More details are coming out about the last moments of murdered French Catholic Priest. His last words to his killers were Go away, Satan!:
As hundreds of people attended the funeral on Tuesday for Rev. Jacques Hamel, the French priest killed by Islamic State supporters, the archbishop of Rouen revealed Hamel’s last words as he tried to push away his attackers: “Go away, Satan.”
Archbishop Dominique Lebrun led the funeral mass at Rouen cathedral, The Associated Press reported, and reflected on Hamel’s last moments, when the priest had his throat slit by two teenagers who pledged their allegiance to IS during morning Mass at his Rouen church.
“Isn’t that what you wanted to say, Jacques, with your last words, when you fell to the ground? After you were struck by the knife, you tried to push away your assailants with your feet and said, ‘Go away, Satan.’ You repeated it, ‘Go away, Satan.”‘
The Archbishop continued: “You expressed … your faith in the goodness of humans and that the devil put his claws in.” (source)
These final words of Fr. Hamel are from prayer used by exorcists in the Catholic Church to drive out demons.
It comes originally from Scripture, when Jesus is tempted for the third time while in the desert:
Again, the devil took Him to a very high mountain and showed Him all the kingdoms of the world and their glory; and he said to Him, “All these things I will give You, if You fall down and worship me.” Then Jesus said to him, “Go, Satan! For it is written, ‘YOU SHALL WORSHIP THE LORD YOUR GOD, AND SERVE HIM ONLY.’” Then the devil left Him; and behold, angels came and began to minister to Him. (Matthew 4:8-11)
This ancient rebuke from Scripture, which Jesus uses again when St. Peter tried to interfere in Jesus’ impending crucifixion, was later popularized by the ancient Christian monk Benedict of Nursia, known better as St. Benedict. For those who have never heard of St. Benedict, he is in the Catholic Church the founder of the oldest order of cenobite monks (the Order of St. Benedict), the father of exorcism, and the patron saint of the European people among many other things. He was directly responsible for a lot of missionary work that took place in Europe and for fighting against evil. He popularized the sign of the cross as tool in the fight against evil.
His prayer of exorcism is still used by exorcists today, and is often stamped onto small metals which are blessed by a priest and used in the rite of exorcism. The prayer is often times abbreviated as a series of letters on the metal or in Catholic writings. The complete text of the prayer (in Latin and English) is:
Vade retro satana, nunquam suade mihi vana; sunt mala quae libas, ipse venena bibas!
Go back satan, suggest not vain things to me; what you offer is evil, drink your own poison!
A St. Benedict metal. Notice the letters above around the outside of the metal and on the cross on the right. The left is a picture of St. Benedict with his cross, which you can read more about here.
The letters on the cross in the picture above are another prayer of exorcism, which goes as follows:
Crux sacra sit mihi lux, non draco sit mihi dux
May the Holy Cross be my light, let not the dragon be my guide
Fr. Hamel was not just a martyr- he was a warrior against evil right up until the moment he died. When the Muslims attacked him he did not renounce the Faith, but he physically resisted as much as he could and when death was inevitable, he ended this life and entered into eternal life by praising Christ and spitting in the eye of the demon with his last breath.
May we all learn from his example.
A short video discussing the St. Benedict metal of exorcism.