WelCom May 2021
Pope Francis has expressed his sorrow at the death of Prince Philip in a letter to Queen Elizabeth II, his wife of 73 years.
‘Saddened to learn of the death of your husband Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, His Holiness Pope Francis offers heartfelt condolences to your majesty and the members of the Royal Family,’ stated an April 10 telegram signed by Secretary of State, Cardinal Pietro Parolin.
Prince Philip died at the age of 99, on 9 April 2021, at Windsor Castle, UK. He was the longest-serving consort of any British monarch.
The Vatican telegram said, ‘Recalling Prince Philip’s devotion to his marriage and family, his distinguished record of public service and his commitment to the education and advancement of future generations, His Holiness commends him to the merciful love of Christ our Redeemer.
‘Upon you and upon all who grieve his loss in the sure hope of the resurrection, the Holy Father invokes the Lord’s blessings of consolation and peace,’ it closed.
In 2014, the royal couple met for 30 minutes at the Vatican with Pope Francis. When the Pope gave Prince Philip a series of three medals of his pontificate, the prince thanked him, joking, ‘It’s the only gold medal I’ve ever won’.
Queen Elizabeth gave Pope Francis a large basket of food from the estates surrounding her homes; the basket included a bottle of Balmoral whiskey. Prince Philip held up the whiskey, explaining what it was, then picked up another bottle and said, ‘It’s apple juice’.
In the United Kingdom, Cardinal Vincent Nichols of Westminster led Catholics of England and Wales in mourning the death of Prince Philip.
The president of the Bishops’ Conference of England and Wales issued a statement soon after the Queen announced ‘with deep sorrow’ that her husband of 73 years had died.
‘At this moment of sadness and loss, I pray for the repose of the soul of Prince Philip, Her Majesty the Queen’s faithful and loyal husband,’ said Cardinal Nichols in a statement posted on the website of the English and Welsh bishops’ conference.
‘I pray for the Queen and all of the royal family,’ he said. ‘How much we will miss Prince Philip’s presence and character, so full of life and vigour. He has been an example of steadfast loyalty and duty cheerfully given. May he rest in peace.’
Sources: CNA News, The Atlantic