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Massachusetts honors Boston Marathon bomb victim on day he would turn 9

  • FILE - In this  March 24, 2000, file photo, environmental activist Erin Brockovich sits in her home in Agoura Hills, Calif.  Brockovich has been arrested on suspicion of boating while intoxicated at Lake Mead near Las Vegas, authorities said Sunday, June 9, 2013. Brockovich was arrested late Friday night after breath tests showed her blood-alcohol level was over the legal limit, said a spokesman for the Nevada Department of Wildlife. (AP Photo/Damian Dovarganes, File)

    FILE - In this March 24, 2000, file photo, environmental activist Erin Brockovich sits in her home in Agoura Hills, Calif. Brockovich has been arrested on suspicion of boating while intoxicated at Lake Mead near Las Vegas, authorities said Sunday, June 9, 2013. Brockovich was arrested late Friday night after breath tests showed her blood-alcohol level was over the legal limit, said a spokesman for the Nevada Department of Wildlife. (AP Photo/Damian Dovarganes, File)

  • Jane Richard sits with Father Sean Connor, pastor at St. Ann Church in Boston, during a birthday memorial mass for Martin Richard on Sunday, June 9, 2013.  Martin, the youngest victim of the Boston Marathon bombings, was honored Sunday at a Roman Catholic Mass on what would have been his ninth birthday. (AP Photo/The Pilot, Gregory L. Tracy, Pool)

    Jane Richard sits with Father Sean Connor, pastor at St. Ann Church in Boston, during a birthday memorial mass for Martin Richard on Sunday, June 9, 2013. Martin, the youngest victim of the Boston Marathon bombings, was honored Sunday at a Roman Catholic Mass on what would have been his ninth birthday. (AP Photo/The Pilot, Gregory L. Tracy, Pool)

  • Jane Richard, center top, sits with Father Sean Connor, pastor at St. Ann Church in Boston, during a birthday memorial mass for Martin Richard on Sunday, June 9, 2013.  Martin, the youngest victim of the Boston Marathon bombings, was honored Sunday at a Roman Catholic Mass on what would have been his ninth birthday. (AP Photo/The Pilot, Gregory L. Tracy, Pool)

    Jane Richard, center top, sits with Father Sean Connor, pastor at St. Ann Church in Boston, during a birthday memorial mass for Martin Richard on Sunday, June 9, 2013. Martin, the youngest victim of the Boston Marathon bombings, was honored Sunday at a Roman Catholic Mass on what would have been his ninth birthday. (AP Photo/The Pilot, Gregory L. Tracy, Pool)

  • Father Sean Connor, pastor at St. Ann Church in Boston, celebrates the Eucharist during a birthday memorial mass for Martin Richard on Sunday, June 9, 2013.  Martin, the youngest victim of the Boston Marathon bombings, was honored Sunday at a Roman Catholic Mass on what would have been his ninth birthday. (AP Photo/The Pilot, Gregory L. Tracy, Pool)

    Father Sean Connor, pastor at St. Ann Church in Boston, celebrates the Eucharist during a birthday memorial mass for Martin Richard on Sunday, June 9, 2013. Martin, the youngest victim of the Boston Marathon bombings, was honored Sunday at a Roman Catholic Mass on what would have been his ninth birthday. (AP Photo/The Pilot, Gregory L. Tracy, Pool)

  • FILE - In this  March 24, 2000, file photo, environmental activist Erin Brockovich sits in her home in Agoura Hills, Calif.  Brockovich has been arrested on suspicion of boating while intoxicated at Lake Mead near Las Vegas, authorities said Sunday, June 9, 2013. Brockovich was arrested late Friday night after breath tests showed her blood-alcohol level was over the legal limit, said a spokesman for the Nevada Department of Wildlife. (AP Photo/Damian Dovarganes, File)
  • Jane Richard sits with Father Sean Connor, pastor at St. Ann Church in Boston, during a birthday memorial mass for Martin Richard on Sunday, June 9, 2013.  Martin, the youngest victim of the Boston Marathon bombings, was honored Sunday at a Roman Catholic Mass on what would have been his ninth birthday. (AP Photo/The Pilot, Gregory L. Tracy, Pool)
  • Jane Richard, center top, sits with Father Sean Connor, pastor at St. Ann Church in Boston, during a birthday memorial mass for Martin Richard on Sunday, June 9, 2013.  Martin, the youngest victim of the Boston Marathon bombings, was honored Sunday at a Roman Catholic Mass on what would have been his ninth birthday. (AP Photo/The Pilot, Gregory L. Tracy, Pool)
  • Father Sean Connor, pastor at St. Ann Church in Boston, celebrates the Eucharist during a birthday memorial mass for Martin Richard on Sunday, June 9, 2013.  Martin, the youngest victim of the Boston Marathon bombings, was honored Sunday at a Roman Catholic Mass on what would have been his ninth birthday. (AP Photo/The Pilot, Gregory L. Tracy, Pool)

The youngest victim of the Boston Marathon bombings was honored yesterday at a Roman Catholic Mass on what would have been his ninth birthday.

The family of Martin Richard was joined by hundreds of people from Boston and the region in yesterday’s tribute at St. Ann Parish in Boston’s Dorchester neighborhood. The congregation cheered as Martin’s 7-year-old sister, Jane, who lost a leg in the explosion, wheeled herself up the center aisle with the pastor.

Martin’s father, Bill Richard, described his son as an outstanding and curious student who loved astronomy, math and solving complicated problems, The Dorchester Reporter reported.

Bill Richard, wearing a peace symbol button, said Martin helped younger students and settled disputes and enjoyed playing and winning at Monopoly.

Martin was one of three people killed in the April 15 bombings. More than 260 others were hurt, including most of Martin’s family.

His mother, Denise, suffered a head injury and lost vision in an eye. His father 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 and first responders and for Martin. Connor said Jane told him that Martin “lives in my heart.”

He advised the children 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.

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