When French priest Fr. Jacques Hamel was murdered mid-Mass by two ISIS members, the world was shocked.
“Father Jacques Hamel had his throat slit on the cross, the exact moment he was celebrating the sacrifice of Christ’s cross,” Pope Francis stated during a morning Mass in the chapel of Domus Sanctae Marthae.
According to The Boston Pilot, Pope Francis was joined by Archbishop Dominique Lebrun of Rouen and Father Hamel’s sister, Roselyne Hamel, and 80 pilgrims from the diocese to celebrate a special Mass to honor Father Hamel.
Three women from the diocese asked the Holy Father to sign a photo of Fr. Hamel but Pope Francis had Archbishop Lebrun place it on the alter between two lit candles, where it sat in a place of honor throughout Mass.
“A good man, meek, brotherly and who always sought to make peace, he was murdered as if he were a criminal,” the pontiff stated. “This is the satanic line of persecution.”
The Pope pondered the mystery of Christ aloud, stated Jesus “made himself a martyr for the salvation of men and women.”
“The history of Christian martyrdom” continues from the first centuries until today, when “Christians are murdered, tortured, imprisoned and beheaded because they do not deny Jesus Christ.
“In this history, we arrive to our Father Jacques. He is a part of this chain of martyrs. The Christians, who suffer today –be it prison, in death or by torture — for not denying Jesus Christ, show the very cruelty of this persecution. And this cruelty that asks for apostasy, we can say, is Satanic.”
Pope Francis explained how Fr. Hamel accepted his martyrdom. He described how, in his final moments, Father Hamel “did not lose the lucidity to accuse and clearly say the name of his murderer. He clearly said, ‘Be gone, Satan.’
“This example of courage, as well as the martyrdom of his own life when he gave himself to help others, to help create brotherhood, helps us to go forward without fear.”
Following Pope Francis’ touching Mass, he signed the picture and gave it to the three women who had requested the signature.
Christian Today reported Pope Francis has signaled he is preparing to canonize Fr. Hamel.
Roselyne later told reporters no one blamed Islam for the murders. She simply stated, “God is love” adding the assassins who “killed my brother did so in the name of a god who is not the God of Islam nor the God of Christianity.”
Archbishop Lebrun believes the assassins “acted under the influence of the devil, of Satan.” He recalled Fr. Hamel’s final words after he had already been stabbed and was bent over on the floor.
“Be gone, Satan,” Fr. Hamel had said. Roselyne immediately interpreted these words: “Father Jacques did not believe these young men were the origin of this evil.”
Archbishop Lebrun believes the fear Satan instilled in parishioners cannot overcome the love and peace of God. In fact, he reported “there are more people at Mass now. Jesus never said it was stupid to be afraid. [When he tells his disciples] ‘Do not be afraid,’ he is telling them to acknowledge their fear and overcome it with the strength of faith.”
Try as he might, the devil cannot conquer God’s faithful. When you feel yourself allowing fear to change your life, ask God for strength and demand the enemy’s lies to leave, for they have no place within your heart!