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7 notable Latin American Christians: saints, a pope, an evangelist

Pope Francis
Pope Francis talks as he leads the weekly audience in Saint Peter's Square at the Vatican. |

Hispanic Heritage Month is a celebration in the United States that honors the contributions of Americans who trace their origins back to Latin America and other Spanish-speaking regions.

The observance begins on Sept. 15, the anniversary of when Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua gained independence from the Spanish Empire, and ends on Oct. 15.

Throughout the centuries, Latin America has been the birthplace of large numbers of Christians, some of whom have received international renown and exerted broad influence on churches.

In honor of Hispanic Heritage Month, here are seven notable Latin American Christians. They include a few Catholic saints, a prominent theologian, an accomplished evangelist, and the current pope.

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