Pope Bids Farewell to Diplomat at God's Service

Funeral Celebrated for Cardinal Laghi

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
Share this Entry

VATICAN CITY, JAN. 13, 2009 (Zenit.org).- Benedict XVI paid homage today to the evangelizing and diplomatic work of Cardinal Pio Laghi, who died Sunday at age 86.

The cardinal’s funeral was celebrated today by Cardinal Angelo Sodano, dean of the College of Cardinals. The Pope gave the homily and led the rites of final commendation and farewell.

«We ask the Lord to bring our brother to participate in eternal beatitude,» the Holy Father said, «the first fruits of which he was able to experience beforehand already here on earth in ecclesial communion, and in the building up of bonds of peace and concord among peoples and nations, to whom he was sent as a pontifical representative.»

During the homily, the Pontiff read some phrases from the spiritual testament of the Italian cardinal, written last November: «I again offer to God my life for the Church, for the Holy Father and for the sanctification of my brothers in the priesthood.

«I want already now to accept the death that Divine Providence has reserved for me: I only ask him that the days of my suffering be brief, if it is possible, in part so as not to be a burden for those who help me.»

The Pope affirmed that «the Lord, to whose service [the cardinal] dedicated himself entirely, now has opened to him his arms as a good and merciful Father.»

The Holy Father recalled Cardinal Laghi’s missions to the White House in 2003 to illustrate the position and the initiatives undertaken by the Holy See to contribute to disarmament and peace in the Middle East; and to the Holy Land in 2001, as the special papal envoy to Israel and the Palestinian Authority to deliver a personal message from Pope John Paul II promoting a ceasefire and the resumption of peace talks.

«Delicate missions that he tried to carry out, as always, with faithful surrender to Christ and his Church,» Benedict XVI reflected.

«I have wanted to love Christ,» the Pontiff continued quoting from the spiritual testament, «and to serve him all of my life, despite the fact that frequently my human fragility has impeded me from manifesting to him in an always recognizable way, as I would have wished, my love, my fidelity and my total surrender to his will.»

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
Share this Entry


Support ZENIT

If you liked this article, support ZENIT now with a donation