A LETTER from Pope Paul to Cardinal Conway, thanking him for his service to the Church as primate, suggests that the Pope knew that the Cardinal was likely to die shortly.
The letter was sent on Good Friday (April 8) and assured Cardinal Conway that he was in Pope Paul's thoughts and prayers.
"We assure you", Pope Paul wrote, "that our prayers are with you to sustain you ill the profound hope that springs from the power of Christ's passion and resurrection.
of "We invoke upon you the intercession of your predecessor St Patrick and all the Page 3 saints of Ireland, in particular St Oliver
Page 6 Plunkett, whose canonisation we celebrated together."
The letter goes on to confer a special apostolic blessing and Pope Paul thanked the Cardinal "for your fidelity and your consuming ministry to the Irish people, exercised in supernatural charity and in close union with the successor of Peter."
Pope Paul also thanked him for his work for the universal Church and for his work for the Gospel of peace "for future generations In the beloved land in which you have been called to serve as Primate of God's people."
It is thought that this is the first time that the Pope has written such a letter to a ing Cardinal.