Mourning in Barcelona
"We pray that God may convert the stony hearts of the terrorists into hearts of flesh."
By Javier Menéndez Ros
(NEW YORK, Aug. 18, 2017)—“Today we are witnessing a sad dawn over Barcelona, and with it over the whole of Spain, over Europe and the whole civilized world. One of the most beautiful cities in our country, bathed in light and washed by the waves of the Mediterranean, has witnessed a dawn bathed in bloodshed, amid cries of grief and incomprehension. Last night, a new jihadist attack, like so many before it to which we have now sadly become accustomed, surprised civilians strolling through Las Ramblas, the most typical of the avenues through which people like to relax in Barcelona, destroying all who found themselves in the path of the assassin’s vehicle.
In a tragic form of the via crucis we remember today the many other recent jihadist attacks on European soil – Nice, Berlin, London, Hamburg, Stockholm, Paris and Normandy. But the stations on the way to the Passion are innumerable outside the borders of Europe – in Nigeria, Iraq, Syria, the Central African Republic, Kenya, Yemen, Congo, India, Pakistan – and there is an immensely long list of suffering, when we speak about Islamist terrorism, which is affecting above all the Christian minorities throughout the world. All of us at Aid to the Church in Need wish to remember all of these places especially today and keep them always in our prayer.
We at the Catalonian section of ACN, whose offices are close to the site of this recent attack, and together with everyone in our pontifical charity ACN in Spain and throughout the world, wish to express our closeness today to the victims of this most recent attack, uniting ourselves in prayer with all persons of goodwill and praying for the grace to overcome the ways of hatred and violence and to defeat evil with good (Romans 12:21). We pray likewise that God may convert the stony hearts of the terrorists into hearts of flesh and we invoke Our Lady of Mercy, the Patroness of Barcelona, asking her especially to help us to forgive and never to cease spreading the message of love of her Son Jesus.”
Javier Menéndez Ros is director of Aid to the Church in Need-Spain