Assassinated French priests joins procession of martyrs, pope says

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Celebrating the feast of the Exaltation of the Cross, the pope entered the chapel dressed in a red chasuble, the color symbolizing martyrdom. He reverently bowed before the altar, where a picture of Fr. Jacques Hamel was placed in front of two lit candles.

Archbishop Dominique Lebrun of Rouen and Father Hamel’s sister, Roselyne Hamel, along with 80 pilgrims from the diocese joined Pope Francis for the Mass in memory of Father Hamel, who was killed July 26. They brought along his photo.

Instead of signing the photo before Mass, the pope “immediately told me to put it on the altar,” the archbishop told reporters later. “At the end of Mass, when he was greeting everyone, he signed it and said to me, ‘You can put this photo in the church because he is “blessed” now, and if anyone says you aren’t allowed, tell them the pope gave you permission.’”

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