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Pope Francis to Honor WWII Dead at US Cemetery, Site of Massacre

  • Associated Press

FILE - Pope Francis follows in the footsteps of his predecessor, Pope Benedict XVI, seen here signing a book during a visit to the Ardeatine Caves Memorial in Rome, March 27, 2011.

Pope Francis will pay homage to victims of war when he visits two important World War II sites south of Rome next month: the American military cemetery at Nettuno and the Ardeatine Caves, site of one of the worst massacres in German-occupied Italy.

The Vatican on Friday announced that Francis would celebrate Mass at the Nettuno cemetery for all war dead on November 2, which the Catholic Church marks as All Soul's Day to honor the dead.

Later in the day, Francis will travel to the Ardeatine Caves on Rome's outskirts. There, in 1944, 335 people were shot to death as a reprisal for an attack by partisans that killed 33 Nazi soldiers on a street in Rome.

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