In 1481 a massive Ottoman fleet landed in Otranto, a town located in the southern heel of the Italian peninsula. An enormous number of the towns population was put to the sword by the Muslim invaders. Noteworthy among a long list of atrocities committed by the Turks: the archbishop and bishop were killed, the latter sawed in half, 800 citizens who refused to convert to Islam were led to a hill and summarily beheaded while others were shackled and sold into slavery. In all, some 12,000 Italians were killed. A worried Pope Sixtus IV called for a crusade and, were it not for the combined forces of King Ferdinand I of Naples, France and Hungary, not to mention the unexpected death of the seemingly invulnerable Sultan (some would rightly call his demise an act of divine providence), Rome might have finally fallen to the armies of Islam.
The remains of the martyrs were collected by pious souls and, today, they repose in the Church of Saint Caterina in Otranto.
I'm proud that my Guinea ancestors Wopped them good! As a Napolitan I can say I'm ready to defend the world against this weenies!