Pope Francis offers his condolences, prayers upon death of Queen Elizabeth

FILED - Queen Elizabeth II in Berlin, Germany, on June 26, 2015. Photo: Gregor Fischer/dpa
FILED - Queen Elizabeth II in Berlin, Germany, on June 26, 2015. Photo: Gregor Fischer/dpa

Pope Francis has offered his condolences and prayers upon the death of Queen Elizabeth II, Britain’s longest-reigning monarch and the head of the Church of England. She was 96. 

Pope Francis, in a telegram, eulogised Queen Elizabeth’s ‘steadfast witness of faith in Jesus Christ’

“Deeply saddened to learn of the death of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, I offer heartfelt condolences to Your Majesty, the Members of the Royal Family, the People of the United Kingdom and the Commonwealth,” the pope wrote In a telegram to Britain’s new monarch, King Charles III. 

“I willingly join all who mourn her loss in praying for the late Queen’s eternal rest, and in paying tribute to her life of unstinting service to the good of the Nation and the Commonwealth, her example of devotion to duty, her steadfast witness of faith in Jesus Christ and her firm hope in his promises.”

Ascending to the throne in 1952, Queen Elizabeth II met five different popes during her lifetime. 

When she met with Pope Francis at the Vatican in April 2014, she gave the pope a food hamper filled with local delicacies and a bottle of Balmoral whiskey — from the same region in Scotland where she died on Thursday. 

The meeting between Elizabeth and Francis marked the 100th anniversary of the re-establishment of diplomatic relations between the United Kingdom and the Holy See.

Pope Francis concluded his telegram to the new king by praying for the queen’s soul.

“Commending her noble soul to the merciful goodness of our Heavenly Father, I assure Your Majesty of my prayers that Almighty God will sustain you with his unfailing grace as you now take up your high responsibilities as King. 

“Upon you and all who cherish the memory of your late mother, I invoke an abundance of divine blessings as a pledge of comfort and strength in the Lord,” the Pontiff wrote.

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