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AP Photo/Andrew Medichini
World News

'Gaucho priest' named a saint by Pope Francis

by Antony Bushfield

Jose Gabriel del Rosario Brochero was nicknamed the "gaucho priest" because he wore a poncho as he took the animal across the vast country.

Born in 1849 in the province of Cordoba, Brochero was one of the most famous Catholics in the Argentina of Francis' youth.

AP Photo/Andrew Medichini

He died in 1914 after living for years with leprosy that he was said to have contracted from one of his faithful.

He was canonised on Sunday along with six others in one of the final big Masses of Pope Francis' Holy Year of Mercy.

Francis, history's first Argentine pope, moved Brochero closer to sainthood soon after being elected pope in 2013.

Two Italians, two French, a Spaniard and a young Mexican martyr were also named saints.

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