Francis Mourns Death of Zambia’s 1st Cardinal

Former Archbishop of Lusaka Died Thursday at 81

Pope Francis today sent a telegram to the archbishop of Lusaka, Zambia, expressing his condolences at the death of Cardinal Medardo Joseph Mazombwe, the nation’s first cardinal.

Cardinal Mazombwe died Thursday at age 81, after a long battle with cancer.

In the telegram to Archbishop Telesphore George Mpundu, the Holy Father praised Cardinal Mazombwe’s “unfailing commitment to the spread of the Gospel in Africa and his tireless efforts on behalf of the poor.” 

“I offer to you, the clergy, religious and lay faithful of the Archdiocese my heartfelt condolences and the assurance of my prayers,” the Pope said. “With gratitude to Almighty God, I recall his unfailing commitment to the spread of the Gospel in Africa and his tireless efforts on behalf of the poor.”

The Bishop of Rome assured his prayers “that God the Father of mercies may grant him the reward of his labors and welcome his noble soul into the peace and joy of heaven.”

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