Vatican City, 30 April 2015 (VIS) – The Holy Father has sent a telegram of condolences to Cardinal Agostino Vallini, his vicar for the diocese of Rome, for the death at the age of 97 of Cardinal Giovanni Canestri, who was archbishop of Genoa, Italy from 1987 to 1995. Originally from the diocese of Alessandria, the late cardinal belonged to the clergy of Rome.
“The passing of the venerated cardinal elicits in my heart profound emotion and sincere admiration for an esteemed man of the Church who lived with humility and devotion his long and fruitful priesthood and episcopate in the service of the Gospel and of the souls entrusted to him. I recall with gratitude his fervent ministry, first as a deputy priest during the difficult war years in the outskirts of Rome, areas affected by suffering and poverty; then as a parish priest in two populous suburbs, intent on educating the young in particular in the joy of faith. Upon being appointed as auxiliary bishop of Rome, he devoted himself with apostolic intensity to the spiritual and material needs of the people, while participating diligently in the work of Vatican Council II. In his episcopal ministry in Tortona, then as vicegerent and subsequently archbishop of Cagliari, and finally Genoa-Bobbio, he demonstrated pastoral wisdom and generous attention to the needs of others, reaching out to all with goodness and gentleness. I raise fervent prayers that the Lord receive the late cardinal in eternal joy and peace, and I bestow upon you and those who share in sorrow the comfort of my apostolic blessing, with a special thought for the Apostolic Sisters of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, who lovingly cared for him especially in these last years of his infirmity”.