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D-Day Robert Capa's photo
PHOTO BY: ©ROBERT CAPA ©INTERNATIONAL CENTER OF PHOTOGRAPHY/MAGNUM PHOTOS
Location: Normandy, France. Date: June 1944. A Catholic priest celebrates Mass on Omaha Beach.

In Remembrance and Honor

Seventy-four years after the Allied invasion of Normandy, we remember and honor those who served during the largest seaborne invasion in history. On that one day, over 10,000 Allied soldiers were killed, wounded or declared missing in action. In the course of the Normandy campaign, which lasted through August 21, 1944, Allied forces landed more than two million men in northern France and suffered more than 226,000 casualties.

Chaplains and Catholic priests played an important role in providing essential spiritual and psychological guidance during the days and weeks that followed. Unarmed, they courageously put themselves on the front lines to say Mass, offer pastoral care for active and wounded soldiers, and provide last rites for the dying and prayers for those killed.

As first published, “D-Day, 74 years later: Remembering the heroic chaplains and priests of Normandy,” by Katherine Ruddy, Aleteia Magazine, June 6, 2018.

British Army Normandy 1944 11th Armoured Division Communion Service
The British Army in Normandy, 1944, men of the 11th Armoured Division at a communion service at a field before the attack on Verson and Eterville, July 10, 1944.

 

Priest on Ship Normandy Invasion

 

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Eternal rest grant unto them , O Lord,
and let perpetual light shine upon them.
May the souls of all the faithful departed, through the mercy of God, rest in peace.

– Traditional Catholic prayer

 

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Omaha Beach, Normandy, France, June 6, 1944

 

John Vianney in prayer

St. John Vianney, Patron of Priests, pray for us, pray for our priests.

Be not afraid!  And may the peace of Christ be with you and your loved ones today and always.  Holy Family pray for us.  Amen.

The Holy Family, Murillo
The Heavenly and Earthly Trinities (c. 1675-82) by Bartolomé Esteban Murillo (1617 – 1682)

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