Italian President Sergio Mattarella on Wednesday posthumously awarded the gold medal for civil merit to Roberto Malgesini. The priest was known for helping migrants and homeless people. He was stabbed to death in front of his home last month.
Father Roberto Malgesini had dedicated his life to helping poor and homeless people -- many of them migrants -- in Como, northern Italy. He was killed in front of his home last month.
"With generous and tireless self-sacrifice he always gave of himself as an authentic interpreter of the values of human solidarity," a statement announcing that Magelsini would be awarded the gold medal for civil merit said.
Italian president Mattarella also posthumously awarded a gold medal for civil merit to Willy Monteiro Duarte, 21, an Italian citizen originally from Cape Verde. Duarte was beaten to death on the night between September 5 and 6 after he intervened in a fight to defend a friend and to stop the fight.
Mattarella said he wanted to award the medals shortly after the killings to honor the two men and their exemplary lives.
The killing of Father Roberto
The killing of Malgesini on September 15 shook Italians and migrants in Italy alike. Father Roberto was stabbed to death in front of his home next to his church in Como.
A 53-year-old Tunisian man initially confessed to the murder. However, days later in court, he retracted his confession and said he wasn't responsible for the murder.
The man allegedly has "psychological problems", according to the diocese, even though he hasn't been formally diagnosed with any mental health disorder.
Father Roberto had known the man for some time and had helped him on numerous occassions.