(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis sent his condolences on Saturday to German Chancellor Angela Merkel upon the death of her predecessor, former Chancellor Helmut Kohl.

Helmut Kohl died on Friday at the age of 87, having served as Chancellor from 1982 to 1998.

In a telegramme, the Pope sends his “heartfelt condolences” for the loss of the “Chancellor of Unity”.

“Chancellor Kohl, a great statesman and committed European, worked with farsightedness and devotion for the good of the people in Germany and in neighbouring European countries.”

The Holy Father prayed that “merciful God reward him for his tireless efforts in favour of German unity and the union of Europe, as well as his commitment to peace and reconciliation.”

He closed the telegramme with a prayer that the Lord give him “eternal joy and life in His heavenly home” and extended to all who mourn ex-Chancellor Kohl the blessings of God.

Please find below the official English translation of the Pope’s telegramme:

I have learned with sorrow of the passing of the former Federal Chancellor Helmut Kohl, after a long and grave illness. I express to his family, as well as to you and all the German people who mourn the “Chancellor of Unity”, my heartfelt condolences. Chancellor Kohl, a great statesman and committed European, worked with farsightedness and devotion for the good of the people in Germany and in neighbouring European countries. May merciful God recompense his tireless efforts in favour of German unity and the union of Europe, as well as his commitment to peace and reconciliation. May the Lord grant him eternal joy and life in His heavenly home, and I implore God’s consolation and blessing upon his brethren and all those who mourn his passing.

(from Vatican Radio)

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