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SHREVEPORT, La. — The Vatican is considering sainthood for five French priests who traveled to north Louisiana in the late 1800s to help a population suffering from yellow fever.

KTBS-TV reports that the priests — Isidore Quemerais, Jean Pierre, Jean Marie Biler, Louis Gergaud and Francois Le Vezouet — headed to Shreveport in 1873, when nearly 30% of the city's population had the disease.

The priests' decision would cost them their lives. All five contracted yellow fever just days apart, and they died in September and October of 1873.

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