Pope Francis praised the legacy of Queen Elizabeth as he sent condolences to her son, now King Charles III.
In a message to the king, the Pope said he was “deeply saddened” at the death of the 96-year-old monarch. He spoke of her “noble soul” and her “unstinting service” as well as her “example of devotion to duty.” He also noted her hope in Jesus’ promises.
Here is the full text of his message:
To His Majesty the King
Deeply saddened to learn of the death of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, I offer heartfelt condolences to Your Majesty, the Members of the Royal Family, the People of the United Kingdom and the Commonwealth.
I willingly join all who mourn her loss in praying for the late Queen’s eternal rest, and in paying tribute to her life of unstinting service to the good of the Nation and the Commonwealth, her example of devotion to duty, her steadfast witness of faith in Jesus Christ and her firm hope in his promises.
Commending her noble soul to the merciful goodness of our Heavenly Father, I assure Your Majesty of my prayers that Almighty God will sustain you with his unfailing grace as you now take up your high responsibilities as King. Upon you and all who cherish the memory of your late mother, I invoke an abundance of divine blessings as a pledge of comfort and strength in the Lord.
From the Vatican, 8 September 2022
My accountability before God
Cardinal Vincent Nichols, archbishop of Westminster, and the current president of the bishops’ council of England and Wales, called for prayer for the repose of her soul.
Even in my sorrow, shared with so many around the world, I am filled with an immense sense of gratitude for the gift to the world that has been the life of Queen Elizabeth II.
At this time, we pray for the repose of the soul of Her Majesty. We do so with confidence, because the Christian faith marked every day of her life and activity.
In her Millennium Christmas message, she said, ‘To many of us, our beliefs are of fundamental importance. For me the teachings of Christ and my own personal accountability before God provide a framework in which I try to lead my life. I, like so many of you, have drawn great comfort in difficult times from Christ’s words and example.’
Prayers for her soul
The bishops’ conference provided a number of prayers, including a prayer for the repose of her soul and a prayer for the king:
For the happy repose of HM The Queen
You are the author and sustainer of all human life;
grant that your servant, Elizabeth our Queen,
whom you granted a long and happy reign as Monarch of these lands
may be forgiven her sins and rewarded with that eternal life
promised to all those born again
in the water of baptism and power of your Spirit.
Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
Who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit God, forever and ever,
Eternal rest, grant to her O Lord,
And let Perpetual light shine upon her.
May she rest in peace.
May her soul, and the souls of all the faithful departed,
Through the mercy of God, rest in peace.