A French man who survived the terrorist attack on the church of St. Etienne du Rouvray has described the killing of Father Jacques Hamel.
Guy Coponet, a layman who was attending Mass on the day of the attack, told Famille Chretienne that he had been forced by the Islamic terrorists to hold a video camera, recording the murder, so that they might post the video on the internet. “I had to film my friend Father Jacques’ murder!” said Coponet. “I can’t get over it.”
Father Hamel resisted the attack, but Coponet said that he was convinced the priest did not condemn his killers. On the contrary, he said, Father Hamels appeared clearly to believe that his assailants were in the grip of some demonic power. As he fell, he said: “Begone, Satan!”
Coponet himself was stabbed in the neck by the terrorists after Father Hamels died, and barely survived.
The church of St. Etienne du Rouvray, which has been closed since the crime, will reopen on Sunday.
At the conclusion of his September 28 general audience, Pope Francis called upon pilgrims gathered in St. Peter’s Square to seek the intercession of the archangels.
“In tomorrow’s liturgy we celebrate the feast of the archangels Michael, Gabriel and Raphael,” he said. “They are ministering spirits sent out to serve for the sake of those who are to inherit salvation.”
“We should be aware of their invisible presence,” he added. “Let us invoke them in prayer so that in every moment they remind us of the presence of God, supporting us in the struggle against evil and leading us safely on the roads of our life.”
The Vatican has announced the prayer intentions of Pope Francis for October 2016.
The Holy Father’s general intention is: “That journalists, in carrying out their work, may always be motivated by respect for truth and a strong sense of ethics.”
His missionary intention is: “That World Mission Day may renew within all Christian communities the joy of the Gospel and the responsibility to announce it.”