By Devin Watkins
Cardinal Eduardo Martinez Somalo died in the Vatican on Tuesday at the age of 94, following a long and distinguished career at the Holy See.
In recognition of the late Cardinal’s years of service, Pope Francis sent his condolences on Wednesday in a telegram addressed to Msgr. Fernando Loza Martinez, his nephew.
“I wish to express my closeness to you, to your relatives, and to all who knew and esteemed [the late Cardinal Martinez Somalo], warmly remembering his spiritually-fruitful witness,” wrote the Pope.
Many years of service
He recalled the late Cardinal’s “long and rich experience” of diligent service to “six of my predecessors who entrusted him with delicate and important offices.”
Pope Francis also thanked God for his “faithful and generous service to the Church and the Holy See.”
“I ask the Lord, through the maternal intercession of the Virgin Mary, to welcome him into our heavenly homeland to enjoy the blessed promise of the faithful servants of the Gospel,” said the Pope.
Cardinal Martinez Somalo began his service at the Vatican in 1956, where he served in a host of important roles.
He acted as the Camerlengo (“Chamberlain”) during the sede vacante in 2005 following the death of Pope St. John Paul II.
The funeral for Cardinal Martinez Somalo will be held on Friday morning at St. Peter’s Basilica, and will be presided over by Cardinal Giovanni Battista Re.