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French Catholic shrine prepares for pilgrimage in shadow of attacks

French soldiers patrolling Lourdes in May 2016French security forces are on high alert as thousands of Catholics converge on the shrine of Lourdes for an annual pilgrimage unfolding in the shadow of a string of terror attacks. This year’s pilgrimage comes as Catholics reel from the killing of an elderly French priest on July 26 by two Islamist extremists, who stormed his church in northern France during Mass and slit his throat.

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