VATICAN CITY — The Vatican has chosen the first Pakistani as a candidate for sainthood.
Twenty-year-old Akash Bashir won this honor for his courage and bravery. He stopped a suicide bomber from entering a church in Lahore in 2015 and saved countless lives by sacrificing his own.
Bashir was a resident of Youhanabad, a densely populated Christian district of Lahore. He volunteered as a security guard at St John’s Catholic Church in his neighborhood when suicide bombers targeted St John’s and Christ Church on March 15, 2015, killing at least 14 worshipers attending prayers of Sunday. Bashir stopped one of the bombers and he blew himself up at the church door. Bashir’s bravery saved many lives.
The Vatican conferred on him the title of “Servant of God”, which means that he is now a candidate for sainthood in the Catholic Church.
According to Vatican News, he is the first Pakistani to be nominated for this honor.
Akash Bashir has become Pakistan’s first official candidate for sainthood. He died a martyr while trying to stop a suicide bomber from entering a crowded Catholic church in 2015.https://t.co/M2JbhLNO35
— Vatican News (@VaticanNews) February 1, 2022
Sebastian Francis Shaw, the Archbishop of Lahore, said Bashir was among those who came forward after police asked churches to hire community volunteers for protection.
Bashir was a student at the Don Bosco Technical Institute. His mother Naz Bano says: “I had asked him not to volunteer as a guard. I told him how worried I was after the attack on a church in Peshawar. He used to say, ‘Wouldn’t you like it if I defended a house of God?’ “.