Cardinal Arthur Roche presiding over the Mass of Remembrance at St. Paul's Outside the Walls Cardinal Arthur Roche presiding over the Mass of Remembrance at St. Paul's Outside the Walls 

Cardinal Roche pays tribute to Queen Elizabeth at Mass of Remembrance

English Cardinal Arthur Roche pays tribute to Queen Elizabeth II at a Mass of Remembrance celebrated in Rome, recalling the "hidden gem" of what inspired and directed her life: her faith based upon the truths and values found in the life of Christ.

By Vatican News staff writer

On Wednesday morning at Rome's Basilica of Saint Paul Outside the Walls, English Cardinal Arthur Roche celebrated a Mass of Remembrance for Her Late Majesty Queen Elizabeth II. Cardinal Roche is prefect of the Dicastery for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments.


In his homily for the occasion, Cardinal Roche recalled fondly how so many throughout the world expressed their great affection and joined together in "commemorating, praying for and paying tribute to a very great woman - a deeply loving wife and proud mother, grandmother and great-grandmother – a dedicated Sovereign who exercised wise leadership - and is now greatly missed."

Photo from the Mass of Remembrance at St. Paul Outside the Walls
Photo from the Mass of Remembrance at St. Paul Outside the Walls

Inspired by faith

But he added there was more to what brought people together in such an extraordinary way to pay their respects, and went on to describe the "hidden gem" that made her an inspiring leader, drawing people together in unity. Recognizing her many achievements throughout her seven decades as Sovereign, he said it was her public discourse on faith that emerged at her death "that repeatedly captured the kernel of what it was that inspired and directed her life." Namely, she based her life on "the truths and values that are found in the life of Christ: the mystery of God-made-man, of the power of the love of God to overcome even death, of the great dignity of every person, of hope beyond despair, of this earthly life being an important gateway to paradise, and of how even now we can create a glimpse of that paradise by the way we live and love and serve those around us with respect."

Generosity of heart

The power of this discreet and yet visible witness based on "those truths and values" can open "an unexpected and beautiful what we can become," he explained, on our potential and how can live out our daily lives in a way that "leads to true greatness of spirit and generosity of heart in the service of others."

“In her Christmas broadcast of 2014, she said: “For me, the life of Jesus Christ, the Prince of Peace, is an inspiration and an anchor in my life. A role model of reconciliation and forgiveness. He stretched out his hands in love, acceptance, and healing. Christ’s example has taught me to seek to respect and value all people of whatever faith or none.””

Life of devoted service

Cardinal Roche went on to say how a life of devoted service reveals the character of a person and shows us the "greatness for which we are all made...looking at reality through the perspective given to us by God – and facing it with faith." 

“This was surely the greatness of her statesmanship as well as the cost she paid for it.”

Called to a life of faith

In conclusion, the Cardinal said that as we remember Queen Elizabeeth II in our own way and pay tribute to her person and devoted service, we gain insights, inspiration, and understanding into what made her such a beloved Queen, and the desire to be of service to others in our own lives. 

“We loved her much and we shall miss her dearly. But we pray, that when we too reach our journey’s end, she will be there also among the ‘great and the small’ in God’s Kingdom as she was within her own. May she now, after a life of faith well lived and work so well done, rest in peace.”

28 September 2022, 11:30