James Foley, an American journalist who went missing in Syria in November 2012, died at the hands of Islamic State militants.
Foley’s friends and family remember a talented, generous and faithful person who “gave his life trying to expose the world to the suffering of the Syrian people” and the horrors of war.
His 2012 disappearance marked the second time Foley had been captured in the thick of political and social unrest. The first came in 2011 when Foley was reporting from the middle of the Libyan civil war. Qaddafi loyalists kidnapped him and fellow journalist Clare Morgana Gillis and held them captive for 44 days, during which time, Foley later recounted, he often turned to prayer to maintain hope.
Foley describes the role prayer played in his life during those days in captivity, his Catholic faith and the only call home his captors allowed him: I began to pray the rosary. It was what my mother and grandmother would have prayed.
I said 10 Hail Marys between each Our Father. It took a long time, almost an hour to count 100 Hail Marys off on my knuckles. And it helped to keep my mind focused.
Clare and I prayed together out loud. It felt energizing to speak our weaknesses and hopes together, as if in a conversation with God, rather than silently and alone.