Tags: ISIS/Islamic State | Religion | normandy | priest | throat slit | isis | jacques hamel

Slain French Priest Remembered, Honored

Slain French Priest Remembered, Honored
Flowers, candles and messages are placed at the home of Father Jacques Hamel after he was killed during an attack in a church in Saint-Etienne-du-Rouvray, France, on July 26, 2016. (AP Photo/Francois Mori)

By    |   Tuesday, 26 July 2016 06:19 PM

The Rev. Jacques Hamel — a Catholic cleric whose throat was slit while saying Mass in a barbaric attack for which ISIS claimed responsibility — was a selfless, grandfatherly priest "loved by all" in his small-town parish in France.

The 85-year-old priest, though a decade past retirement age, chose to continue tending to parishioners in the working-class town of St.-√Čtienne-du-Rouvray, the Rev. August Moanda-Phuati tells the New York Times

"Seeing how few priests were around he decided to stay and work, to continue to be of service to people, up until it all ended, tragically," he tells the newspaper. "He was loved by all. He was a little like a grandfather. We were happy when he was around and worried when we hadn’t seen him in a while."

The town's mayor, Hubert Wulfranc, broke down in tears after meeting with France's President Francois Hollande and other officials, the Times reports.

"A brutal act of barbarism has taken away our priest and gravely wounded a parishioner," he said. "I told the president of the republic that it was absolutely necessary that this doesn’t happen again. Let us be the last to cry."

"He was joyous, sometimes anxious, like those who want everything to be done well," the Rev. Philippe Maheut, vicar general of the archdiocese of Rouen, tells the Times.

"He was a humble, gentle person. He came here to be of service. What really impressed people was that, at that age, he still had the will to serve. He was fully engaged with the community, and very much appreciated. People appreciated his humility."

In the United States, there was outrage at the attack and mourning for the "martyr" priest.

Florida Sen. Marco Rubio called the priest a "true Christian martyr,"


and Franklin Graham asked for prayers.


Arkansas Republican Sen. Tom Cotton called the attack "the face of evil." 

"To invade a sanctuary open to all — a place of worship and refuge — to kill and terrorize innocent people who devoted their lives to the teachings of Christ lays bare the barbarism of radical jihadism. I am outraged for the families of the victims, for our ally France, for the Catholic Church, and for humanity," he said.

Catholic League president Bill Donohue, in New York called the attackers "Muslim madmen" in a post on the Catholic League's website.

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The Rev. Jacques Hamel - a Catholic cleric whose throat was slit while saying Mass in a barbaric attack for which ISIS claimed responsibility - was a selfless, grandfatherly priest "loved by all" in his small-town parish in France.
normandy, priest, throat slit, isis, jacques hamel
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2016-19-26
Tuesday, 26 July 2016 06:19 PM
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