I have found myself really mourning Fr. Hamel. A sweet, kind old priest whom I have never met – yet I still call “Father”.
I have cried real tears today because they killed my gentle old Father.
Father Jacques Hamel was killed in the same manner as his patron, Saint James, on his Feast day. Saint James, one of the twelve Apostles, was martyred by beheading in the year 44.
It is hard to see through the pain of such an event, but today, as I went to the church to pray it started to make sense.
There were a lot of people in the church today. Lots more than usual. And I didn’t recognize them. But they were there to pray. So we all knelt alongside each other, grieving our poor French Father.
I began to wonder how many people all around the world have been moved by his death? How many have visited a church today to pray or light a candle? How many have raised their hearts and minds to God – even just to ask “Why?”. It is still a prayer.
Perhaps the answer to that question lies in the fact that they have begun to talk to God. Perhaps a gentle old priest, beheaded during an ordinary morning Mass is enough to shake people out of their comfort zones and realise that evil is real, God is real, and death comes when we least expect it.
Through his brutal matyrdom, Fr. Hamel continues in death his essential work as a priest – to draw souls to Christ. And this gives his death meaning and purpose, and great glory to God!
Tertullian really was right when he said “The blood of the martyrs is the seed of the Church!”
Rest in peace dear Father. Santo Subito!