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A nun who was a staunch advocate for Hispanics and American Indians and who faced down none other than Billy The Kid is being considered for sainthood. The Vatican has given the Archdiocese of Santa Fe permission to open the cause of beatification and canonization for Sister Blandina Segale."Her impact on our secular world continues," said Allen Sanchez of CHI St. Joseph's Children Hospital in Albuquerque, one of the hospitals and schools Sister Segale helped found across the Southwest. The nun's experiences as an immigrant working with the poor were more relevant than ever in today's New Mexico, Sanchez said. Sister Segale's resolve to defend her mission against some of the most notorious outlaws in American history was revealed in letters she wrote that were published as a book, "At the End of the Santa Fe Trail." Sister Segale's adventures were portrayed on tv in the program "Death Valley Days," in an episode called "The fastest nun in the West."

This undated photo provided by the Palace of the Governors shows Sister Blandina Segale, who co-founded the first hospitals and schools in New Mexico and reportedly challenged Billy the Kid. The Archdiocese of Santa Fe is exploring sainthood for the Italian-born nun for her work with the poor, immigrants and Hispanics and Native Americans during the frontier days.AP