“We are now standing in the face of the greatest historical confrontation humanity has gone through. I do not think that wide circles of the American society or wide circles of the Christian community realize this fully. We are now facing the final confrontation between the Church and the anti-Church, of the Gospel and the anti-Gospel. This confrontation lies within the plans of divine providence. It is a trial which the whole Church… must take up.” Karol Cardinal Wotyla (Sept. 1976)

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Iraqi Catholic Martyrs: "But The Cross Lives!"

With so much of the media running every horrible story they can dig up about any former priest these days, here is a story that you will not see in the mainstream media. It is an eyewitness account of the al Qaeda massacre at Our Lady of Salvation Catholic Church in Baghdad on October 31st, and how their priest carried themselves in their final moments. These priest were only 32 and 27 years old:

"...While I was on the ground I saw Don [Father] Tha'er trying to defend the altar servers: he embraced them and covered them with his cassock, to protect them, as if he wanted to hide them. One of the men attacked him, trying to beat him to his knees, but he resisted and remained standing, in the end the terrorist killed him. I could hear the cries of the people in the church, terribly afraid, when at one point I heard a voice, I do not know who he was shouting to the terrorists: 'We die, we die, okay. But the cross lives. Whoever it was, was immediately killed."

...Don Tha'er, the priest who celebrated the Mass, died because he wanted to save the children. Don Wassim with, who at the time of the attack was in the confessional, tried to talk with the terrorists to convince them to let the people and children go, and take only the two of them
[the priests] as hostages. They offered their lives. Don Wassim, when he made to leave the altar and approach the terrorists he was shot by one of them. The last sentence of Don Tha'er, who died before the eyes of his mother [who survived and is now recovering in France], was: "Jesus, into thy hands I commend my spirit."

I would suggest you read this article to appreciate what our fellow Catholics go through in different locations around the world. We should never complain about how long a Homily is again.

May the angels lead them to paradise... Please say a prayer now for all these martyrs.

1 comment:

priest's wife said...

Thanks for this post- a few tears with my morning tea....