2012-09-01 Vatican RadioCardinal Carlo Maria Martini, SJ, died Friday at the age of 85, after a lengthy battle with Parkinson’s disease. Cardinal Martini's body will lie in state at Milan's cathedral, where mourners may pay their last respects. His funeral Mass will be celebrated Monday, Sept. 3, at 16.00, in the cathedral of Milan. Listen to our report:
Having entered the Society of Jesus in 1944, the man who would become Cardinal-Archbishop of Milan was ordained a priest on July 13th, 1952. He quickly became a biblical scholar of worldwide renown. He was a beloved teacher, serving as Dean of the Faculty of Sacred Scripture at the Pontifical Biblical Institute and as Rector of the Pontifical Gregorian University. He was elected to succeed Cardinal Giovanni Colombo as Archbishop of Milan in 1980. He was created Cardinal in 1983, and continued to serve as head of the Archdiocese of Milan until his retirement in 2002.
For the first six years of his retirement, he pursued his studies of Sacred Scripture in the Holy Land, before ill heath required him to return to his native Italy and the Jesuit house in Gallarate, where he had first studied philosophy more than six decades earlier.
In his Saturday editorial, the Director of the Press Office of the Holy See, Fr. Federico Lombardi, SJ, remembered his confrere as a man, “whose formation and personality were those of a Jesuit scholar of Sacred Scripture.” Fr. Lombardi went on to say, “The Word of God was the starting point and the foundation of his approach to every aspect of reality and all of his contributions,” adding, “[t]he Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius of Loyola were the matrix of his spirituality and spiritual pedagogy.”
In a telegram of condolence, Pope Benedict XVI remembered Cardinal Martini’s “intense and prodigious Apostolic work,” celebrating the late Cardinal as, “[a] zealous spiritual son of St. Ignatius.”