Slain Catholic boy remembered by Boston community

Boston Deals With Aftermath Of Marathon Explosions Credit Jared Wickerham Getty Images News Getty Images CNA US Catholic News 4 16 13 A family leaves flowers in front of the home of the Richard family whose eight-year-old son, Martin, was killed during the Boston explosions. | Jared Wickerham/Getty Images News/Getty Images.

The young Catholic boy killed when a bomb exploded near the finish line of the Boston Marathon is being remembered by his family and educators for his kindness and enthusiasm.

Russ Wilson, regional director of the Pope John Paul II Catholic Academy in Dorchester, which 8-year-old Martin Richard attended, told CNA that the child had received his First Communion in May 2012.

Wilson described the Richards as a wonderful and active family in the school community.

Martin was killed on the afternoon of April 15 in Boston, when two bombs exploded near the finish line of the city's annual marathon, which generally attracts some 20,000 participants and 500,000 spectators.

Three people – including Martin – have died from the bombing and more than 175 more were injured. The FBI is treating the explosions as an act of terrorism, searching for both a perpetrator and motive.

The Richard family had reportedly been watching the race near the finish line when the bombs went off.

According to the Dorchester Reporter, the boy's mother suffered a head injury from the blasts and his sister's leg was severely injured as well. Both are currently in the hospital. 

The Pope John Paul II Catholic Academy released a statement explaining that the entire school community "is offering its every prayer for the Richard family during this heartbreaking time." 

"Martin is a former student of the Academy and was a kind, caring, and loving young boy who had great enthusiasm for learning," the school said. "We are deeply saddened by this tragedy."

ABC News ran a statement released by the boy's father, Bill Richard, on April 16.

"My dear son Martin has died from injuries sustained in the attack on Boston. My wife and daughter are both recovering from serious injuries," Richard said.

"We thank our family and friends, those we know and those we have never met, for their thoughts and prayers. I ask that you continue to pray for my family as we remember Martin."

"We also ask for your patience and for privacy as we work to simultaneously grieve and recover," he continued. "Thank you."

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