BOSTON (AP) — A Mass drew hundreds on Sunday, on what would have been the ninth birthday of the youngest victim of the Boston Marathon bombings.
The Dorchester Reporter reported (http://bit.ly/19dT8VM) that Martin Richard's father, Bill Richard, paid tribute to his son at the Mass at St. Ann Parish in Boston's Dorchester neighborhood and praised his family's courage.
Martin, who was one of three people killed in the April 15 bombing, was remembered by his father as an outstanding and curious student who loved astronomy, math and solving complicated problems.
Bill Richard, wearing a peace symbol button, said his son helped younger students and settled disputes and enjoyed playing and winning at Monopoly.
The Richard family attended the Mass. Martin's sister, 7-year-old Jane, lost a leg in the explosion. Their mother, Denise, suffered a head injury and lost vision in an eye. Their father, Bill, received shrapnel wounds and burns to his legs and suffered hearing loss. The eldest child, Henry, was unharmed.
The Rev. Sean Connor spoke with Jane as they sat on the altar, surrounded by about 100 other youngsters, many of them friends and classmates. He recalled that Jane's first words to him when he visited her at the hospital were, "Where have you been? You have to pray."
The two prayed for the nurses, doctors, first responders and for Martin. Connor said Jane told him that Martin "lives in my heart."
He advised the youngsters to read the rosary and pray at home with their parents to help ease the pain of Martin's loss.
"You teach your moms and dads to laugh and to love and that makes hope real for us," he said.