Je Suis Catholique:
What can I say but this? There can hardly be a more appropriate moment for the awful prayers from the Requiem Mass:
Dies irae, dies illa ( This day of wrath, this day)
Solvet saeclum in favilla, ( shall consume the world in ashes)
Teste David cum Sibylla. (as foretold by David and the Sibyl)
Quantus tremor est futurus, (What trembling there will be)
Quando judex est venturus, ( When the judge shall come)
Cuncta stricte discussurus! (to weigh everything strictly!)
Father Jacques Hamel died saying Mass. In one most profound sense for a Roman Catholic priest there could be no better death but this violence in a Church in these circumstances has potent echoes of the martyrdom of St Thomas a Becket.
However, this terrible act reminds us all that ISIS is motivated not merely politics. Their terrorism reserves particular hatred for Christians and Christianity. They have systematically murdered Coptic priests and all manner of other Christians all over Syria and Iraq.
We should pray for Father Jacques Hamel but we may also now ask for his intercession for us.
Most importantly, for his sake we should also pray earnestly for his murderers.