Photo: Funeral of French Priest Killed by Jihadis
The coffin bearing the body of Fr. Jacques Hamel, the 86-year-old priest slain after (or perhaps while) saying morning Mass in a Normandy church in July, makes its way to Rouen’s cathedral. Religious leaders of several faiths and French dignitaries attended the packed funeral Mass and many more watched the liturgy on a giant screen set up outside. In his homily, Bishop Dominique Lebrun said that Fr. Hamel said, “Begone, Satan!” after being stabbed by the two teen jihadis who claimed to act for Islamic State. It was the first IS attack against a non-secular target in Europe.
Bishop Lebrun ended his homily with a prayer and invited all present to return to the Church, “especially if you do not come often to the church, if you have forgotten the way.”
I extend a simple appeal, to make a first step, one as simple as the life of Father Jacques Hamel: In tribute to Father Hamel, we invite you to visit a church in the coming days:
to make it plain that you refuse to allow defilement in the holy places,
to affirm that violence will not take root in your heart
to ask for God’s graces,
to please light a candle in the church, a sign of resurrection; to collect yourself and open your heart in what is most profound; to pray, if you can.
To make a supplication.
On August 15, the Feast of the Assumption, is an auspicious day. The Virgin Mary will come to you in churches with all her tenderness. Go, pray with all of your heart on the 15th of August. Let us remember our Mother and pray:
O Lady, God is not insensitive to the plight of your children who look to you!
God, bring to fulfillment in our hearts what your Son Jesus has begun!
God, thank you for your son Jacques: console his family and raise up among us, among the World Youth Day participants, new prophets of your love!
The Virgin Mary, Our Lady of the Assumption, is the patron saint of France.
Translation courtesy Aleteia. For their translation of Bishop Lebrun’s complete homily, click here.
Photo by AP (no ownership implied), courtesy FirstPost; for more photosof the funearl click here.
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