A priest who was reported missing last week from his parish in Edinburgh, Scotland was found dead on a nearby beach Friday afternoon.
Father Martin Xavier Vazhachira, 33, was a native of India and was studying for a postgraduate degree in Edinburgh University while serving at St. John The Baptist Catholic Church in Corstorphine.
The priest was last seen at the parish on Tuesday afternoon, June 20.
When he did not show up for morning Mass on Wednesday, his parishioners alerted the authorities.
His body was found on a beach in Dunbar, about 30 miles from the parish, on June 23. Authorities have confirmed that his family in India was contacted about his death.
The cause of his disappearance and death is yet unknown.
Father Vazhachira was a native of Kerala in southern India and was ordained a priest in 2013 for the Carmelites of Mary Immaculate Order. He moved to Scotland in 2016, where he served in several local parishes before his appointment to Corstorphine in October 2016.
“The news of Father Martin Xavier’s death comes as a great shock and a great sadness to all those who knew him and loved him,” Archbishop Leo Cushley of St Andrews and Edinburgh said in a statement on June 24.
“Our thoughts and, more importantly, our prayers are with him and with all his loved ones in both Scotland and India. May he rest in peace.”