Losing Your Life for Christ’s Sake
“Anyone who loses his life for my sake… will save it.”
Pierre Claverie (Clav’er aye) was born in Algeria in 1938. He grew up in a loving family of French people who had settled in Algeria. He said he lived in a “colonial bubble,” in other words, completely cut off from the majority Arab population. As a young man he was called to the priesthood and joined the Dominicans in France. Despite the political upheavals, he wanted to return and serve in Algeria. He steeped himself in the Arab culture, learning the language and living close to the people. He wanted to bear witness to Christ’s call to reconciliation between races.
In 1981, Pierre Claverie (Clav’er ee) was made Bishop of Oran. Christians in the region were few in number and surrounded by a dominant Muslim population. As Muslim fundamentalists became more powerful, Christians were threatened and several members of religious orders were assassinated. (Clav’er ee) became increasingly aware of the danger he was in, but in this situation he also deepened his understanding of the cross. He did not leave but stayed to bear witness to the love and mercy of Jesus and his promise of eternal life. In 1996 Bishop Pierre Claverie (Clav’er ee) and his Muslim driver were blown up by a terrorist bomb. Continue reading