From 1973-1981 in Algiers he ran an institute for the studies of classical Arabic and Islam. It was originally intended to educate religious men and women serving as missionaries in Algeria, but in the end was attended by many Muslims desiring to know their culture and to learn Arabic, since French had been the language of colonization.
Claverie facilitated inter-religious dialogue between Muslims and Christians, a dream of his being to someday establish true dialogue between people of different faiths.
In 1981 he was appointed the bishop of Oran. There he created libraries, rehabilitation centers for the handicapped, and educational centers for women.
The Algerian Civil War broke out in 1992, threatening the small Catholic Church in the country. Some Church leaders in Europe encouraged priests and bishops to leave the country for safety, but Claverie was opposed to it, considering himself an Algerian, though he was never able to get citizenship.
Finding it important to participate in public life, he even publicly criticized the two main opposing forces in the civil war, the Islamic Salvation Front and the Algerian government.
He was assassinated on Aug. 1, 1996 along with his driver and friend Mohamed Bouchikhi, from a bomb explosion that destroyed the entrance to the chancery as they were entering the building. At his funeral, Muslim mourners described him as "the bishop of the Muslims."
His cause for canonization, along with 18 other religious men and women killed from 1994-1996 in Algeria, was opened in 2006. Now, Pope Francis' recognition of their martyrdom has paved the way for their beatification.
A miracle attributed to the intercession of Nazaria Ignacia March Mesa (Nazaria Ignacia of St. Teresa of Jesus), the founder of the Congregation of Sisters the Misioneras Cruzadas de la Iglesia (1889-1943), was also approved Jan. 27, paving the way for her beatification.
Miracles were also approved for the founders of two religious orders, allowing for their beatification: Clelia Merloni, founder of the Institute of the Apostles of the Sacred Heart of Jesus (1861-1930); and Maria Crocefissa of Divine Love (Maria Gargani), founder of the Apostles of the Sacred Heart (1892-1973).
The heroic virtue of 'Servants of God' Ambrosio Grittani, diocesan priest and founder of the Oblates of St. Benedict Joseph Labre (1907-1951); and Anna-Maria Maddalena Delbrêl, laywoman (1904-1965), were also approved.
Correction: This article originally said Clelia Merloni and Maria Crocefissa were delcared Venerable in today's announcement. In fact, they were already Venerable, and had miracles approved in today's announcement.
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