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Pope Francis speaks with family of slain journalist Jim Foley

via Aleteia

Still grieving a tragic loss in his own family, Pope Francis has reached out to the family of James Foley, the U.S. journalist whose beheading by Islamist militants was depicted in a gruesome online video

The Pope called the Rochester, N.H., family to console them for their loss and assure them of his prayers, Jesuit Father Federico Lombardi, Vatican spokesman said Thursday.

He said Foley’s family was “deeply moved and grateful” for the Pope’s gesture.

Foley graduated in 1996 from Marquette, a Jesuit university. He said that during the first time he was kidnapped in 2011 by Qaddafi loyalists in the midst of the Libyan civil war, he came to appreciate praying the Rosary.

According to Catholic News Service, President Obama called Foley’s parents, John and Diane Foley, Aug. 20 before addressing the nation about their son’s death and told them: “We are all heartbroken.”

When the president was making his televised remarks about James Foley’s death, his parents spoke to reporters on the front yard of their home.

“We thank God for the gift of Jim. We are so, so proud of him,” said Diane Foley.

She added that he was “a courageous, fearless journalist — the best of America.”

John Foley told reporters: “We think his strength came from God,” and his wife interjected: “We know it did.”

His father also described how their son not only wanted to humanize the wars he was covering but would also “take a bullet” for any of his colleagues.

“It’s not difficult to find solace,” his father added, saying he knows his son is “in God’s hands.”

He said it is now up to others to “pick up the gauntlet” and continue the work his son was doing.

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