Remembering Father Jacques Hamel One Year After ISIS Brutally Murdered Him On The Altar

Remembering Father Jacques Hamel One Year After ISIS Brutally Murdered Him On The Altar

In 2016, 85-year-old

was attacked by armed Islamist extremists while giving Mass at his church in Saint-Etienne-du-Rouvray in Normandy. He and four others were taken hostage. Fr. Hamel had his throat slit.

The death of Fr. Hamel broke hearts in his community and affected many others throughout the world.

“It was this man among men who was killed,” expressed Archbishop Georges Pontier of Marseille in a statement Monday, according to Catholic News Agency. “It was this man among men, this priest, that has become a symbol of a life lived with each other, for each other, a life of daily fidelity, a life rooted in the love of the One who has made each one of us out of love: Christ.”

“Such a life becomes a model and an encouragement for all.”

Fr. Hamel’s death brought many different walks of life together. Muslims in the neighborhood traveled to his church to pay him respect and show their support to the Catholic community during the difficult time.

“It was one of those unthinkable events that leaves one speechless and becomes a great testimony, a lesson for all,” stated Archbishop Pontier. “The Christian community, and far beyond it, French society remembers. We do not want to forget his family, his relatives, the other victims, his parish, bruised in their deep affection and human ties.”

On the day of Fr. Hamel’s death, the Diocese of Rouen will hold a special Mass at Fr. Hamel’s church at the same hour of his death.

Following the Mass, the town will dedicate a stone in his memory and to promote peace and fraternity.

Roseline, Fr. Hamel’s sister, spoke of him as a strong man. “Strong in his faith in Christ, strong in his love for the Gospel and for people, whoever it was, and – I am certain – also for his killers.”

“It’s a great comfort to see how many new encounters, how much solidarity, how much love have been generated by the witness of Jacques,” expressed Roseline. “[I pray] his sacrifice would bring fruits, so that the men and women of our time can find the path to living together in peace.”

The Archbishop evoked the Feast of the Assumption, celebrated on August 15 to be reserved for the French to pray for their country.


Source: CatholicOnline

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