Father Jean-Baptiste insisted on adding other details, noting that Beltrame was raised in a nonreligious family, but experienced a “genuine conversion” at age 33. He entered the church in 2010, after two years of study. Beltrame was, the monk said, “intelligent, sporty, loud and lively,” a man who shared his faith with others.
On this side of the Atlantic, Archbishop Charles Chaput of Philadelphia underlined the symbolism of this story. In a column entitled “A Lesson For Holy Week,” he said Beltrame was a civil servant doing his job and a “man in love getting ready for a wedding.” He was also a “man who deliberately shaped and disciplined his own life until it became a habit, a reflex, to place the well-being of others before his own.”
The archbishop concluded: “God’s ways are not human ways. They are other than ours; higher and better, more powerful, moving, and redemptive than our own. It isn’t logical, it isn’t ‘normal,’ for anyone to place his or her life in harm’s way for a friend, much less for a complete stranger as Arnaud Beltrame did. Only a special kind of love can make a person do something so unreasonably beautiful.”
Read it all (cited by yours truly in last night’s sermon).
The very epitome of a hero! #French policeman #ArnaudBeltrame made the ultimate sacrifice in the terror attack yesterday when he offered himself up unarmed to the attacker in exchange for a female hostage. He managed to leave his cellphone on so that police outside could hear. pic.twitter.com/OxmT9PY0Xg
— Arsen Ostrovsky (@Ostrov_A) March 24, 2018