Reflecting the Mind of the Vatican since 1850
Nicolas Kluiters: A martyr for faith, justice and peace
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He was cruelly killed on March 14, 1985, but his memory continues to be alive and a blessing to the people of the Northern Beqaa Valley, where he carried out his pastoral service and committed himself to social and economic improvement, giving all his strength for 10 years and finally, also his blood. At a time when the people of the Middle East continue to be terribly affected by conflicts and Christians are being driven to abandon their lands, it is right that the Society of Jesus should promote the cause of beatification of Fr. Nicolas Kluiters “on the grounds of martyrdom”.

Fr. Nicolas was born in Delft, Holland, in 1940, into a family of solid Catholic tradition, who did their honest work in the milk trade. His youthful inclination led him toward art. He took up painting and, in particular, drawing, in which he trained for several years, even beginning to teach in schools. But there was a call to religious life, fueled by some engaging experiences, such as attending Taizé, involvement with the Little Brothers of Charles de Foucault, the chiffonniers of the Abbé Pierre, a Benedictine monastery, etc. These led him to apply for admission to the novitiate of the Society of Jesus, which he entered in 1965.

His artistic vocation was not suffocated, but became part of a larger call. As he would say, alluding to Peter who had become a “fisher of men,” he had felt called to become a “painter of men.”
© Union of Catholic Asian News 2021