June 7, 2022, 11:32 | Updated: June 7, 2022, 11:43
A man who gave his life to defend others during the terrorist attack on London Bridge in 2017 is on his way to holiness.
Religious authorities have approached the family of Ignacio Echeverria for permission to start the process of sanctification, which can only begin five years after the person’s death.
The 39-year-old Spaniard died after being stabbed in the back while hitting the knife man with his skateboard when he attacked people on London Bridge on 3 June 2017.
Echeverría, who became the “skateboard hero” after the attack, was posthumously awarded the Spanish Grand Cross by the Order of Civil Merit and Britain’s George Medal, which was presented to his parents by the Queen.
Supporters have urged him to receive a saint status.
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The movement calling for his canonization was inspired by the pope’s words in the wake of the attack.
Pope Francis then wrote in an apostolic letter: “The heroic sacrifice of life, proposed and supported by charity, expresses a true, complete and exemplary imitation of Christ and therefore deserves the admiration that the community of believers usually reserves for those who volunteer have accepted the blood martyrdom or have heroically exercised Christian virtues “.
He wrote that those who “sacrifice their lives voluntarily and freely for others” were worthy of consideration and a special honor.
Echeverria’s family was contacted by Juan Antonio Martinez Camino, auxiliary bishop of Madrid and general secretary of Spain’s CEE synod, after the letter, according to El Mundo.
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Echeverría, who worked for HSBC in London, was skating in the area on the day of the attacks.
Friends said he saw a knife man attack a police officer before turning to stab a woman.
Echeverría ran towards the assailant and hit with him his skateboard, allowing more people to flee.
He then saw another knife man attack another police officer and run over with his skateboard.
He was stabbed in the back by two other assailants as he tried to help and died of his wounds.