Pope Francis put his spiritual exercises on hold to attend Card. Agostino Cacciavillan’s funeral Mass in St. Peter’s Basilica on March 7. The Pope arrived toward the end of the ceremony to deliver the Final Commendation and Valediction rite.
Card. Agostino Cacciavillan died on Saturday, March 5, at the age of 95. Pope John Paul II made him cardinal in 2001, and he was the President of the Administration of the Patrimony of the Apostolic See until 2002.
In a letter of condolences to the Italian Cardinal’s sister, Pope Francis praised him for his active involvement in the Vatican’s diplomatic work in several countries, including the Philippines, Spain, Portugal, Kenya and India.
His death brings the College of Cardinals down to 212 members, of whom 119 are eligible to vote in a future conclave to elect a new pope.