Tomáš Cardinal Špidlík SJ died
Vatican and Prague: Czech Bishops´ Conference, Czech Province of the Society of Jesus (Jesuits), Centre Aletti Rome and Centre Aletti Olomouc with faith in the life-giving power of the Lord's Resurrection announce the death of Tomáš Cardinal Špidlík Friday, 16 April 2010 at 9 pm.
In making this announcement we express the gratitude to God for the Cardinal's many years through his gift of paternity and wisdom. We invite all of you to be united in prayer to accompany the Cardinal's soul to his ultimate and definitive passage to eternal life.
On Saturday, April 17 Pope Benedict XVI has sent a telegram of condolence to Fr. Adolfo Nicolas Pachon, superior general of the Society of Jesus (Jesuits), for the death of Cardinal Tomas Spidlik S.J., who died in Rome on Friday at the age of 90. In his telegram he said: "The pious demise of Cardinal Tomas Spidlik, distinguished Jesuit and zealous servant of the Gospel, has aroused deep commotion in my heart. It is with profound gratitude that I recall his solid faith, his paternal affability and his intense cultural and ecclesial labours, especially as an authoritative expert on Eastern Christian spirituality. I raise fervent prayers to the Lord that, by the intercession of the Most Holy Virgin and of St. Ignatius of Loyola, He may give the deceased cardinal the eternal prize promised to His faithful disciples. And to you, to the Society of Jesus, and to everyone who knew him and appreciated his gifts of mind and heart, I send a heartfelt and comforting apostolic blessing".
The Cardinal's wake was at the chapel of the Centro Aletti in Rome until Monday, April 19. On Tuesday, April 20 the Requiem Mass of Christian burial ceremony took place at the Vatican St. Peter's Basilica at 11.30 am celebrated by Angelo Cardinal Sodano, dean of the College of Cardinals, together with other cardinals. The Holy Father concluded the Liturgy with a homily and the prayers of final commendation. The Czech Bishops´ Conference was represented by Miloslav Cardinal Vlk. From the side of the official representation of the Czech Republic Deputy Minister of the Foreign Affairs, Hynek Kmoníček, Deputy Minister of Culture, Jaromíř Talíř, Ambassador of the Czech Republic at the Holy See, Pavel Vošalík, Deputy Head of the Office of the President of the Czech Republic for Communication and Culture, Petr Hájek and Director of the Protocol of the Office of the President of the Czech Republic, Jindřich Forejt were present at the Holy Mass in Vatican.
A Requiem Mass will also be held in Prague’s St. Vitus, Wenceslas and Adalbert´s Cathedral on Tuesday, April 20 at 6 pm and will be celebrated by all members of the Czech Bishops´ Conference. The Requiem Mass will be presided by the new Prague Archbishop Dominik Duka and the homily will be held by the Olomouc Archbishop Jan Graubner.
After the burial ceremony in Vatican on Tuesday, April 20 the Cardinal's wake will be transported to Olomouc on Wednesday, April 21 in the evening, where it will be placed in the Loreta Chapel of the St. Wenceslas Cathedral.
The public will have the possibility to commemorate the died Cardinal Tomáš Špidlík SJ and to pray at his coffin everyday from April 22 till April 29. The Requiem Mass will take place in the Olomouc Cathedral of St. Wenzeslas on April 29 at 6 pm.
After that the body of the died cardinal will be transported to Velehrad, south Moravia, where on Friday, April 30 at 4 pm the last farewell with the died Tomáš Cardinal Špidlík will take place during the Reqiem Mass in the Basilica of the Assumption of the Virgin Mary and of St. Cyril and Methodius. The liturgy will be presided by the Archbishop of Olomouc and Moravian Metropolitan, Mons. Jan Graubner, the homily will be held by the Bishop Josef Hrdlička, auxiliary bishop of Olomouc.