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Ellie, child victim of Uvalde massacre, spoke about Jesus and heaven on TikTok


Jennifer Lugo

Pablo Cesio - published on 06/04/22

9-year-old Ellie Garcia shared her faith in Jesus before her untimely death, a testimony to her faith in Him.

Little Ellie Garcia, 9 years-old, was one of the victims of the shooting that took place on May 24, 2022, at Robb School in Uvalde, Texas.

The consequences and echoes of the massacre in Uvalde continue even as other cases of public gun violence make the news. As the days go by, the faces behind the numbers in Uvalde have come to light.

Aside from the grim numbers and the political debate, we have come to learn about several stories full of heroism in the midst of the tragedy. One example is how a teacher, Arnulfo Reyes, protected his students by using his own body to shield them from the shooter. He was hit by several bullets, but survived. Aleteia told that story here.

A moving and transcendent message

In the midst of these stories and touching gestures appear some words spoken by little Ellie García, in what multiple sources report was her last video on TikTok. (The original video seems to have been removed from that platform, but it has been reposted countless times by other accounts and on other platforms.)

In a way that almost seems to foreshadow what was coming, she spoke in that message about Jesus and heaven:

“Jesus, he died for us, so that when we die, we’ll be up there with him. In my room, I have three pictures of him,” Ellie said in the video.

According to CNA, Ellie’s father republished the video on Facebook the day after the shooting; no explicit reference is made to the moment when it was recorded. However, the fact that it resurfaced in this context only confirms that it is a message full of transcendence, a sign of hope in the midst of so much sadness and debate. The voice of this little girl speaking with conviction about Jesus and what happens after death can only stir our hearts. 

Ellie Garcia and an image of Jesus

“Why do children suffer?”

Pope Francis talked about death and the suffering of children in a Wednesday audience held on November 27, 2013, at the Vatican:

“Among us there is commonly a mistaken way of looking at death. Death affects us all, and it questions us in a profound way, especially when it touches us closely, or when it takes the little ones, the defenseless in such a way that it seems ‘scandalous,’” He continued, “I have always been struck by the question: why do children suffer? Why do children die?”

Death becomes frightening, the pontiff says, if we see it as the endpoint of our existence that “shatters every dream, every promise,” which “severs every relationship and interrupts every journey.” But this is not a Christian view of death, as he goes on to explain:

This concept of death is typical of atheistic thought, which interprets life as a random existence in the world and as a journey toward nothingness. (…) If we give ourselves over to this mistaken vision of death, we have no other choice than to conceal death, to deny it, or to trivialize it so that it does not make us afraid.

The pope then explains a view of death in the light of Christ:

There is a powerful instinct within us which tells us that our lives do not end with death. This thirst for life found its true and reliable answer in the Resurrection of Jesus Christ. Jesus’ Resurrection does not only give us the certainty of life after death, it also illumines the very mystery of the death of each one of us. If we live united to Jesus, faithful to him, we will also be able to face the passage of death with hope and serenity. In fact, the Church prays: “If the certainty of having to die saddens us, the promise of future immortality consoles us.”

These words of Pope Francis provide context for the words of little Ellie Garcia, who had grasped the essence of these truths. Deep down, in the midst of painful situations in which purely natural human logic can never console us, her message is comforting.

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