Five years ago today Fr. Jacques Hamel was murdered while celebrating Mass by two Muslim men pledging allegiance to the Islamic State.
The two men came into the Normandy church on July 26, 2016, yelling ““Allahu Akbar!” They the slit the 86-year-old priest’s throat.
Today, Catholics are taking to social media to remember Fr. Hamel, who was said to have said, “Satan, go!” as he struggled with his captors. Many are sharing this icon which celebrates Fr. Hamel as a martyr, as many, including Pope Francis, have called him.
The case for Fr. Hamel’s canonization was opened April 2017. Pope Francis granted an exemption to the five-year waiting period that is normally taken before the canonization process can begin.
In the five years since his brutal murder, Fr. Hamel has come to be an inspiration for many. After serving as a priest for 58 years, he chose to continue in that office even after his retirement in 2005. His life of quiet prayer, service, and unflinching faith are remembered today.