Italian Cardinal Loris Capovilla, who served St. John XXIII before and after he became pope, died in Bergamo, near Milan on May 26. He was the oldest member of the College of Cardinals at the age of 100.

Cardinal Capovilla was born in Pontelongo, Italy, on Oct. 14, 1915, and ordained to the priesthood in 1940.

The Catholic News Service reported Pope Francis made Cardinal Capovilla the world’s oldest living cardinal when he (the Pope) elevated him (Cardinal Capivilla) to the College of Cardinals in 2014 at the age of 98.

Some observers saw the honor as an indirect tribute to Pope John, whom Pope Francis canonized just one month later.

But the then-cardinal-designate told Catholic News Service at the time, in a telephone conversation, that his elevation was a “sign of attention to all those thousands of priests around the world who have spent their lives in silence, in poverty, in obedience, happy to serve God and our humble people, who need, as Pope Francis continually says, tenderness, friendship, respect and love.”

Cardinal Capovilla’s death leaves the College of Cardinals with 213 members, 114 of whom are under the age of 80 and therefore eligible to vote in a conclave.

 

 

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