The Archdiocese of Rouen concluded its sainthood inquiry into the life and death of a French priest who was killed while celebrating Mass.
Archbishop Dominique Lebrun of Rouen presided over the final session of the diocesan inquiry into the life and martyrdom of Father Jacques Hamel, Vatican News reported March 9.
Father Hamel was killed July 26, 2016, when two men stormed a church in Saint-Etienne-du-Rouvray near Rouen while he celebrated Mass. After taking several hostages, the attackers slit Father Hamel’s throat and seriously injured another parishioner. Following a standoff, police killed the attackers, ending the hostage situation.Traditionally, the formal sainthood process, which includes compiling the candidate’s writings and gathering sworn testimonies about his or her life and holiness, can begin no sooner than five years after the person’s death.
However, Pope Francis set aside the restriction and allowed for the French priest’s sainthood cause to begin in 2017.
The inquiry gathered the testimony of 66 witnesses, including five people who witnessed Father Hamel’s murder. The documentation from the diocesan inquiry will be sent to the Vatican Congregation for Saints’ Causes, which reviews the gathered information.
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