Governor of Italy’s Lombardy region has urged the Pope to fast-track the awarding of sainthood to the elderly French priest slain by Islamic State (IS) terrorists on Tuesday.
“Father Jacques Hamel, whose throat was slit so horribly -- like an animal -- by two Islamist terrorists in his church should immediately be made a saint,” tweeted Roberto Maroni, who is Italy’s former Interior Minister.
“A prayer for a martyr of the faith and request to Pope Francis: Make Father Jacques a saint straight away #padrejacquessantosubito,” Maroni wrote on Facebook.
Shortly after his appeal, the hashtag, which translates as “sainthood immediately”, began trending on Twitter.
84-year-old Hamel was allegedly beheaded on Tuesday by two armed men in his church in the Normandy town of Saint-Etienne-du-Rouvray, near Rouen, which was claimed by IS.
In the case of a martyr, only one miracle is needed for sainthood after beatification and a declaration by the Vatican that the person died for the faith.
The regular canonisation process is a lengthy one involving two miracles attributed to the candidate.