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Church leaders called for healing on Saturday after a crucifix dedicated to a local monsignor’s late mother was vandalized this week in Brooklyn.

The statue of Jesus dying on the cross, the holiest image in the Catholic faith, was smashed and an American flag was burned outside St. Athanasius Church on Bay Parkway at 61st Street in Bensonhurst late Thursday night.

Cops called the act a possible hate crime and said that the unknown assailant hopped the church fence before destroying the hallowed symbols.

“My mother spent the last two years of her life living in the rectory,” Monsignor David Cassato told The Post following Saturday morning Mass, while choking back tears. “She was sick with cancer, and she became so friendly with everybody that when she passed people wanted to do something to keep her memory alive and that is the reason we dedicated the cross to her.”

The churchyard crucifix was erected and dedicated to Fay Cassato in 2010, a year after her death.

The vandal toppled the image of Jesus, breaking it into pieces, and torched the American flag hanging outside the rectory, according to cops.

The attack prompted a response from Gov. Cuomo.

“I am disgusted to learn that St. Athanasius Church, a historically Italian American place of worship in Brooklyn, has been vandalized,” the governor said in a statement Saturday. “These acts of hate should offend and outrage every New Yorker, and I want the Bensonhurst community to know we will do everything we can to bring the cowardly vandals responsible for this to justice. Hate has no place in our state, and as New Yorkers we celebrate our diversity.”

Father Edwin Ortiz addressed the attack with church members at 9 a.m. Mass on Saturday.

“There was so much pain, there was so much hurt at that moment but ultimately we led the night with a prayer vigil because we cannot let anger, we cannot let hate overcome us or we become a part of that.”

A temporary wooden cross with Jesus painted on it has been erected where the statue once stood. Ortiz told The Post the damaged crucifix will be repaired. 

Two members of the Guardian Angels stood guard on the sidewalk near the scene Saturday.

“We’re protecting the property and keeping an eye out. We’re showing the community we’re here for them,” said Guardian Angels patrol leader Jose Gonzalez. “This was a heinous act.”

Church member Connie Giordana, 92, said she has been a member of the church all her life and this was the first time she witnessed any violence there.

“It was terrible what they did,” she said. “It was a shame. We have to learn to forgive because the people who did it are not all there.”

“We are not here to spread a message of hate, we are not here to spread a message of revenge,” said Father Ortiz during the Mass. “But rather that God is among us and love will triumph over hate and anger.”

Ortiz said he had no immediate message for the suspect. 

“It was so hurtful for every reason,” said Monsignor Cassato. “First of all, religiously. Secondly, the personal attachment to the cross to my mother. And, thirdly, the flag for the sense of solidarity with our country and the time that we are going through in our country, all this bitterness and hurt in people’s lives.”

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