December 19, 2013 1:02 pm -

It’s unknown why the 52-year-old man set himself ablaze in St. Peter’s Square.

The man entered the square with a bottle of petrol early in the morning, doused himself, and lit a flame.

A Jesuit priest passing by tried to put out the flames with his cape before police arrived with a fire extinguisher. Two policemen suffered slight burns to the hands and smoke inhalation.

The man, who was taken to hospital with serious burns on his torso, was carrying a note with his daughter’s phone number on it.