Apostolic Blessing offered to those who mourn Cardinal George

Cardinal Francis George of Chicago at a press conference at the NAC on Feb 27 2013 Credit Paolo Tiranti CNA CNA US Catholic News 2 28 13 Cardinal Francis George of Chicago, at a press conference at the NAC on Feb. 27, 2013. | Paolo Tiranti/CNA

In a telegram to Archbishop Blase Cupich of Chicago, the Holy Father offered his blessing to all those who mourn Cardinal Francis E. George.

"To all who mourn the late Cardinal in the sure hope of the Resurrection, I cordially impart my Apostolic Blessing as a pledge of consolation and peace in the Lord," Pope Francis said in the April 18 telegram, according to Vatican Radio.

The Holy Father praised the late archbishop emeritus for his service to the Church as an Oblate of Mary and for his episcopal service in Yakima, Portland, and finally, Chicago.

Saddened to hear of Cardinal George's passing, the Pontiff offered his "heartfelt condolences" to the faithful of the Archdiocese of Chicago.

" … I join you in commending the soul of this wise and gentle pastor to the merciful love of God our Heavenly Father," Pope Francis said.

Pope Francis also offered prayers for Cardinal George during his daily Mass at Casa Santa Martha Saturday morning.

Cardinal Pietro Parolin, Vatican Secretary of State, gave his condolences in the telegram while praying "that the merciful Lord will grant (Cardinal George) the reward of his faith and his tireless labors for the Church."

The 78 year-old cardinal passed away April 17 after battling cancer for several years. He was first diagnosed with bladder cancer in 2006 and underwent a five-hour surgery to remove his bladder and other parts of his body affected by cancer. In 2012, his doctors discovered that the cancer had returned, this time to his kidney and liver.

The funeral Mass for Cardinal George will take place April 23 at Holy Name Cathedral in Chicago after lying in-state for two days. He will be buried in a family plot at the All Saints Cemetery in Des Plaines, Ill.

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