This past Friday, Cardinal Jean Margeot, 93, passed away in Maritius, an island located east of Madagascar in the Indian Ocean. Upon learning of the cardinal's death, Pope Benedict sent a telegram to Bishop Maurice Piat of Port Louis, praising the cardinal's lifelong dedication to God and offering his prayers.
Three ceremonies were held on Sunday to bid farewell to Cardinal Margeot, beginning with a time of prayer in St. Louis Cathedral, followed by a funeral Mass at the Mary Queen of Peace monument and concluding with the cardinal's entombment in his cathedral.
The midday funeral Mass was presided over by Bishop Piat, who was joined by the Apostolic Nuncio to Maritius Bishop Augustine Kasujja and numerous other bishops, including the late cardinal's cousin Bishop Alain Harel.
In his telegram to Bishop Piat, the Holy Father expressed his "profound union in prayer with the diocese of Port-Louis, with the family of the deceased and with everyone affected by this loss."
"Entrusting him to the mercy of the Lord," the Pope wrote, "I give thanks to God for the ministry of this zealous pastor who dedicated his entire life to the inhabitants of the Isle of Mauritius, as diocesan priest then as bishop of Port-Louis, giving the best of himself that Christ might be announced, especially through his generous commitment to serving the defense and promotion of the family."
Pope Benedict finished his message by invoking the maternal intercession of the Virgin Mary, mother of the Church, and praying that "the Lord welcome His faithful servant into His Kingdom of peace and light."
"Upon you, upon the faithful of the diocese, upon the relatives of the deceased and upon everyone who gathers for the funeral liturgy," the Pope said, "I impart a heartfelt apostolic blessing."