The parish of St. Josemaría in Alcorcón, Spain, was vandalized the night of June 15-16, 2023. / Credit: Parish of St. Josemaría
ACI Prensa Staff, Jun 16, 2023 / 16:25 pm (CNA).
The same church where Father Javier Contreras was stabbed in 2020 — St. Josemaría Escrivá parish in the town of Alcorcón, Spain — was vandalized and robbed during the night of June 15–16.
In a message shared with parishioners to which ACI Prensa, CNA’s Spanish-language news partner, had access, Contreras said: “Tonight our parish has been partially vandalized and robbed.”
Fortunately, the priest was able to determine that the tabernacle was untouched: “Thank God, the tabernacle and the sacred vessels were unharmed, but [otherwise] there was a great deal of damage.”
Contreras asked for prayers for the vandals and expressed his forgiveness: “We ask you for prayers for those poor people, whom we forgive.”
The police are investigating the crime.
‘I defended myself like Bruce Lee in priest’s clothing’
Contreras was stabbed the morning of Sept. 24, 2020, when he was spending a few minutes in prayer before celebrating the 7:45 a.m. Mass.
The assailant was “a young kid with a psychiatric condition and who seems to have wanted one less priest,” the priest told his parishioners and the local press reported.
The parish priest received “three light stab wounds that could have been something else, especially [affecting] the sternum. I defended myself like Bruce Lee in priest’s clothing, and thanks to that the wounds weren’t greater,” Contreras said, trying to downplay the attack.
The priest, who was 73 at the time, addressed his parishioners with words of encouragement from the hospital: “There was no hatred of God [on the part of the aggressor] in all this, but an acute psychotic crisis, I hope so at least. I am at peace and eager to continue working for the Lord.”
This story was first published by ACI Prensa, CNA’s Spanish-language news partner. It has been translated and adapted by CNA.