Pope Francis presided over the final funeral rites of Maltese Cardinal Prospero Grech as he was laid to rest in Rome last Thursday.
Cardinal Grech’s funeral mass was led by senior cardinal elector Cardinal Giovanni Battista Re at St Peter’s Basilica but it was the head of the Catholic Church that sealed the ceremony, presiding over the final part of the Maltese Cardinal’s funeral rites.
Also in attendance were President Vella and his wife Miriam along with Malta’s ambassador to the Vatican, Frank Zammit.
“May the Angels lead you into Paradise, the Martyrs welcome you as you draw near and lead you into Jerusalem, the heavenly city,” Zammit said in a Facebook post.
Prosper Grech was a prominent figure within the Vatican, having co-founded the Patristic Institute Augustinianum. He was also the second Maltese member of the College of Cardinals, the first since 1843. He was created a cardinal by Pope Benedict XVI on 18 February 2012.
“On Christmas Eve he was here with us and concelebrated the Christmas Eve Mass with the Holy Father. On Monday, he was at table with the Augustinian community, conversing with us in his affable character as he did usually. But a few hours later, the Lord called him by his side,” Cardinal Re said during his homily.
Cardinal Grech passed away unexpectedly last Monday in Rome. His body will be brought back to Malta for his final burial.