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Archbiship of Durango Faustino Armendáriz JiménezArquidiócesis Durango / YouTube

DURANGO, Mexico (LifeSiteNews) — A Mexican Archbishop was attacked by a man armed with a knife as he greeted parishioners after Sunday Mass.  

On May 21, Archbishop Faustino Armendáriz of Durango, Mexico survived an attack by an 80-year-old man armed with a knife, following the murder of nine priests in Mexico since current Mexican president Andrés Manuel López Obrador took office at the end of 2018, as reported by the Catholic News Agency. 

“God, the Most Holy Virgin, the Immaculate Conception, and the Holy Martyrs, who today on their feast day, have protected me from this aggression against my physical integrity in the sacristy of the Cathedral of Durango,” Armendáriz tweeted after the incident.   


“God bless everyone for their words of solidarity and their prayers,” he added. 

Armendáriz was speaking to parishioners in the sacristy after Sunday Mass when his attacker “violently pulled me over on my left side” to ask if he was the local bishop. 

“With that I managed to see that he extended his arm full length, and I managed to see a weapon, a knife, in his hand. And he managed to get me here, at the top of the ribs, and I felt the sting, but I bent over so he couldn’t hurt me and pushed his arm down,” the archbishop recalled.

Armendáriz was not fatally injured from the attack as, “There was no such penetration of the piercing weapon, only the blow.” He viewed the attack as “attempted murder,” but professed belief “that something transcendent protected me.” 

Armendáriz expressed forgiveness for his would-be murderer, saying, “It seems to me that it’s also an opportunity to show solidarity with the people who are suffering.” 

“This is part of all this lacerated social fabric, and above all the lack of moral values and situations that our people without a doubt are experiencing in anonymity,” he declared. 

On May 22, one day after the attempt on the archbishop’s life, Father Javier García Villafaña, an Augustinian priest, was shot to death in his car on the Cuitzeo-Huandacareo highway in Michoacán, Mexico.  

The Archdiocese of Morelia announced his death on Facebook but neglected to say that he was murdered, writing, “The Lord has called into his presence Father Fray Javier García Villafana, OSA. The bishops of the archdiocese, the presbytery and the entire Archdiocese of Morelia unite in prayer and entrust this son of theirs to the hands of Mary Immaculate so that the Lord of Life may receive him in his dwelling places of glory. Give him, Lord, eternal rest.” 

Earlier this month, two Catholic churches in Mexico were desecrated. One church’s tabernacle was broken into while a second church burnt overnight.