Much publicity is being given to the Pope canonizing two “Palestinian” nuns.
New Hope for the sons and daughters of Palestine, Jordan and the Middle East: Pope Francis will announce next Sunday the canonization of four nuns. Two of them are Palestinians, namely Marie-Alphonsine, founder of Palestine’s first congregation, the Sisters of the Most Holy Rosary of Jerusalem, and Mariam of Jesus Crucified Baouardy, the founder of Carmelite Convents in Bethlehem and India.
PopeWatch found the designation Palestinian interesting, because in all likelihood the nuns during their lives never thought of themselves as Palestinians. When they lived in the mid-nineteenth century and late nineteenth to early twentieth century, the Arabs usually referred to the region as South Syria and themselves as Arabs. The term Palestinian was usually restricted to the Jewish settlers in the Holy Land, up to the creation of Israel in 1948, In the movie Exodus, 1960, a highly romantic look at the creation of Israel in 1948, the Jews are referred to as Palestinians and the Arab inhabitants are referred to as Arabs. A Palestinian nationality consisting of the Arab inhabitants of Israel, the West Bank and Gaza is purely a creation post 1967 when Israel conquered Gaza and the West Bank. Attempting to “read back” the nationality to prior times is historically illiterate.