We are deep into a New Age of Christian Martyrdom under the Sword of Islam. How will we respond?
My first reaction to this story, after the initial horror and shock, was to imagine it in a personal context.
My dear friend, Fr Thomas, an Orthodox Christian priest in Pennsylvania, recently concelebrated the Divine Liturgy with his beloved uncle, Fr. Igor, at the latter's home parish. Fr. Igor is 91 years old, and has been faithfully serving his parish for 58 years, the Church for much longer.
Pick the most venerable and faithful priest you know, and imagine he is the martyr, beheaded by a Muslim for his faith in Jesus Christ. Imagine Muslims attacking your church during the Divine Liturgy and taking hostages. Imagine them screaming "ALLAHU AKBAR!" and "DAESH!" as they shoot, stab and assault the faithful in your church.
Recall the horrific atrocities Muslims have committed against Christians and people everywhere: Beslan, Egypt, Libya, Iraq, Syria, France, Belgium, San Bernardino, Chattanooga, Indonesia, Pakistan, Nigeria, Moscow, and so on.
Muslim jihad attacks against Christian churches during the divine services can happen anywhere, anytime, including in America and Canada. God forbid, but they almost certainly will as Islam continues its global advance.
|New Priest-Martyr Fr. Jacques Hamel|
It is clear we are already deep into a new Age of Martyrdom, where Muslims everywhere — with all the ferocity and bloodlust innate to Islam — are ever more emboldened to slaughter the followers of Jesus Christ.
In their jihad, Muslims act in precise conformity with the commands of the Koran and the example of Muhammad. The more devout and observant Muslims become, the greater the acceleration of the jihad, and the more Christian martyrs will be added to the "great cloud of witnesses."
The beheading of Christians is a divine command Allah has given to Muslims: “When you meet the unbelievers, strike the necks” (Koran 47:4).
Significantly, the beheading of Christians is given us as a sign of the Lord's Return:
Then I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded for their witness to Jesus and for the word of God, who had not worshiped the beast or his image, and had not received his mark on their foreheads or on their hands. (REV 20:4)
This new Age of Martyrdom is a sign allowed by the True God to shock us and urge us to repent. Let us flee to our churches! Let us fast and pray in obedience to the teachings of the Church! Let us cling to Jesus, the author and finisher of our Faith! Following His holy example from the Cross, let us forgive our enemies and pray for them to repent!
Let us prepare ourselves to be faithful witnesses (martyrs) to Jesus Christ, and not be afraid to confess His Holy Name, even unto death!
Memory Eternal to the new Catholic priest-martyr, Fr. Jacques Hamel, whom we believe has received his crown as a faithful witness of Jesus Christ.
- France: Church where priest was beheaded was on jihadi hit list of Catholic churches
- France: Muslim who beheaded priest known to police, wore ankle bracelet to track movements
- France: Muslims who beheaded priest were screaming “Allahu akbar”
- Normandy: Jihadist Mosque Next Door to Beheaded Priest's Church
by Robert Spencer, Jihad Watch, July 26, 2016:
This is way beyond parody, way beyond sarcasm. This is way beyond believable reality.
They were shouting “Daesh” — i.e., “Islamic State” — and wearing Islamic clothing, while slitting a priest’s throat a la Qur’an 47:4 (“When you meet the unbelievers, strike the necks”) and the Telegraph tells us not once, but twice in the space of seven short paragraphs that his motive is unknown?
Can you imagine being a reporter writing in Warsaw on September 1, 1939 that German soldiers were coming across the border in large numbers and killing Polish soldiers, and authorities were searching for their motive — while Polish authorities assured us that their open-borders policy would continue?
What did Fr. Jacques Hamel do? Did he draw Muhammad? How did he provoke the poor dears?
Or maybe they’re coming for all non-Muslims, no matter how desperately the political and ecclesiastical leaders of Europe and North America try to placate them?
“Live / Normandy siege: knifemen ‘shouted Daesh and slit 84-year-old priest’s throat’ after taking nuns hostage in church before being shot dead,” by David Chazan and James Rothwell, Telegraph, July 26, 2016:
Police have shot dead two men who took a priest and several others hostage at knifepoint at a church in north-western France.
The men shouted “Daesh” and cut the priest’s throat before being “neutralised,” police said.
Le Figaro newspaper reported that the priest died after his throat was cut.
The men’s motives are still unknown. Elite police units rushed to the church in the Normandy town of Saint-Etienne-du Rouvray after the men seized a number of people including a priest and two nuns.
It remains unclear whether the hostage takers were killed in the police action.
A police source told AFP that one of the hostages has been killed. Up to six people were being held by the assailants.
The attackers’ motives are unknown and police have arrived at the scene, according to news website Normandie Actu.
The interior minister, Bernard Cazeneuve, is travelling to the church. Police sealed off the church, while ambulances are on the scene.
Priest identified as 84-year-old Father Jacques Hamel
The priest has been named as Father Jacques Hamel, 84, according to Vincent Neymon, a spokesman for the Bishops’ Conference of France….
“Priest, 86, is ‘beheaded’ by two ‘Islamic knifemen’ after taking nuns and worshippers hostage at French church before police shoot them both dead and search building for explosives,” by Peter Allen In France and Julian Robinson, MailOnline, July 26, 2016:
An 86-year-old priest has been ‘beheaded’ by two ‘Islamic’ knifemen who cut his throat after bursting into a French church and taking nuns and worshippers hostage before being shot dead by police.
Five people including the priest, two nuns and two parishioners were held by assailants who raided the church in Saint-Etienne-du-Rouvray, near the city of Rouen in Normandy at 9am.
The clergyman, named as Jacques Hamel, is believed to have been beheaded during the attack while another hostage is fighting for their life in hospital.
The two attackers have been ‘neutralised’ by elite marksmen in a dramatic police operation while the building is being searched for explosives.
At least one of the men was dressed in Islamic clothing, according to French media reports, and an anti-terrorist unit has already taken up the investigation….
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Some additional details from Fox News:
"Priest murdered during Mass in terror attack on Catholic church in France," Fox News, July 26, 2016:
Two knife-wielding attackers who had pledged allegiance to ISIS, shouting "Allahu Akbar," slit the throat of an 84-year-old priest and critically wounded at least one other person during a Tuesday morning terror attack on a Catholic church near the Normandy city of Rouen, officials said.
The terrorists were later shot and killed by police. ISIS' Amaq news agency said the France attack was carried out by two Islamic State "soldiers," Reuters reported...
The priest, identified by Sky News as Jacques Hamel, was dead at the scene, and another person, possibly a nun, was clinging to life, Interior Ministry spokesman Pierre-Henry Brandet said...
The attackers were not immediately identified. Police said the pair entered through the back door of the church and took the priest, two nuns and two parishioners hostage during morning Mass...
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Plus updates via Breitbart News:
"‘Islamic State’ Chanting Attackers ‘Behead’ Priest During Morning Mass In France," Breitbart London, July 26, 2016:
UPDATE 1630 — Arabic sermon given in church before kneeling priest executed France’s Le Figaro reports the eye-witness account of a nun who managed to escape the Normandy church this morning while it was under attack by Islamist killers and raise the alarm. The paper states that one of the “executioners” gave “an Arabic sermon from the altar”, and that deceased Father Jacques Hamel was forced to kneel before the men went for his throat with a knife...