Pope Remembers Card. Mayer


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(30 Apr 10 - RV) Pope Benedict XVI has sent a telegram of condolence to the Abbot Primate of the Benedictine Order, Notker Wolf, on the death of Cardinal Paul Augustin Mayer, Prefect Emeritus of the Congregation for Divine Worship and Discipline of the Sacraments. At 99 years of age he had been the oldest living member of the College of Cardinals.

In the telegram, Pope Benedict writes that Cardinal Mayer leaves behind the "indelible memory" of an "active life of meekness and righteousness spent in coherent adherence to his monastic vocation". The Pope also describes him as "a pastor full of zeal for the Gospel and ever faithful to the Church".

A native of Bavaria, Germany, Cardinal Mayer was Born in 1911. Hejoined the Order of Saint Benedict at the Abbey of St. Michael, Metten, in 1931, taking the name of Augustin. After his ordination to the priesthood, he was transferred to Rome to be a faculty member at the Pontifical Roman Athenaeum of Sant'Anselmo, serving as its rector from 1949 until 1966. It was during this period that he served as Secretary of the Preparatory Commission of the Second Vatican Council. He was appointed Secretary of the Congregation for Religious and Secular Institutes on 8 September 1971. He was created and proclaimed Cardinal-Deacon of Sant'Anselmo all'Aventino in the consistory of May 25, 1985. He was named full Prefect of the Congregation two days later. He presided over the unification of two district congregations that were united under one name from 1988 on.

The funeral mass for Cardinal Mayer will be held in St Peter's basilica on Monday May 3rd at 11.30 am. It will be presided over by the Dean of the College of Cardinals Cardinal Angelo Sodano.

With the death of Cardinal Mayer, the College of Cardinals counts 180 Cardinals in all, of whom 108 are eligible to vote in conclave.