Palestinians in Rome over the weekend cheered the Vatican's announcement of two new Palestinian saints -- including one woman who worked as a maid in Beirut before becoming a nun.

These are the first modern-day Palestinians in Church history to be canonized.

(Photo courtesy of the Latin Patriarchate of Jerusalem Group)

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas came to Rome for the announcement and received a medal from the Pope. The Holy See declared Abbas to also be an "angel of peace."

The canonization comes just days after the Vatican finalized its recognition of Palestinian statehood, and appears to be part of a larger trend of the Pope's reaching out to Palestinians.

Just last year Pope Francis traveled to the Holy Land, where he famously stopped to pray at the wall separating off the West Bank.

(Image via The Telegraph)

The saints, Sister Mariam (Mary) Bawardi and Sister Mary Alphonsine Danil Ghattas, were both born in Ottoman-era Palestine.

Bawardi was born in Galilee in 1843 to a poor family. Orphaned at a young age, she traveled around the region and worked as a maid in various cities, including Beirut.

Later on she became a Carmelite nun. She traveled as a missionary to India before returning to Palestine, where she helped found the first Carmelite order in Jerusalem. During her life she received stigmata -- or wounds on her hands and feet like those of Jesus, and also experienced recurring periods of religious ecstasy and prophetic visions.

Ghattas was born in Jerusalem in 1847. She is the founder of the first women's congregation in Palestine, the Dominican Sisters of the Holy Rosary of Jerusalem.

Local blogger Habib Battah pointed out in the Beirut Report that several prominent news reports erroneously reported the nuns were the first Arabic-speaking saints. In fact, there are many Lebanese Arabic speaking saints including Saint Rafqa and Saint Charbel.

Editor's Note: An earlier version of this article incorrectly referred to Saint Rafqa as Saint Rita. [Correction made at 4:56 p.m. on May 19, 2015]

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Thanks Eliane - fixed!

Angie Nassar on May 19, 2015 via web
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I'm sure you meant to say St. Rafqa instead of Rita!

Eliane Haykal on May 19, 2015 via web