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Holy Hitman

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"And I will strike down upon thee with great vengeance and furious anger those who would attempt to poison and destroy my brothers. And you will know my name is the LORD, when I lay my vengeance upon thee."
Jules Winnfield (mis)quoting The Bible, Pulp Fiction

A hitman or bodyguard frequently quotes Biblical verses while killing people. He may actually also be a priest, but may also just be using them to be ironic. Or doesn't know what the verses in question are actually referring to.

Although The Bible is a frequent source for the quotes (there is a lot of vengeance being laid down in it) any religious text qualifies, as well as things that sound biblical or religious.

The verses quoted may change depending on who the hitman is talking to, or he may just have one "favorite" that he always uses.

Related to Sinister Minister, Bad Habits, Warrior Monk and As the Good Book Says.... A subtrope of In the Name of the Moon, Religious Bruiser, Real Men Love Jesus, and Churchgoing Villain. See also Badass Israeli and All Monks Know Kung-Fu.

If the character is a preacher who happens to sometimes kill people, rather than a killer who happens to know the Good Book, he's a Badass Preacher.


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    Anime & Manga 
  • In the Hellsing manga and OVA, Father Alexander Anderson of Iscariot Section XIII often quotes whole Bible verses and psalms before he actually starts fighting his opponent. Hilariously, said opponent usually waits patiently for him to walk over and engage them. If not, then Anderson just continues quoting while also chopping them to pieces with his Absurdly Sharp Bayonets. Oh, and those are blessed, too. He's really more of a Badass Preacher, since he's a priest and an actual agent of the Vatican. But since his primary vocation seems to be as Iscariot's secret weapon, he puts just a little more emphasis on the "hitman" than the holy.
  • Before 666 (Triple-Six) and 777 (Triple-Seven) go on their slaughter of the prisoners in Dead Leaves, the latter states "Heavenly Father, forgive us for the trespasses we are about to commit." He also makes a few references to God in his fight with Retro and Chinko, like "Hacking a robot? Nice try, but God is waiting for you." and "Say hi to God for me."
  • In Saikano, several soldiers repeat "Namu Amida Butsu" (a Buddhist mantra) quite mechanically every time they shoot someone.
  • While they only pretend to be a church (they're actually a front for the CIA), the members of the Church of Violence in Black Lagoon sometimes fit this.
  • Trigun has a set of these, though the exact details depend upon the adaptation. In the manga, there's the Eye of Michael, a cabal of assassins disguised as a church, though it's implied that they're also a cult that worships the Big Bad. In the anime, Chapel the Evergreen is the chaplain of a gang of assassins called the Gung Ho Guns, an actual priest who happens to also be an assassin. His protege is the gun-toting priest Nicholas Wolfwood.

    Comic Books 
  • The Magdalena from Top Cow Comics would be this. They are actually a whole line of all-female special trained assassins descended from Jesus Christ and Mary Magdalene herself as The Vatican's secret weapon against supernatural threats while wielding The Spear Of Destiny. One was responsible for causing Hitler to commit suicide.
  • The Grail in Preacher has the position of Sacred Executioner which is essentially this trope. However, Herr Starr, who is the only Sacred Executioner we actually see in the series, subverts it by being completely uninterested in the religious aspects of his work.
  • Blade once confronted a vampire assassin called Draconis who was a priest that overcame all their typical weaknesses through Acquired Poison Immunity and sheer faith.

    Fan Works 

    Films — Live-Action 
  • Ben Wade in 3:10 to Yuma (2007) constantly quotes from the Bible — because he read it all over the course of three days as a child when his mother abandoned him. He also calls his pistol "The Hand of God", which has a Biblical inscription.
  • The two brothers in The Boondock Saints recite the family prayer before killing the mob bosses.
  • Jules Winfield in Pulp Fiction quotes Ezekiel 25:17 before killing folks. He admits at the end that he doesn't actually know what it means, just that he thought it was some sort of coldblooded shit to say to a mothafucka before popping a cap in his ass. (And what he's actually quoting is a speech from the 1976 martial arts flick Karate Kiba a.k.a. The Bodyguard, of which only the last couple of sentences come from Ezekiel 25:17.) A scene in a diner shows that he also doesn't eat pork, for what are implied to be religious reasons.
  • The Operative in Serenity. He wants to create a "world without sin," and is willing to go to just about any length to bring it about. However, he also seems to regard himself as beyond redemption, so he believes that there's No Place for Me There.
  • In The Night of the Hunter, Robert Mitchum, the psychopathic Serial Killer villain of the movie, fancies himself a preacher, even going so far as to tattoo LOVE and HATE on his knuckles, which he explains with a tenuous biblical allegory. He frequently monologues with God.
  • The sniper in Saving Private Ryan.
  • Dogma features a notable example with the fallen angel Bartleby. Before killing a crowd of people, he announces, "Ladies and gentlemen, you have been judged guilty of sinning against our almighty God, and I promise you, you shall pay for your trespasses, in blood!"
  • The hitman pair in Nurse Betty are both very religious and will cite chapter and verse when killing.
  • Lyle Porter in Flyboys: He stencils a reference to 2 Timothy 4:7 on his plane (I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith) and also sings the hymn "Onward Christian Soldiers" during a dogfight.
  • The Priest in Johnny Mnemonic is a cyborg assassin Sinister Minister who dresses as a Christian monk and carries a crucifix knife. He's based on a overly literal reading of a line from Neuromancer in which Molly describes an assassin who is so zen that he's "like a monk."

  • An Older Than Steam example in The Private Memoirs and Confessions of a Justified Sinner, with the Villain Protagonist Robert Wringhim Colwan, who had a very religious Calvinist upbringing and is persuaded by his mysterious friend Gil-Martin to kill all sinners in the eyes of God ("sinner" here meaning practically anyone they claim has not been predestined to salvation—that is, they were damned before they were ever born).
  • The Fraternity of the Stone, a novel by David Morrell, is about a US government hitman who becomes a monk (and is forced to go back to his old profession when his monastery is attacked in an attempt to kill him), who encounters an ancient Christian order of assassin-priests created during the Middle Ages.
  • Silas in The Da Vinci Code, murdering a nun and giving her the last rites.
  • The Dresden Files has one. "Suffer not a witch to live." Written in holy water so only Dresden could find it, at a death that looks a damn lot like a suicide. It was written by a vampire, so he was actually just taunting Harry.
    • The Knights of the Cross come across this way, but their purpose is explicitly **not** to kill, but to give those tempted by Fallen Angels a chance to repent. They fall closer to The Paladin than this trope, although there's still a decent amount of killing, and quoting scripture along the way (sometimes they even up the ante and not only quote God, but act as His mouthpiece).
  • The Vampire Chronicles: Lestat comes across as this trope in the later half of Blood Canticle.
  • The Reckoners Trilogy: Obliteration is an extremely powerful supervillain who, true to his name, makes a habit of wiping entire cities out of existence via his heat powers. He seems to believe himself to be an agent of divine retribution, ushering in the Biblical end times, and frequently quotes John the Evangelist (paticularly Revelation). The end of the series reveals that he also overcame The Corruption that the Epic powers bring years ago, meaning that unlike every other villain, he was operating completely of his own free will; he just genuinely believes in what he's saying.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Caleb the priest in Buffy, the "Dirty Girls" episode, going on mostly about the sin of woman. Combined with talk about her 'gaping maw' swallowing a man whole, for maximum squick.
  • Brother Mouzone, the Muslim hit man of The Wire, who dresses and acts like a member of the Nation of Islam (though it's never said whether he actually is).
  • The Punisher (2017). John Pilgrim is prone to quoting Bible verses and prays for his (many, many) victims' souls.
  • The Priors of the Ori in Stargate SG-1 are the preachers and enforcers of a Religion of Evil that commands them to convert or destroy all nonbelievers. When performing both tasks, they often quote their holy scripture, the Book of Origin.

    Video Games 
  • Reverend Ray in Call of Juarez game, a The Gunslinger-turned-Church Militant. In fact, instead of doing Guns Akimbo, you can actually hold a gun in one hand and The Bible in the other and have him read random passages from it every time you make a kill.
  • In Samurai Warriors, Uesugi Kenshin's victory taunt is "may the gods have mercy", and he believes himself to be the avatar of Bishamonten, the god of war. This is a nod to the real life Uesugi Kenshin, who was a Buddhist monk and a fanatic devotee of Bishamonten.
  • Father Grigori from Half-Life 2. It's ambiguous as to whether he's actually religious (he's entirely Laughing Mad, so it's kind of hard to tell), but he's shacked up in the town's church, and frequently quotes Bible verses while gunning down his zombified "flock".
  • In Hitman 2: Silent Assassin, Agent 47 eventually finds God and tries to shed his worldly possessions. Sadly, being a clone, he isn't quite sure he "belongs in this world" or that he even has a soul. He ends up back in the business when his confessor and friend Father Vittorio is kidnapped. Nonetheless, he still keeps his beliefs and frequently donates his pay to the Catholic Church.