Islamic Altar Server at Papal Mass in St. Peter’s Basilica

Islamic Altar Server [at Papal Mass in St. Peter’s Basilica]

[Issam in center, looking into the camera; a convicted rapist: See comment below]

From: Gloria.TV News on the 9th of November 2016 (starting at 1:32):

34-year-old Muslim prison inmate Issam assisted Pope Francis last Sunday as an altar server during a mass for the Jubilee of the Inmates in Saint Peter’s Basilica. Issam washed the Pope’s hands in the sacristy before the latter put on the Mass vestments, he entered in procession and sat at the foot of the altar. After Mass Isssam said: “If the Pontiffs come to pray in the mosques, why should I not do it in the Vatican?”

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2 comments on “Islamic Altar Server at Papal Mass in St. Peter’s Basilica

  1. [Google translation of Italian article in Repubblica about the event]

    Issam il chierichetto musulmano del Papa: “Insieme possiamo pregare gli uni per gli altri, per la pace”

    Issam the Muslim altarboy for the Pope: “Together we can pray for each other, for peace”

    Sunday at the jubilee of the prisoners has been chosen to assist Francis in the vesting stage, get in procession and take place at the altar: “I believe in dialogue and respect. I asked the Holy Father to pray for me, for my family, for us detainees. he told me to do the same “

    November 7, 2016

    VATICAN CITY – Fear that his gesture has not be misunderstood: “No, what’s hard to understand?”. Issam was the first Muslim to play the role of altarboy next to the pope in a solemn ceremony in St. Peter’s Basilica. And he did it very naturally: “If the popes are to pray in mosques why should not I do it in the Vatican? I remain Muslim but together we can pray for each other, for peace, for the world. And I Sunday I did this.”

    Sunday was the day of the jubilee of the prisoners. And Issam is a prisoner of Busto Arsizio worth home. Eight of them were chosen to carry out the liturgical service, along with others from the prisons of Brescia and Palermo dell’Ucciardone. Francis attended the stage of vesting, then entered in procession and took their places at the altar.

    “When the Vatican was asked to identify the detainees for this task – tells Don Silvano, the chaplain of Busto Arsizio – I reported that there was a Muslim boy who had given his availability and they replied that they would entrusted an important gesture “. In the end, he was instructed to wash their hands of Bergoglio in the sacristy and was the only one to be alone with him before commissioning. “Because I wanted to do it? To make people understand that we Muslims are different from what some would have us believe: we are for peace.”

    The only thing I asked Issam, was to take with them in their journey from prison prayer rug. He used it before reaching San Pietro. And again in the afternoon: “I remain a Muslim – claims – but I believe in dialogue and respect.” When I told the Pope, he embraced him and kissed him. “I asked him to pray for me, for my family, for us prisoners. Francis told me to do the same.”

    As a gift, on behalf of all prisoners of Busto Arsizio, took the key of St. Peter in chocolate made from the prison bakery. He wanted to tell his story but there’s been no time. Because 34 years of Issam are full of tumultuous events like the Mediterranean Sea that has sailed from Libya on a boat, in the midst of other refugees. Twenty years have passed since then.

    The little boy, who came from Morocco to reach the brothers who had graduated and Italy had found a job, got lost in drugs, in alcohol. “It seems strange to say but the prison has saved me – he says -. I was arrested six years ago to a heap of crimes and I have still four more to be served. Behind bars I strengthened the Muslim faith that I had since childhood and this he changed me: now study, do not do drugs, do not drink and I found inner peace.”

    They had mistaken him for even a terrorist: “It happened two years ago: it was my mother died and in prison they asked me to say a prayer during the ceremony for the end of Ramadan. When I finished, everyone raised their hands to the sky. who watched us thought that I wanted to incite the people: of course it was not.” So much so that on Sunday Issam was close to the Pope: “His words took away my breath away. He prayed for us prisoners. We have heard of no longer being the last, the excluded.”

  2. [Hat-tip to Call-me-Jorge blog: “Starring — Issam, the Moslem altar boy,
    convicted of sexual assault! … Issam’s full name is Issam El Jyad. He is serving his time in jail for sexual assault, trespassing, aggravated assault and stalking. Issam repeatedly tried to rape a young Romanian woman living in his apartment building in Cardano al Campo as he figured she was an easy target.”]

    Sexual violence and stalking, a 30 year old in handcuffs

    The man is accused of raping a 22 year old girl who lived in the same building and that he had persecuted for months before being arrested from Gallarate Police on the orders of the prosecutor Francesca Parola

    Google translation of

    The nightmare is over for her, after months of fear that had also brought to flee to his homeland, Romania. A young maid of 22 years , residing in Cardano al Campo, h to finally saw his tormentor, Issam El Jyad Moroccan of 30 years who had repeatedly tried to rape her, end up behind bars . Last night, in fact, the Gallarate police have implemented to order for custody in prison, issued by prosecutors in Busto Arsizio as a result of investigations conducted by the same company for the character in question, since 2010 reported by the police headquarters in Varese as a dangerous person. The charges against him are heavy: sexual assault, trespassing, aggravated damage and stalking.

    The man, domiciled at a Cardano al Campo apartment located in the same building where she lived, began to haunt her in March of 2011 when, after being introduced by force inside the house, forced her with violence and threat to undergo sexual acts. On that occasion he caused her, pushing her onto the bed and undressed her, forced to embrace, groping in the private parts, and repeated attempts at penetration (failed for the strenuous opposition of the woman).

    The Romanian, terrified by that episode and other attempts of violence on subsequent evenings, decided to run away from his relatives in Romania to return to Italy about two months later. Convinced that the worst was over he decided to return to that apartment where, however, the Moroccan had broken through the door and lived during the absence of the young victim. At that point, the 22 year-old has decided to lodge a complaint to the local police station that began immediately investigative activity aimed at finding the evidence.

    The Moroccan, the return of the woman in Italy, has not ceased to haunt her with an insistence as to procure a constant state of anxiety and fear, generating the same a well-founded fear for their safety . In fact introduced into the woman, the contacted repeatedly on his cell phone users, repeatedly sounded the bell of his house, he kicked the door of his apartment. The deputy public prosecutor of Busto Arsizio Francesca Parola , in May last year, he was seen to reject the provisional measure requested by the judge for preliminary investigations but has contested before the Court of Review that has given reason. Once the judgment has become final proceeded with the execution of the arrest, bringing an end to the nightmare of the young girl.

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