RIP Brother Jean-Pierre - Survivor of the Beatified French Trappists Martyred Monks of Algeria Dies at Age 97 - VIDEO
Brother Jean-Pierre Schumacher, the French monk who survived the kidnapping and killing of the seven brothers of Tibhirine (Algeria), died on November 21, 2021 in the Trappist community of Midelt, Morocco. (SEE VIDEO BELOW) He was 97 years old, and he was a good and simple man, protagonist in spite of himself of an extraordinary and heartbreaking human and spiritual story. He remembered the emotion, the concern, the veneration, the affection ... the love with which he was welcomed in Oran, on December 8, 2018, when he returned to Algeria to participate in the beatification of his companions. He had the wonderfully serene smile of a person at peace, transfigured. He retold the story about how in the night between 26 and 27 March 1996 he was saved, during the assault on the monastery. It is an important video to get to know Father Jean-Pierre, to understand the events of that tragic season and the spiritual legacy of his companions. The story of the martyrs of Tibherine and Algeria is by far one of the highest and most significant moments of evangelical witness of our time. (Source: https://www.facebook.com/jeanmarie.lassausse)
Fides reports: He recalled the long years of fraternal life spent together with his confreres in the Algerian monastery of Thibirine, killed in 1996 in one of the brightest events of Christian martyrdom in recent decades. Now he too, the last "survivor" of Thibirine, has left this world. His heart stopped on the morning of Sunday, November 21, the feast of Christ the King of the Universe, in the monastery of Notre-Dame de l'Atlas, located in Midelt, on the slopes of the Moroccan Atlas, the last Trappist strongholds in North Africa.
Brother Jean-Pierre would have turned 98 next February. He had moved as a monk to Algeria in 1967.
Superior Christian de Chergé and the other six monk confreres of brother Jean-Pierre (beatified on December 8, 2018 together with 12 other martyrs of Algeria) were kidnapped on the night between March, 26 and 27, 1996, in the country devastated by the civil war. He, together with Amèdèe (who died in 2008), had escaped the kidnapping because that night he was on duty in the concierge, in a building adjacent to the monastery. Two months after the kidnapping, the severed heads of the 7 monks were found along a road. The perpetrators of the massacre were never identified with certainty. The official thesis attributed the massacre to the clandestine gangs of the Armed Islamic Group (the Islamist terrorist organization born in 1991 after the government refused to recognize the electoral results favorable to the Islamist forces), while investigations conducted by independent researchers have indicated the trail of a possible implication in that affair of the Algerian military secret services. Four years after the martyrdom of his confreres, Jean-Pierre had moved to Morocco, becoming prior of the Trappist community of Notre-Dame de l'Atlas. Several times he confessed the weight of a question that always accompanied him: "Why had the Lord allowed me to stay alive?". Over time, he had perceived that his destiny as a "survivor" of the massacre coincided with the mission of "witnessing the events of Tibhirine and making known the experience of communion with our Muslim brothers, which we continue now here in the monastery of Midelt, in Morocco". (Excerpt from Fides.org)