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Church in France reopens after priest murder by jihadists

Church in France reopens after priest murder by jihadists
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The church in north west France where Father Jacques Hamel was murdered by alleged Islamist militants in July has reopened to the public for the first time.

Following a procession ceremony a special mass was held designed to purify the alter where the 85-year-old was knifed to death.

It was also announced that Pope Francis has agreed to expedite the sainthood process after describing the priest as a martyr.

Usually a miracle needs to have been declared for a candidate for sainthood to be beatified. But that requirement can be waived if there is evidence that the person died a martyr.

Last month, during a mass in memory of the dead priest, Francis used the words martyr or martyrdom 10 times in his homily at the Vatican.