The Malta Independent 9 May 2021, Sunday

Cardinal Prospero Grech laid to rest after tribute mass in Mdina

Thursday, 9 January 2020, 13:36 Last update: about 2 years ago

A mass in honour of the late Cardinal Prospero Grech is being held today at the Mdina Cathedral.

The Cathedral is packed with dignataries, relatives and friends, with Mass starting at 2pm.

Cardinal Grech passed away a week ago, on 30 December 2019, only days after his 94th birthday.  He was installed as a cardinal by Pope Benedict XVI on 18 February 2012, becoming the first Augustinian to take such a title in 111 years, and becoming only the second ever Maltese Cardinal after Fabrizio Sceberras Testaferrata was made Cardinal in 1818.


A funeral mass already took place in Rome last Thursday, with Pope Francis himself presiding over the final part of the funeral rites. The Pope had, while marking the 50th anniversary of the Augustinianium last February, praised Cardinal Grech for the “grandiose simplicity” that his sermons had achieved in his old age.


In his homily, Archbishop Charles Scicluna said Prospero Grech’s name “encapsulated the sympathy that is brought about by the memory of him.”

“All that is mine is yours, and what is yours is mine, and I am gloified because of them,” Scicluna said, quoting scripture.

“With a sense of fidelity we can say that Jesus is glorified in Prospero. He was a liberal person, showing irony towards those around him and also towards himself. Yet, his gaze is filled with sympathy towards his country and the Church. He was a person who was able to appreciate humanity and smile at it. He brought out the strength in others by not losing sight of his own weaknesses.”

The Archbishop said the Cardinal used to speak with authority and from the heart.

“Prospero wasn’t born wise but became so. And he knew that to be wise he had to learn, study and work hard. His irony is what allowed him to remain liberal, and he learnt this through his religious upbringing.”

“He was the first to understand that the ideal is something unattainable and that life humbles you, so we need irony to not take things too seriously and maintain a positive outlook.”

Scicluna said Prospero Grech also touched and captured beauty through his photographic capabilities. “We thank God for blessing us through Prospero.”


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