Europe

Pope Francis speaks of Christian woman killed for her faith

Pope Francis, center, is flanked by Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew I, spiritual leader of the world’s Orthodox Christians, left, and Archbishop of Athens and All Greece Ieronymos II as they meet  refugees at the Moria camp, on the Greek island of Lesbos, Saturday, April 16, 2016. Pope Francis travelled Saturday to Greece for a brief but provocative visit to meet with refugees at a detention center as the European Union implements a controversial plan to deport them back to Turkey. (Filippo Monteforte/Pool Photo via AP)

Pope Francis, center, is flanked by Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew I, spiritual leader of the world’s Orthodox Christians, left, and Archbishop of Athens and All Greece Ieronymos II as they meet refugees at the Moria camp, on the Greek island of Lesbos, Saturday, April 16, 2016. Pope Francis travelled Saturday to Greece for a brief but provocative visit to meet with refugees at a detention center as the European Union implements a controversial plan to deport them back to Turkey. (Filippo Monteforte/Pool Photo via AP)  (The Associated Press)

Pope Francis says one of the refugees he met on the Greek island of Lesbos was the Muslim widower of a Syrian Christian woman killed by extremists for refusing to renounce her faith.

Francis told the faithful in St. Peter's Square on Sunday that "she is a martyr."

Departing from his prepared remarks, Francis shared his experiences of the day earlier with thousands of people gathered for his blessing. He says among the 300 refugees he greeted Saturday on Lesbos was a Syrian widower with two children.

The pope said: "He is Muslim, and he told me that he married a Christian girl. They loved each other and respected each other. But unfortunately the young woman's throat was slashed by terrorists because she didn't want to deny Christ and abandon her faith."