Catholics call for opening of canonization cause for sacristan slain by jihadist in Spain

By Nicolás de Cárdenas

ACI Prensa Staff, Nov 21, 2023 / 19:00 pm
The Diocese of Cádiz and Ceuta in southern Spain has begun to receive requests from Catholics asking the diocese to promote the canonization process of Diego Valencia, the sacristan who was murdered by a Muslim extremist last January.
Valencia was fatally wounded on Jan. 25 after being struck with a machete wielded by Yassinne Kanjaa, a Moroccan national. The jihadist entered the Church of Our Lady of La Palma in Algeciras and proceeded to strike statues, candles, and other objects with the machete. 
Valencia, 65, who had been serving as a chaplain for 16 years, confronted the assailant, who was wearing a black djellaba (typical Moroccan dress).  After being struck by Kanjaa with what one witness called “a large blue machete” and others described as a “knife” or “a kind of katana,” a curved Japanese sword, the sacristan fled outside the church, where the jihadist caught up with him, finishing him off with his long blade.
According to the association Enraizados en Cristo y la Sociedad (Rooted in Christ and Society), which has launched the effort to start the canonization process, the pastor of the church, Father Juan José Marina, has already asked the bishop of Cádiz and Ceuta, Rafael Zornoza, to begin the process to open the diocesan phase of the canonization process.

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