Fr. Jacques Hamel – the French priest who was brutally killed by ISIS terrorists last year – has been honored by the Ermont district north of Paris with a town square named after him.
The dedication took place Jan. 22, with all the area religious communities and the family of the priest in attendance.
Ermont mayor Hugues Portelli told Le Parisien that the square was
previously unnamed, and is located in front of the John Paul II parish
center, which is used to host Catholic and ecumenical gatherings.
Portelli said that the decision to name this square in honor of Fr.
Hamel was put to a vote two months a go and the result was “unanimous” –
all in favor.
Fr. Hamel was killed July 26, 2016 while celebrating Mass after two
armed gunmen stormed a church in Saint-Etienne-du-Rouvray in Normandy.
The assailants entered the church and took the priest and four others
hostage. Local law enforcement reported that the priest’s throat was
slit in the attack, and that both of the hostage takers were shot dead
Pope Francis issued a statement at the time decrying the “absurd
He later said during a Mass in September at the Vatican in
honor of Fr. Hamel that the slain priest “is blessed now,” according to
Archbishop Dominique Lebrun of Rouen who was there.
The Pope referred to the priest as “an example of courage” because
“he emptied himself to serve others, to build brotherhood among men.”
During those days the possibility of opening the cause for beatification
of Fr. Hamel was announced.
At the dedication ceremony this past Sunday, the mayor or Ermont also
paid homage to Fr. Jacques Hamel describing him as “a martyr of the
Portelli also called the priest “an example of dialogue between the
religions and communities in his parish on the outskirts of Rouen and he
has joined all those innocent victims of fanaticism in our country and