The occasional, often ill-considered thoughts of a Roman Catholic permanent deacon who is ever grateful to God for his existence. Despite the strangeness we encounter in this life, all the suffering we witness and endure, being is good, so good I am sometimes unable to contain my joy. Deo gratias!

Friday, September 16, 2016

Fr. Jacques Hamel, Martyr

Fr. Jacques Hamel was the 85-year-old French priest who was murdered by Islamist terrorists while he celebrated Mass in his church in the town of Saint-Étienne-du-Rouvray, a suburb of Rouen. ISIS quickly claimed responsibility for the priest's brutal death. 

In a homily at his residence's chapel this week, Pope Francis said that he expected Fr. Hamel to be canonized. The pope went on to refer to Fr. Hamel as a martyr and also repeated the slain priests final words, "Satan, begone!" Emphasizing this, Pope Francis then stated that "To kill in the name of God is satanic."
Fr. Jacques Hamel
Pope Francis continued by reminding his small congregation that martyrdom was and remains a very real part of the Church's 2,000-yearlong history. Father Hamel was the most recent in this long line of martyrs, and that today Christians in many parts of the world are "murdered, tortured, imprisoned, have their throats slit because they do not deny Jesus Christ."

The following video from Rome Reports describes the Holy Father's homily at the Santa Marta guesthouse chapel:

Interestingly, Fr. Hamel's Breviary, open to the last page he had prayed from that day, will be placed in the Basilica of St. Bartholomew where it will join the relics of other martyrs who gave their lives for the faith. In agreeing to this, the Archbishop of Rouen, Msgr. Dominique Lebrun, stated:
"I must confess that when they proposed the idea for the first time, I thought it was too soon, we should have done it later. But after listening to the pope, I saw that I was wrong. The pope was faster than me. I am very happy for this opportunity to state that Fr. Jacques is one among the many martyrs of the Church."
Here's another brief video, also from Rome Reports, describing this unique event:

Pray for the persecuted Christians of the world, and pray for the conversion of their persecutors.

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