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Pope Francis to Commemorate Slain Priest Jacques Hamel at Mass Wednesday

On Wednesday, Pope Francis will celebrate Mass in commemoration of Father Jacques Hamel (pictured), the French priest whose throat was slit by two Islamist terrorists in July.

The 85-year-old French priest was celebrating morning Mass at his parish church at Saint-Etienne-du-Rouvray when two young jihadists stormed into the church, forced the priest to the ground, and cut his throat.

The commemoration Mass for the martyred priest will be held on Wednesday morning at 7:00am, in the chapel of Casa Santa Marta, the Pope’s residence.

Some 80 pilgrims from the Archdiocese of Rouen, where Fr Hamel lived and worked, will be in attendance, along with their Archbishop, Dominique Lebrun.

Vatican spokesman Greg Burke said Francis wanted to “show his closeness” to the friends, relatives and parishioners of the priest who are making the pilgrimage trip to Rome in his memory. Burke also said that the celebration will be broadcast live at 7:00 a.m. Rome time through the Vatican’s Television Center.

Burke has referred to the slain priest as a “modern-day martyr.”

The priest’s attackers, Adel Kermiche and Abdel Malik Petitjean, who had pledged allegiance to the Islamic State, were both shot dead by police.

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