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Police Officer Gives Life in Exchange for Hostage

In March 2018 a lone gunman took several people hostage in a French supermarket. Arnaud Beltrame, a French police officer, offered to trade places with a hostage during the standoff. Because of his actions the hostage lived, but the officer died. A spokesperson for French President Emmanuel Macron said that Beltrame "died in the service of the nation, to which he had already brought so much. By giving his life to put an end to the … armed jihadist terrorist, he has fallen as a hero." Although we don’t know for certain the state of this man’s heart his Catholic priest thinks he was a true Christian.

Father Jean-Baptiste wrote this of Officer Arnaud:

It seems to me that only his faith can explain the madness of this sacrifice which is today the admiration of all. He understood, as Jesus told us, that there is no greater love than to give one’s life for one’s friends (John 15:13). He knew that if his life belonged to [his wife] Marielle, it also belonged to God, to France and to his brothers in danger of death. I believe that only a Christian faith animated by charity could ask for this superhuman sacrifice.


Phil Helsel, “French police officer who traded places with hostage during terror attack dies,” NBC News.Com (3-23-18); Archbishop Charles Chaput, “A Lesson for Holy Week From the Witness of Arnaud Beltrame,” National Catholic Register (3-26-18)

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