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The Swedish Nun Who Saved Jews from the Nazis

Mary Elizabeth Hesselblad, Swedish nun canonized for saving Jewish families from the Nazis (Photo: Yad Vashem)

This week's Advocate and Ally of the Jewish people was a Swedish nun whose actions saved Jewish families during the Holocaust. The Jerusalem Post reports that Mary Elizabeth Hesselblad was canonized this weekend, having already been honored by Yad Vashem more than a decade ago:

A Swedish nun who saved Jewish families from the Nazis during the Holocaust was made a saint.

Mary Elizabeth Hesselblad was canonized on Sunday by Pope Francis during a ceremony at St. Peter’s Square in the Vatican. She becomes the first Swedish saint in more than 600 years.

Hesselblad converted to Catholicism after being born a Lutheran. She saved at least 12 Jews during the Holocaust, hiding them in the convent in Rome where she served as mother superior. The Jews remained hidden for about six months, until the end of the war.

She was recognized as a Righteous Among the Nations by Israel’s Yad Vashem in 2004.

Hesselblad died in Rome in 1957 at 87.

Read more about her actions at Yad Vashem's website.

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