French priest’s martyrdom a life-changing event, archbishop says
The martyrdom of a French priest killed a year ago while celebrating Mass was an event that “has transformed me as a bishop,” Archbishop Dominique Lebrun of Rouen said.
Fr Jacques Hamel’s life – “simple and exemplary – questions me as a pastor and shepherd on how to consider the life of priests, on what I expect from them in terms of efficiency. I must tirelessly convert, to pass from this request for efficiency to admiration for their fruitfulness,” the archbishop said in an interview with the Vatican newspaper, L’Osservatore Romano.
Fr Hamel was murdered on 26th July 2016, when two men claiming allegiance to Daesh stormed his parish church in Saint-Etienne-du-Rouvray near Rouen.
After taking several hostages, the attackers slit Fr Hamel’s throat and seriously injured another parishioner. Witnesses say that in his final moments, the beloved 85-year-old parish priest tried to push away his attackers with his feet, saying “go away, Satan.”
Following a standoff, police killed the attackers, ending the hostage situation.
Picture: A photo of Fr Jacques Hamel is seen among flowers at a makeshift memorial in Saint-Etienne-du-Rouvray, near Rouen, France, on 27th July 2016. (CNS photo/Ian Langsdon, EPA).Tags: Archbishop Dominique Lebrun, Daesh, Fr Hamel, Fr Jacques Hamel, L'Osservatore Romano, martyrdom, Rouen, Saint-Etienne-du-Rouvray