Pope Praises Late President’s Witness to Faith


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Pope Benedict XVI has sent a telegram of condolences to the people of Malta on the death of former President Guido de Marco.

The message was issued on behalf of the Holy Father by Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, Secretary of State of the Holy See. It was read during the Mass praesente cadavere at St John's Co-Cathedral Monday afternoon.

The Pope had received Prof and Mrs de Marco when he visited Malta in April.

Addressed to Archbishop Paul Cremona, the telegram reads: "His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI was deeply saddened to learn of the death of Professor Guido de Marco, former President of Malta, and he sends prayerful condolences to Mrs de Marco, to the family, and to all who mourn the loss of this fine statesmen.

"His Holiness recalls with esteem the deceased's significant contribution not only the domestic affairs of the Maltese nation, which he served for many years with great distinction, but to the life of the international community, especially during his term of office as President of the General Assembly of the United Nations.

"Mindful of the deceased's clear and constant witness to his faith in Christ in the conduct of political life, the Holy Father prays that many who serve in public office will draw inspiration from his example.

"His Holiness joins all who are gathered for the solemn funeral rite in commending Professor de Marco's soul to the merciful love of our heavenly Father, and as a pledge of spiritual strength and comfort, he willingly imparts his Apostolic Blessing to the de Marco family and to the entire nation."

Prof de Marco died Thursday Aug 13th after suffering a heart attack at his home. He was 79 years old.