A 51-year-old man, covering himself with gasoline, set himself on fire this morning in St. Peter’s Square. No motive is known for the self-immolation.
According to Vatican spokesman, Fr. Federico Lombardi, the first person on the scene was a Jesuit priest who immediately tried to put out the flames with his jacket. Two police officers then came and put out the flames with a fire extinguisher.
The man was taken immediately to Santo Spirito hospital near the Vatican but was later transferred St. Eugenio hospital to be treated for severe burns. The two police officers were also treated for smoke inhalation and burns on their hands.
Fr. Lombardi said that while no motive has been determined, a paper with the phone number of the man’s daughter was found with him.
He added that Italian police will investigate the reasons for the man’s actions. (J.A.E.)