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Tuesday, October 17, 2006


VATICAN CITY, OCT 17, 2006 (VIS) - At 5 p.m. yesterday evening at the major altar of St. Peter's Basilica, Benedict XVI celebrated the funeral Mass for Cardinal Dino Monduzzi, prefect emeritus of the Pontifical Household, who died last Friday at the age of 84.

  "We like to think of dear Cardinal Monduzzi," said the Pope in his homily, "in the loving arms of the heavenly Father Who called him to Himself after a long and difficult illness. Let us call to mind his long life, which was animated by a simple and profound evangelical faith acquired in his family from his earliest infancy."

  The Holy Father recalled how the late cardinal, born in Brisighella, Italy, in 1922, joined Catholic Action while still very young, how he "responded with ready generosity to the call of God" and was ordained a priest in 1945. A short time later he moved to Rome as part of a group of priests and lay people involved in "pastoral activities of religious and moral reawakening, known as 'Social Missions'."

  This "modern form of evangelization" took the future cardinal to various regions of Italy where he embarked on "the almost pioneering role of chaplain to day laborers and peasants" in an institution for agrarian reform "which aroused so many hopes in an area of great human decline." In 1959, after ten years of "intense apostolic labors," he entered the service of the Holy See as secretary to the Chamberlain's office, and in 1967 was appointed as secretary and regent of the Apostolic Palace.

  "His was a long and much-appreciated service under four pontiffs," added Benedict XVI, a service that culminated in 1986 when he was appointed as prefect of the Pontifical Household. John Paul II made him a cardinal in 1998.

  "Cardinal Monduzzi, after a long human and priestly journey, now reaches the heavenly homeland, which is promised to those who spend their lives in the service of God and their fellows," said the Holy Father. "He worked for the Kingdom of heaven, considering his encounters with others as precious opportunities to arouse a sense of nostalgia for the things of heaven and love for the Church. ... As prefect of the Pontifical Household he had the chance to meet the most powerful men on earth, whom he welcomed with the courtesy, warmth and sympathy that arose from his strong faith and from his origins."

  The Pope concluded his homily by recalling how Cardinal Monduzzi drew "constant inspiration" from his motto "Patientiam praeficere caritati." In all circumstances "he discovered in the virtue of patience the best way to conform his life to Christ, bearing difficulties and suffering, and seeking to show charity to everyone."
HML/.../MONDUZZI                                VIS 20061017 (460)

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