Thursday, March 3, 2011

Martyred monks

In May of 1996, seven of our Cistercian brothers of Tibhirine in Algeria were found dead; they had been kidnapped two months earlier. Caught in the conflict between the Algerian government and the extremist Armed Islamic Group, these monks chose to remain at their monastery amid threats from extremist elements and face death in solidarity with the Muslim neighbors whom they loved. A recent French film, Of Gods and Men, tells their story. It was awarded the Grand Prix at the Cannes. We monks look forward to viewing this film about our brothers of Tibhirine when it becomes available on DVD. Their story reminds us of the love and selflessness we too have promised.

The abandoned monastery of Tibhirine in Algeria.