrested, tortured and persecuted in Turkey, in the years 1915 and 1917, respectively. Being given a choice to convert to Islam and live freely, Fr. Leonard chose to stay a Christian and die. On the other hand, Fr. Thomas was arrested and sentenced to death for giving shelter to an Armenian priest during the Armenian genocide.
Pope Francis had recognized the martyrdom of these priests in October 2020. Fr. Leonard and Fr. Thomas will be remembered on June 10, liturgically.
(Image Source: Vatican News)