Friday, May 19, 2017

"The Jihadist Couldn't Behead Me and Asked: 'Who Are You?'" -- The Witness of Abuna Nirwan

(Jerusalem) Abuna Nirwan is a Franciscan from Iraq. Before his ordination he had completed a medical examination. When he went to the Holy Land in 2004, the Dominican Women of the Rosary gave him a relic and a rosary from their founder, which Father Nirwan always carries with him.

Maria Alfonsina Ghattas and the Dominican Women of the Rosary

Maria Alfonsina Ghattas

The Dominican Women of the Rosary, a missionary order, were founded by Maria Alfonsina Danil Ghattas, a Palestinian Catholic who was born in 1843 in Jerusalem, which was still part of the Ottoman Empire. At a young age, she joined a French religious order, but in 1880, according to a vision, she founded her own order for Arab girls.The missionary community, now spread in eight countries of the Middle East, is the only order founded by the Latin Patriarchy, which was reestablished in 1847 in Jerusalem.
In 2009 Maria Alfonsina Danil Ghattas was beatified in Nazareth's preaching base. On May 17, 2015,  she was canonized by Pope Francis. Her liturgical commemoration day is the 25th of March, when she died in 1927 in A Karim near Jerusalem (then the British League of Nations Mandate for Palestine).
When Benedict XVI in 2009, had ordered the investigation for a miracle for the Beatification of the religious, as usual, he ordered the Exhumation of the Corpse. The local bishop instructs a doctor. With the exhumation of the body of Maria Alfonsina Danil Ghattas, Father Nirwan was commissioned because of his training, and he also wrote the medical report.

Father Nirwan (center) as head of exhumation

As the Spanish Opus Dei priest Santiago Quemada, who lived in Jerusalem, reported on his blog Un sacerdote en Tierra Santa (A Priest in the Holy Land), two years before, extraordinary events had taken place. The report by Quemada has now been taken up by various media.
What was reported occurred on July 14, 2007. Abuna Nirwan, who had been working in the Holy Land for three years, paid a visit to his family in Iraq. In Jordan, he got in a taxi, as he explained it in spring 2016 in the sermon in the almost completely Christian Palestinian town of Beit Jalla near Bethlehem.
"It was not then possible to visit my family by plane. That was forbidden. As a means of transport, therefore, only the car could be considered. My intention was to get to Baghdad and from there to Mosul where my parents lived. 

The driver was frightened because of the situation that prevailed in Iraq. A family - father and mother with a two-year-old girl - had asked if they could go with me. The taxi driver told me they had asked him to. I had no objection. They were Muslims. The driver was a Christian. He told them that there was room and they could come along. We stopped at a gas station, where another young Muslim asked if he could go to Mossul. Since there was still room, we also took him.
The border between Jordan and Iraq was closed until the morning. As the sun rose, the roadblock opened and the 50 or 60 vehicles were slowly moving in succession.
We continued our journey. After more than an hour we came to a checkpoint. We made our passports ready and stopped. The driver said, 'I am afraid of this group'. It was a military control post. However, as it turned out, an Islamic terrorist organization had killed the soldiers and taken control of the position.
When we were at the checkpoint, our passports were checked while we stayed in the car. Then they left with the passports. A person came back and said to me: 'Father, we need to continue to review. You can come to the office.'  "Well," I said, "if we are to come, we'll come." We then walked a quarter of an hour, until we came to a barrack, which had been directed to us.
Once there, two men with hooded faces came out. One had a video camera in one hand and a knife in the other. The other held a Koran in his hand. They came to us, and one of them asked me, 'Father, where are you from?' I said, from Jordan. Then he repeated the question to the driver. Finally, he turned to the young man who traveled with us, grabbed him from behind and killed him with a knife. We were frozen. They tied my hands behind me and said to me, 'Father, we are recording everything for Al Jazeera . Do you want to say something? But no more than a minute.' I said, "No, I just want to pray." They let me pray for a minute.
Then a man pushed me down to my knees and said, 'You are a priest. It is forbidden for your blood to fall to the ground, that would be a sacrilege.' He fetched a bucket and came to cut my throat. I no longer know what prayers I prayed at this moment. I was very afraid. Then I said to Maria Alfonsina: 'If it is so, that the Lord takes me away, I am ready. But if that is not so, I ask you that no one else will die."
The man grabbed my head and guided his knife with the other hand. Then nothing happened. After a moment of silence, he said, 'Who are you?' I replied, 'A religious brother.' Then he said, 'Why can I not manage to set the knife? Who are you?'
Without answering, he left me and said, 'Father, you and all the others, return to the car.'
We did that and were able to continue the journey.
Since that moment, I have ceased to be afraid of death. I know I will die one day, but now I am really aware that this will be when God wants it. Since then, I am no longer afraid of anything and nobody. What happens to me will be done according to God's will. He will give me the strength to take His cross. What counts is faith. God accepts those who believe in Him."
Text: Giuseppe Nardi
Image: (Screenshots)
Trans: Tancred


Anonymous said...

Magnificent post! Thank you!


Sean Mercer said...

Thank you for this.

Anonymous said...

Thank you, for sharing with us this very moving story. May God Bless All Soldiers of Christ!

Last February I was on a pilgrimage to Holy Land, before entering Bethlehem we were at such checkpoint....sigh!
What an eye opener was the pilgrimage……Bethlehem in Palestine (where ‘et Verbum Caro Factum Est…’), surrounded by a 25ft cement wall, with electric wires on top. Where Christians and Muslims live together in no men’s land, in poverty, and constant fear. These Christians (Catholics), are true soldiers of Christ, for they willfully stay in the land that Jesus Christ walked, until......

In Israel…..60% Jews, 40% Muslims, 1.2% Christians……the rest are Mormons, Evangelicals.

For further reading: ‘In Racist Marxist Israel’, by Jack Bernstein

Viva Christo Rey!

susan said...

Indeed Tancred; I echo the above. And may God continue to bless, guard, and guide that wonderful priest.

Kathleen1031 said...

Great story. Thank you for sharing it. Even demons must recognize Christ.

JBQ said...

WOW! HOLY SMOKE! Literally, in the hands of the Lord. "Coming to America".

Martin H said...

This is the best post I have ever read on this blog. Thank you.

Anonymous said...

Here's some big news, even though it's off topic.
Pope Francis (aka Commie Bergoglio), just named 5 more new Cardinals today. I think he must realize that he's going to be dead soon.
At least 2 I know are NOT radical liberals....the Archbishop of Stockholm , Sweden is a Carmelite friar and actually fairly traditional...I think.
But here are their names. As usuall, except for the Archbishops of Stockholm and Barcelona, he picked obscure people no one had ever heard of.
Archbishop Comello of Barcelona (is he good or a rad)
Archbishop Arborelius, OCD, Archbishop of Stockholm
Bishop Zerbo of Mali
Bishop Ling (an Apostolic Administrator in Laos....probably all of 5 Catholics there)
Bishop Rosa Chavez, Auxilary of San Salvador, El Salvador (who will be 75 in September). I have a feeling he's the only bad guy....rad liberal.
Anyone else know of these people?
I do have a feeling, that Bergoglio knows his time is almost up....or else why would he name 5 more Cardinals only 6 month after the last batch of nobodies?
At least people like Rino Fischiella, Bruno Forte, Darmuid Martin etc, etc. were not appointed.
I bet Francis has about another 9 months, then he'll be gone......and he know it .
Damian Malliapalli

Anonymous said...

Addendum to the above:

Just checked from ABC News website....except for Arborelius, OCD of Stockholm (67).....they're all old (71 to 74). Rosa Chaves will be 75 in Sept.
ABC News states that 1-2 are known to have worked with the poor, or represent persecuted Catholics. But they didn't say any were radicals, like their boss Francis.
Damian Malliapalli
Damian Malliapalli

Jack D said...

Bring out your dead.

grams ramblings said...

Yes, faith is what's important . And was that the miracle needed ? x

Anonymous said...

If the Pope is a radical, wouldn't he have appointed radicals? A house divided against itself cannot stand.

Unknown said...

What a great testimony. God bless you Abuna Nirwan, Thank you for sharing your miracle story, you'll always be in our prayers.

Anonymous said...

St. Maria Alfonsina Ghatta, protect our soldiers in the conflict in Marawi. Touch the terrorist group to lay down their arms and opt for peace. Protect the innocent civilians caught in the middle of this conflict. May God bring peace to our land.

Unknown said...

Absolutely a miracle! Amazing story, and such great faith!!!

Anonymous said...

Yes Lord protect all our soldiers who are right now fighting the terrorist and may you cover our country the Phil. with Your most precious blood away from the ISIS like people. St. Maria Alfonsina Ghatta intercede for all our prayers...

Anonymous said...

Wow, yes we have already died in Christ, no need to be afraid to loose your life...we have already lost our lifes...our times are in His hands, glorious Jesus !

Sebastian Chakiath said...

Praise God the Father, Jesus the Redeemer and Holy Ghost the Sanctifier. Thank you Fr. Abuna Nirwah for sharing your heavenly experience. May God continue to bless you abundantly and use you mightily. Prayers & Blessings

Anonymous said...

Wonderful witness! Bet the demon recognised the Saint of God and was afraid.

Unknown said...

I know Anders Arborelius almost in person. I´m Secular franciskan from Sweden. He is fantastic as a person and also as a priest with strong and “real“ thrust in God as a Carmelite friar. He is very humble and spiritual. Pope Francis couldn´t choose better one from Sweden. I guarantee…
And please… don’t be so pessimistic about Francis future… have some thrust in God! Pax Et Bonum, Filip