Hundreds pay respects to France's Abbe Pierre

24th January 2007, Comments 0 comments

PARIS, Jan 24, 2007 (AFP) - Hundreds of people braved the freezing weather on Wednesday to pay their final respects to Abbe Pierre, France's best-loved priest and homeless campaigner who died this week aged 94.

PARIS, Jan 24, 2007 (AFP) - Hundreds of people braved the freezing weather on Wednesday to pay their final respects to Abbe Pierre, France's best-loved priest and homeless campaigner who died this week aged 94.

Mourners filed silently into the 17th century Val de Grace hospital in Paris, pausing briefly before the open coffin of the Abbe Pierre, a man described as the conscience of the French nation.

On the church altar lay the priest's trademark beret and walking stick, next to them his Legion of Honour cross -- the country's highest distinction.

Tributes have poured in since the Abbe Pierre's death on Monday. The founder of the Emmaus charity for the destitute was regularly voted France's most popular personality.

Abbe Pierre is to be given a national funeral in Paris's Notre Dame Cathedral Friday before being buried in a private cemetery in the Normandy village of Esteville.

Copyright AFP

Subject: French News

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