Pope Francis expressed his condolences following the death of Cardinal Giovanni Canestri, Archbishop Emeritus of Genova. He passed away several months before his 97thbirthday.
In a telegram sent to Cardinal Agostino Vallini, Vicar General of Rome, the Holy Father said the Italian prelate’s death “provoked deep emotion and sincere admiration” for this “esteemed man of the Church who lived his long and fruitful priesthood and episcopate with humility and faithfulness at the service of the Gospel and of the souls entrusted to him.”
The 78 year old Pontiff recalled “with gratitude”, Cardinal Canestri’s “fervent” ministry, first as a parochial vicar during difficult times of war, in the peripheries of Rome marked by suffering and poverty; then as pastor, “intent to educate especially youth to the joy of faith.”
He also recalled his work as auxiliary bishop of Rome, in which “he dedicated with apostolic intensity to the spiritual and material needs of the people, while assiduously participating in the work of the Second Vatican Council.”
Regarding his time as Archbishop of Genova-Bobbio, the Pope said Cardinal Canestri “gave witness to pastoral wisdom and generous attention to the needs of others, going out to meet all with kindness and meekness.”
The late Cardinal’s funeral will take place on Saturday morning in St. Peter’s Basilica and will be presided by Cardinal Angelo Sodano, dean of the College of Cardinals. At the conclusion of the celebration, Pope Francis will preside over the Final Commendatio.
According to Vatican Radio, Cardinal Canestri expressed his wish that his remains be laid to rest at the Cathedral of San Lorenzo in Genova. Following the funeral celebration, the Cardinal’s body will be transferred to Genova where he will lie in state for three days before finally being laid to rest.