Pope Francis launches sainthood case for three Argentine priests with Irish connections

St Patrick’s church in Buenos Aires, Argentina. In what became known as the San Patricio Massacre, gunmen believed to be from a military unit stormed into the church after midnight on July 4, 1976, a

"We talked a lot about the situation in the country and they all had different opinions; they weren't killed because of their ideology or politics but because they preached the gospel of life in a time when life was being threatened.”

Sainthood would be "a just response" to their deaths.

According to Pallottines.ie, “They shot them in the back with machine guns and other weapons.  They fell, face down. The murderers kept firing. Some of the victims received more than seventy bullet wounds as they breathed their last.”

In 2005 Bergoglio approved the sainthood investigation. He said “I am a witness, because I was with Alfie in his spiritual guidance, in his confession, until his death. He only thought of God. And I name him because I am a witness to his heart, and when I mention him I mention all of them.”

Three three priest will be classed as martyrs. Ordinarily to become a saint there must be proof of two miracles, however dying for one’s faith counts as one. Eventually it will be a Vatican tribune and the Pope himself who makes the decision on their fate.