Frans van der Lugt, a seventy-six-year-old Dutch Jesuit priest was murdered in Syria on 7 April 2014.

BBC News Magazine has published the moving story of Father van der Lugt’s life and ministry at: http://www.bbc.com/news/magazine-27155474

Reading this beautiful tribute I was reminded of the seven Monks of Tibhirine who were kidnapped in Algeria on the night of 26–27 March 1996 and eventually murdered.

Their story is movingly told in the beautiful film “Of Gods And Men”.

See:

https://inaspaciousplace.wordpress.com/2011/05/03/of-gods-and-men-the-way-of-peace/

https://inaspaciousplace.wordpress.com/2011/05/04/of-gods-and-men-the-power-of-the-film-1/

https://inaspaciousplace.wordpress.com/2011/05/05/of-gods-and-men-the-power-of-the-film-2/

https://inaspaciousplace.wordpress.com/2011/05/16/of-gods-and-men-weakness/

These men and Father van der Lugt demonstrate what Christian faith looks like when it is truly lived. They shared the goal of bringing people together, crossing boundaries, eliminating dividing lines. They seem to have believed that the Gospel of Christ is, before anything else, a message about the centrality and power of love.

Their lives demonstrated deep respect and reverence for all people and all lifeforms.

May their testimony and their martyrdom inspire us to live with similar depth and light.