Father Jacques Hamel’s last words before two Islamic State terrorists slit his throat, after forcing him to his knees before the altar where he had been saying morning Mass, were “Go away, Satan!”
And as the 85-year-old priest tried to push the attackers away with his feet, he repeated again, “Begone, Satan!” recounted the archbishop of Rouen during his homily for Father Hamel’s two-hour funeral Mass on Tuesday.
Father George W. Rutler, one of the most brilliant essayist in contemporary writing—the general public has no idea how great a thinker and essayist this good priest is—commented on Fr. Hamel’s slaying:
The slaying of Father Jacques Hamel at the altar of the church of Saint Etienne-de Rouvray in Normandy should be the envy of every priest: to die at Mass, the holiest hour of the world.
If you’ve never read a Fr. Butler essay, you can read that essay, “Tolerating Terror,” at Crises Magazine, here.
Father Hamel, priest and martyr, pray for us and for this world from which you have been so rudely removed.