Cardinal Vidal laid to rest

Ryan Songalia
Cardinal Vidal laid to rest
Tens of thousands bid a final farewell to the 'man of peace' in Cebu City

CEBU CITY, Philippines –  Cebu Archbishop Ricardo Cardinal Vidal was laid to rest late Thursday morning, October 26, in a solemn and simple ceremony befitting the “man of peace” more than 55,000 people paid their last respects to. 

Three Cardinals – Manila Archbishop Emeritus Gaudencio Cardinal Rosales, Manila Archbishop Luis Antonio Cardinal Tagle, and Cotabato Archbishop Orlando Cardinal Quevedo – led others in bidding farewell to Vidal, who was Cebu’s archbishop for 29 years. 

They were joined by 24 bishops, including Cebu Archbishop Jose Palma who presided the requiem mass, and more than 500 priests and nuns at the Cebu Metropolitan Cathedral.

Cebu City Police Office Director Joel Doria estimated that more than 55,000 people  from around Cebu province and other provinces braved the scorching heat of the sun to pay their last respects to Vidal outside the church.

“Rest now, faithful servant. You are truly a child of God,” Monsignor Dennis Villarojo, who served as Vidal’s secretary for 13 years, said in front of Vidal’s coffin as he gave his homily at the funeral mass.

Villarojo described Vidal as a “man of peace,” someone who never got involved in any argument or quarrel, and remained neutral when politicians sought his guidance on issues.

“Instead of making public announcements, he made personal visits. He has the gift of making peace,” Villarojo said, adding that he never heard Vidal cursing, nor saw him losing his temper.

In condoling with the Cebuanos, Tagle thanked those who shared their stories about how Vidal touched their lives in one way or another.

“Your stories are a celebration of the completion of life of this good and great servant of the church,” he said.

The mass culminated with the 3 cardinals saying their prayers and blessing the remains of Vidal. The silence inside the church was broken by the reverberating applause of people inside. Others broke into tears while waving their hands to say goodbye to Vidal. 

Vidal’s coffin was loaded onto a century-old carriage outside the church, where tens of thousands of faithful awaited the funeral procession.

The Archdiocese of Cebu and the Cebu City Government decided to extend the route of the procession due to the huge turnout of people.

The procession route was lined with thousands who wanted to say goodbye to the cardinal. 

Vidal’s coffin was buried beside his predecessor, Julio Cardinal Rosales, in the mausoleum that Rosales ordered built in 1983. Only the 3 cardinals, Bishop Palma, and Vidal’s family and household members, were allowed inside the mausoleum located within the cathedral compound.

Vidal was buried at around 11:35 am.

“Our hearts are grateful for the love that you gave to my uncle. Our family will forever be thankful to the Cebuanos,” said Karen Vidal, one of the late cardinal’s nieces.

It was Vidal’s wish to stay in Cebu after his retirement and to be buried in Cebu. He was a native of Marinduque.

Born Ricardo Tito Jamin Vidal on February 6, 1931, Vidal was Archbishop of Cebu from 1982 to 2010.

On October 11, Vidal was rushed to the Perpetual Succour Hospital due to fever and shortness of breath. He collapsed and fell into a coma a few hours later. Vidal died on October 18 due to septic shock.  – Rappler.com

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