Ignacio Echeverria, the “skateboard hero” of the 2017 London Bridge Islamic terrorist attack, is likely to be put forward in an official Catholic Church campaign to become a saint, according to media reports in Spain.
According to the Spanish TV channel Telemadrid, his family have announced that they are working with the church to open a process of canonisation for the former banker, who used his skateboard to save the lives of two people who were being attacked by terrorists.
The path to sainthood was seemingly inspired by the words of Pope Francis, shortly after the London attacks.
The Pope said: “The heroic offering of life, suggested and sustained by charity, expresses a true, complete and exemplary imitation of Christ and, therefore, deserves the admiration that the community of the faithful usually reserves for those who have voluntarily accepted martyrdom of blood or have heroically exercised Christian virtues.”
He added that those who “offer their lives voluntarily and freely for others” were worthy of such consideration.
Echeverria, 39 was a practising Catholic whose faith played a central role in his life, including as a volunteer for Catholic Action.
He moved from Madrid to London to work for HSBC as an analyst.
It was there after work that he found himself in the melee of the terrorist attack and where he attempted to intervene as knife wielding terrorists attacked pedestrians at the Borough Market end of London Bridge.
He became known as the “skateboard hero” after he tried to use his board to fend off the three terrorists during the attack.
He is credited with saving the lives of two people.
Eight people were killed in the attack including the three terrorists.
Echeverría has already been recognised with several posthumous honours for his bravery. In Spain he was awarded the Order of Civil Merit, one of the country’s highest awards.
In the UK he received the George Medal, which is the civil equivalent of the Victoria Cross, which was presented to his parents by the Queen at a ceremony at Buckingham Palace.