One year later, is Fr. Jacques Hamel a saint?
Tomorrow, July 26, is one year after the brutal murder of Fr. Jacques Hamel by ISIS-affiliated terrorists in France. The bishops of France are remembering him today. Reflecting on his passing, millions are asking, is he a saint?
Is Fr. Jacques Hamel a saint?
LOS ANGELES, CA (California Network) -- "Above all, a man among men," Archbishop Georges Pontier of Marseille wrote in a statement, quoting Roseline, Fr. Jacques Hamel's sister.
"It was this man among men who was killed. It was this man among men, this priest, that has become a symbol of a life lived with each other, for each other, a life of daily fidelity, a life rooted in the love of the One who has made each one of us out of love: Christ. Such a life becomes a model and an encouragement for all."
Fr. Jacques Hamel, 85, was filling in as a substitute, celebrating Mass at a church in Saint-Etienne-du-Rouvray, Normandy. He was set upon by a pair of 19-year-old terrorists who attacked the church with knives. His throat was cut. Others in the church fled and called for help. When police arrived, the terrorists charged them and were shot dead.
A special Mass is being held for Fr. Jacques at the church where he died.
It is obvious that Fr. Jacques is a martyr for the faith, having been killed for being a follower of Christ, while practicing his vocation. There can be virtually no question with regards to the repose of his soul with the Lord.
Despite the obvious circumstances, the Church has not yet declared Fr. Jacques to be a saint.
Regardless of what the Church says, it is God who makes saints, and the Church merely recognizes them. With regard to Fr. Jacques, we believe with happiness that he has found peace and love, and joy in communion with God.
The official process of canonization by the Church can take years to decades, and in some cases, even centuries.
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