Pope offers prayers for Queen’s ’noble soul’

Pope Francis has sent his condolences following the death of Queen Elizabeth II, saying she was ‘a noble soul’.

In a telegram The Holy Father said he was ’deeply saddened to learn of the death of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II’ and offered ‘heartfelt condolences’.

The Pope said he joins everyone who mourns 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’.

Pope Francis also commended ‘her noble soul’ to the mercy of God the Father.

Addressing the new king, the pope assured him ‘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 Holy Father met Her Majesty in the Vatican in 2014 alongside Prince Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh, where Pope Francis gifted them a facsimile of Pope Innocent XI’s order extending the cult of St. Edward the Confessor.

Queen Elizabeth gave the Holy Father multiple gifts, including Balmoral Whisky.

The meeting marked the 100th anniversary of the United Kingdom and the Holy See re-establishing diplomatic relations.

The Holy Father also congratulated Queen Elizabeth on her Platinum Jubilee earlier this year and donated a Cedar of Lebanon to the to her Queen’s Green Canopy initiative.

Pope Francis said he hoped the tree, ‘which in the Bible symbolises the flourishing of fortitude, justice and prosperity, would be a pledge of abundant divine blessings’ upon her realm.

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