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Pope mourns Lesotho’s 1st cardinal

POPE FRANCIS

© Antoine Mekary - ALETEIA

Kathleen N. Hattrup - published on 04/20/21

Francis recalls him as a tireless worker and a noble soul.

Pope Francis named Sebastian Koto Khoarai a cardinal on November 19, 2016, Cardinal Khorai thus became Lesotho’s first cardinal.  The 91-year-old passed away on April 17.

He was the bishop emeritus of Mohale’s Hoek. (He retired in 2014 after nearly 40 years as bishop of the diocese, which is one of the four dioceses of the country.)

Already at his naming as cardinal, due to health conditions, the then 87-year-old could not come to the Vatican for the consistory to personally receive the cardinal’s red hat and the ring from the Pope. 

Lesotho’s population is about 40% Catholic.

In a message expressing his condolences, the Holy Father said:

With gratitude for Cardinal Khoarai’s witness of consecrated life as an Oblate of Mary Immaculate, his longstanding commitment to the promotion of vocations to the priesthood and his dedication to the church’s educational apostolate in Lesotho, I willingly join you in praying that our heavenly Father may grant him the reward of his tireless labors and welcome his noble soul into the joy of his eternal kingdom.

There are now 126 Cardinal Electors of 224 living Cardinals.

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Pope Francis
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