May 24, 7:03 AM EDT

Pope says Romero was killed out of hatred for his faith

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Pope says Romero was killed out of hatred for his faith

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VATICAN CITY (AP) -- Pope Francis urged pilgrims filling St. Peter's Square on Pentecost Sunday to take `'the heroic examples" of a slain El Salvadoran bishop and an Italian nun who worked in Kenya who were beatified this weekend.

Francis stressed that Archbishop Oscar Romero of El Salvador was killed out of hatred of his faith, saying `'he chose to be among his people, especially the poor and the oppressed, even at the price of his life." Romero was assassinated as he celebrated Mass in 1980.

The pope said Irene Sefani served the people of Kenya with `'joy, mercy and tender passion."

Beatification is the first step toward sainthood.

Francis also expressed `'extreme worry and pain" for the plight of thousands of migrants in southeast Asia facing `'great suffering and danger."

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