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Pope Francis sends “heartfelt condolences” after former Israeli President, Shimon Peres, dies at 93

© ServizioFotograficoOR/CPP
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“I hope that his memory and many years of service will inspire us all to work with ever greater urgency for peace and reconciliation between peoples.”

VATICAN CITY — Pope Francis has sent his “heartfelt condolences” to the people of Israel after receiving word that Shimon Peres has died at the age of 93.

“I was deeply saddened to learn of the death of His Excellency Shimon Peres, and I wish to convey to you and to all the people of Israel my heartfelt condolences,” a telegram sent this morning to the President of Israel, Reuven Rivlin, read.

“I fondly recall my time with Mr. Peres at the Vatican and renew my great appreciation for the late President’s tireless efforts in favour of peace. As the State of Israel mourns Mr Peres, I hope that his memory and many years of service will inspire us all to work with ever greater urgency for peace and reconciliation between peoples.”

A Nobel Peace Prize laureate credited with achieving a peace agreement between Israelis and Palestinians, Shimon Peres was prime minister of Israel on three separate occasions before becoming the country’s president.

On Wednesday morning, Chemi Peres confirmed his father’s death to journalists gathered at the hospital where Shimon Peres had been treated for the past two weeks after suffering a massive stroke.

“Today with deep sorrow we bid farewell to our beloved father, the ninth president of Israel,” Chemi Peres said. “Our father’s legacy has always been to look to tomorrow. We were privileged to be part of his private family, but today we sense that the entire nation of Israel and the global community share this great loss. We share this pain together.”

Here below we publish the telegram which Pope Francis sent to the Israeli President.

His Excellency Reuven Rivlin
President of the State of Israel

I was deeply saddened to learn of the death of His Excellency Shimon Peres, and I wish to convey to you and to all the people of Israel my heartfelt condolences. I fondly recall my time with Mr Peres at the Vatican and renew my great appreciation for the late President’s tireless efforts in favour of peace. As the State of Israel mourns Mr Peres, I hope that his memory and many years of service will inspire us all to work with ever greater urgency for peace and reconciliation between peoples. In this way, his legacy will truly be honoured and the common good for which he so diligently laboured will find new expressions, as humanity strives to advance on the path towards enduring peace. With the assurance of my prayers for all who grieve, especially for the Peres family, I invoke the divine blessings of consolation and strength upon the nation.

FRANCISCUS PP.

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