FRANCE – Monument to be unveiled in memory of martyr Fr Hamel
A year after French priest Jacques Hamel was murdered, he is to be remembered at a Mass in the church of Saint Stephen in Sainte-Etienne-du-Rouvray, on the outskirts of the city of Rouen, some 80 kilometres north-west of Paris.
The Archbishop of Rouen, Monsignor Dominique Lebrun, will preside over the memorial Mass, which will be held at 9:00 am, the time when Father Hamel was brutally murdered by two terrorists as he was celebrating Mass. Afterwards at 10:50 am the community of Saint-Etienne-du-Rouvray will unveil a commemorative monument for peace and fraternity. In the evening, Vespers will be held at 6:00 pm in the Basilica of Notre Dame de Bon, followed by prayers before Father Hamel’s tomb.
On September 14, a few weeks after Father Hamel’s murder, the Holy Father Francis celebrated Mass, in the Chapel of his Saint Martha’s residence, in memory of this priest. Twenty-four pilgrims of the diocese of Rouen and their Archbishop, Monsignor Dominique Lebrun attended the Mass. During the homily, the Holy Father exhorted to pray to Father Hamel: “He is a martyr; he is a Blessed,” he said.
The following day, September 15, Archbishop Lebrun gave Father Hamel’s Breviary to Saint Bartholomew’s Basilica in the Roman Tiberina Island. The Breviary was placed in the memorial of the 20th and 21st Century martyrs.
On April 22 of this year, Pope Francis took part in a Liturgy of the Word in this Shrine, entrusted to Sant’Egidio Community, in memory of the “new martyrs” of the 20th and 21stcenturies.
Father Jacques Hamel’s process of Beatification began on April 13, 2017, thanks to the Pope’s waiving of the mandatory five-year waiting period for the opening of such a cause.