Service was presided by Apostolic Nuncio of India and Nepal (Papal Ambassador), His Excellency Salvatore Pennacchio.

In a funeral attended by more than 2000 people, Cardinal Duraisamy Simon Lourdusamy, the first curial cardinal of Asia outside of West Asia, was laid to rest in the Immaculate Conception Cathedral in Puducherry.

Around 10 a.m., the mortal remains of the Cardinal were brought to the cathedral in a procession along Mission Street from the Petite Seminaire Higher Secondary School. Multiple television screens in and outside the cathedral showed live the funeral Mass. Huge crowds who thronged the cathedral during the funeral, were prevented by police from entering the campus, but were let in later.

The funeral service was presided by Apostolic Nuncio of India and Nepal (Papal Ambassador), His Excellency Salvatore Pennacchio.

Paying homage, Nuncio Salvatore Pennacchio called Cardinal Lourdusamy ‘India’s pride at the Vatican’ and ‘Light of the East.’ He said the Cardinal was blessed with sharp intellect, great faith in God and confidence in people and was a great team leader.

The secret of Cardinal’s success can be attributed to “his sharp intellect, proverbial hard work and deep love for the church,” said Nuncio Salvatore Pennacchio. “Above all, he was a good priest. We must thank God for the gift of Lourdusamy given to us,” he added.

Cardinals and Archbishops representing different regions hailed Cardinal Lourdusamy’s immense contributions and paid rich tributes. Vincent, the Cardinal’s nephew, represented the family and thanked the church for the memorial service. A condolence message from Pope Francis was also read out. Among the dignitaries from the Catholic Church who attended the funeral mass were Cardinal Oswald Gracias, Archbishop of Bombay, Major Archbishop Mar George Cardinal Alencherry of Ernakulam-Angamaly, Cardinal Telesphore Placidus Toppo, Archbishop of Ranchi, Archbishop Philip Neri, vice-president of the Catholic Bishops Conference of India, Archbishop Bernard Moras of Bangalore and Archbishop Antony Anandarayar of the Pondicherry and Cuddalore diocese in addition to bishops, priests and sisters from across India.

Chief Minister N. Rangasamy, other political leaders and French Consul General Philippe Janvier-Kamiyama were also present.

The funeral mass ended at 1.30 p.m. after the Cardinal’s coffin was buried within the Cathedral.

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