Jacques Gemayel

Jacques was born to a deeply religious family, he had seven brothers and sisters. He was a troublesome child, yet, he turned into an extremely peaceful young man. He was passionate about learning, and earned seven masters’ degrees in Engineering. He wrote theater plays and hymns, and sang with his wife in church. Jacques was also a member of the “Neocatechumenal Way” religious group with his spiritual guide Father Elia Mouannes.

“Yes for humanity, no for terrorism. The sound of a printer, a list of names, crossed out, bleeding… Wailing sounds, death, horror, human massacre, blood”… These words do not describe a shattered Beirut after the explosion of August 4, 2020, they were written a day ahead. Jacques wrote these words on Monday and left the paper on his desk. He took his wife Bernadette, and his kids, Michel (7) and Rita (4), in his arms, he told his wife: “You are strong, I can count on you.” Did he predict what was coming, or was it God speaking through him?

On Tuesday morning, he went to see his mom, Jacqueline, and kissed her hand, as he usually does. But he seemed different, he asked about each of his siblings, and he said: “I am tired”. He told her he had no hopes for this world he lives in

At the ministry of industry where he worked, many people would blame him for not accepting bribes, but his integrity always came first.

Minutes before the explosion, Jacques was busy installing new beds in the kids’ room that he decorated with beautiful illustrations. A fire erupted, followed by the first explosion. Jacques asked his family members to lie face down on the ground. The second explosion destroyed their building, but everyone miraculously survived. It looked like Jacques had a minor injury to the head, until he felt really dizzy. He was evacuated to Hotel Dieu Hospital and needed a blood transfusion… He passed away two hours later, suffering from internal hemorrhage.

The Port of Beirut blast sent shock waves throughout the city and wreaked havoc in the family's apartment facing the explosion site, it destroyed everything including Jacque's desk, yet, it spared the mystery text he drafted the night before.

47-year old Jacques might have left this world, but his story had just begun… His wife’s aunt saw him in her dream dressed as a priest, he told her that God needed him. He also told his wife in her dream that she cannot imagine how beautiful the sky is. A priest asked his brother Pierre to pray for his soul to heal a sick child. And his son Michel, who still didn’t know his father died, told his mother that his dad is an engineer and he is building peace houses in the Sky with Jesus. Will the Beirut blast create the pathway for a new saint that will spread peace in the world?