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Rome Reports

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Thousands attend funeral services of Cardinal Martini

Card. ANGELO COMASTRI Archpriest St. Peter's Basilica "The Lord, who has guided Cardinal Carlo Maria Martini throughout his life, is now welcoming this tireless servant of the Gospel in Heaven. To all those present and those who mourn his death, I send my blessing.â? His wake lasted three days. During that time, roughly 200,000 people prayed before his coffin to pay their final respects. About 20,000 people attended his funeral Mass at Milan's Cathedral, while thousands more followed the Mass through big screens installed outside the Cathedral. CARD. ANGELO SCOLA ARCHBISHOP OF MILAN "Beloved, now we are called by the loss of this great man of the Church, to express our overwhelming gratitude. These days a long line of believers and nonbelievers have come before him.â? During his last years, Cardinal Martini lived in Jerusalem, where he promoted dialogue between believers and nonbelievers. CARD. ANGELO SCOLA ARCHBISHOP OF MILAN "Cardinal Martini did not leave an explicitly spiritual will.  His legacy is his life and we must continue to study his teachings. He personally chose the phrase that would go over his grave. It comes from Psalm 119: 'Your word is a lamp to my feet, and light unto my path'. With this he himself left us a clue on how to interpret his life, his ministry.â? After the ceremony, the remains of the Cardinal were buried in one of the chapels of the Cathedral. Martini was rector of the Gregorian University in Rome, when in 1979, John Paul II appointed him archbishop of Milan. He held that position for  23 years. During that time, it's said he was on the so called 'papabili' list, meaning papal candidates. Since his death, at the age of  85, the international press has highlighted his role in strengthening dialogue between the Church and the modern world. BR/KLH CTV -JM -BN