Prague, July 31 (CTK) – Bells will be ringing in many churches all over the Czech Republic on Tuesday to honour the memory of the 86-year-old French priest who was murdered by Islamist terrorists in a church in northern France this week, the Czech Bishops’ Conference has told CTK.
It called on all churches to ring the bells at 15:00 on the day of the priest’s funeral in France.
Most church bells will be ringing in the Plzen (west Bohemia), Ceske Budejovice (south Bohemia) and Litomerice (north Bohemia) dioceses, their representatives have said, but churches in other regions will also join the commemorative act.
The oldest and biggest bell in Brno, the second largest Czech town, which is in St Thomas Church, will also ring in memory of the murdered priest.
“This is a terrible thing that happened, it is madness. I hope that all who can will ring the bells,” Jan Mraz, Roman Catholic priest from this church in Brno, told CTK.
The murdered French priest, Jacques Hamel, dedicated his life to the service of God and he died when performing his occupation, Prague Archbishops Cardinal Dominik Duka, primate of the Czech Catholic Church, and Olomouc Archbishop Jan Graubner write in the appeal of the Czech Bishops’ Conference.
“The sound of bells and a prayer are the expression of regret at the cruel deed, but also an appeal for peace and a reminder of the torturing of our Lord in whose embrace this martyr rested,” they write.
Two men armed with knives broke into a church in Saint-Etienne du Rouvray near Rouen in Normandy on Tuesday, July 26. They held hostage a priest, two nuns and two church-goers. They slit the priest’s throat and injured another four hostages. The police shot the assailants dead. The Islamic State (IS) terrorist organisation claimed responsibility for the crime.