Sunday, August 7, 2016

52 Saints ~ Week 32 ~ Jacques Hamel

Early on Tuesday morning (26th July) I opened up Facebook and the very first item on my news feed was posted by my friend, Father Anthony, an Australian Dominican priest, notifying us of the terrible news that a priest in France had been murdered while saying Mass.

This murder has affected me deeply.

As I went through my day, needing to do a variety of jobs, my mind kept turning to this priest. I would pray for his soul, and sometimes I would shed a few tears.

I'm writing this, simply to honour his memory. By now, most of us probably know the basic facts of this terrible event. It's not up to me to decide if he is truly a martyr for the Faith – the Church will decide that in time, but I am writing simply from the heart. Whether or not the Church officially ever recognizes him as a Saint, the death of any priest, particularly during Mass (or perhaps shortly after) is a truly shocking thing, especially for Catholics.

I really don't want to say much more about this, for reasons that are hard to define, but I just felt that I should honour his memory and mark the tragic event.

Nobody is obliged to agree with my views on this, but I had, and still have, a strong feeling that the death of this priest is a turning point. I look to see what Divine Providence will do next.

“Precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of his saints.” Ps. 115(116):15  

Louise LaMotte is a friend from Light on Dark Water. Since she lived in Australia at the time we met online, I never thought we would meet in person. I was wrong. She has written here about St. Mary of the CrossSt. Damien of Molokai, and Pope St. Pius X.

If you want to see all of the posts in this series, click HERE.

Since this entry is so short, I asked Louise if it was okay if I added a bit to what she said, and she said that was fine.

When I read about Fr. Hamel's death, my first thought was of a day when I was serving dinner at the shelter that the Missionaries of Charity have in Memphis. There had been 3 of their sisters murdered in the last few days, and a friend who was with me said, "Oh sister, I'm so sorry to hear about your sisters who were killed." Sister looked at us with a radiant smile and said, "We are so happy! More martyrs in heaven."  And what I thought when I heard that priest had been murdered during Mass was what a privilege and joy it would be to die in that manner. 


  1. Apparently his archbishop said on Friday, 10 days after Fr Hamel's funeral, that he was ready to begin preparing the cause of canonization.