A tribute to the slain monks of Tibhirine, Algeria


I’m not sure where to put this. It’s too important to put in the “news” section as if it had no intrinsic meaning and it isn’t really directly about “a non-Catholic Religion” yet it needs to be remembered. I would not be offended if a mederator placed it elsewhere.

I believe in the spiritual weapons and their eternal significance but it is difficult to remain true when your brothers are butchered. Yet, the hope of the world is Jesus and the blood of the martyrs is the seed of the Church.


On the night of March 26-27, 1996, some 20 gunmen invaded the Monastery of Notre Dame of Atlas in Tibhirine and kidnapped its seven Trappist monks, of French nationality.

A month later, Djamel Zitouni, leader of the Armed Islamic Groups, claimed responsibility for the kidnappings and proposed an exchange of prisoners to France.

The following month, a second communiqué from the group announced: “We have slit the monks’ throats.” The killings reportedly took place May 21, 1996; their bodies were found nine days later.

Father Thierry Becker, of the Algerian diocese of Oran, was a guest of the monastery the night that the Muslim fundamentalists abducted Father Christian de Chergé, the prior, and the other six Trappists.

In recent statements to the Italian newspaper Avvenire, Father Becker asserted that he is recounting the legacy of the monks of Tibhirine.

Theirs was “a message of poverty, of abandonment in the hands of God and men, of sharing in all the fragility, vulnerability and condition of forgiven sinners, in the conviction that only by being disarmed will we be able to meet Islam and discover in Muslims a part of the total face of Christ,” the priest said.


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