Worshippers and dignitaries gathered at the church of Saint-Étienne-du-Rouvray last week to mark the first anniversary of the murder of Fr Jacques Hamel at the hands of Islamist extremists.

Archbishop Dominique Lebrun of Rouen celebrated the anniversary Mass at the church where the 85-year-old priest was killed by two Muslim terrorists.

“Though he is dead, Fr Jacques Hamel is still alive,” the archbishop said. “Hate has not triumphed, and it will never triumph.”

The archbishop also thanked politicians, including French president Emmanuel Macron, for attending the Mass and welcomed representatives from the local Muslim community.

“In this church Fr Hamel spoke, he spoke the language of love. In this church Fr Hamel was silenced, he speaks no more,” Archbishop Lebrun said in his homily. “Today Fr Hamel speaks still. His life and his death speak after his death.”

Speaking outside the church, Joaquin Moïse, the town’s mayor, said the local population had been “thrown into the whirl of emotions” by the murder.

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