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Italian nun murdered in Somalia to be beatified in Italy

An Italian Consolata sister murdered in Somalia in 2006 will be beatified in Piacenza, Italy, on 26th May.

Sr Leonella Sgorbati and her bodyguard were gunned down as they left the children’s hospital where she worked in Mogadishu.

Cardinal Angelo Amato, prefect of the Congregation for Saints’ Causes, will be the main celebrant at the beatification Mass in the Piacenza cathedral.

Sr Leonella’s death in September 2006 came amid rising tensions in the Muslim world over a speech then-Pope Benedict XVI had given in Regensburg, Germany, quoting a Christian emperor’s criticism of Islam.

However, most Muslim leaders in Somalia condemned the killing, emphasising that Sr Leonella was dedicating her efforts to the Somali people. She was 65 at the time, had worked in Africa for 35 years and had been in Somalia since 2001.

Picture: St John Paul II presents a gift to Consolata Sr Leonella Sgorbati in Milan, Italy, in this undated photo. Sr Leonella, who was murdered in Somalia in 2006, will be beatified in Piacenza, Italy, on 26th May. (CNS photo/PH Emmevi, EPA).