VATICAN CITY, JUNE 8, 2004 ( John Paul II named Secretary of Vatican State Cardinal Angelo as his special envoy to the funeral this Friday of former U.S. President Ronald Reagan, Vatican sources said.

Meanwhile, the Vatican press office today published the telegram sent by the Pope to Reagan's wife, Nancy, to express his sadness.

"I recall with deep gratitude the late president's unwavering commitment to the service of the nation and to the cause of freedom as well as his abiding faith in the human and spiritual values which ensure a future of solidarity, justice and peace in our world," the Pope wrote.

"Together with your family and the American people I commend his noble soul to the merciful love of God our heavenly Father and cordially invoke upon all who mourn his passing the divine blessings of consolation, strength and peace," the papal message concluded.