VATICAN CITY, 12 JAN 2009 (VIS) - Benedict XVI has sent a telegram of condolence for the death of Cardinal Pio Laghi, prefect emeritus of the Congregation for Catholic Education and patron of the Sovereign Military Order of Malta. The cardinal died yesterday at the age of 86.
In the telegram, addressed to the nephews of the deceased, the Pope speaks of Cardinal Laghi's "long and generous service to the Holy See, in particular as pontifical representative in various countries and as prefect of the Congregation for Catholic Education. To you and your families I wish to express my sincere participation in the mourning that has afflicted all those who knew and respected the late cardinal and, while raising fervent prayer to God to grant him the prize promised to faithful servants of the Gospel, I send my heartfelt apostolic blessing to all those who grieve his passing".
At the altar of the Cathedra in the Vatican Basilica at 11 a.m. tomorrow, Tuesday 13 January, Cardinal Angelo Sodano, dean of the College of Cardinals, will preside at the funeral Mass with other members of the college.
At the end of the ceremony, the Pope will address those present and administer the rites of "Ultima Commendatio" and of "Valedictio".
TGR/DEATH/LAGHI VIS 20090112 (220)