Cardinal Prospero Grech has died. The second Maltese to be elevated to the cardinalate passed away today, just a few days after his 94th birthday.
The announcement was made on the website of the Patristic Institute in Rome.
Cardinal Grech who was born 24 December 1925 was a Maltese Augustinian friar, who in 1970 co-founded the Patristic Institute Augustinianum in Rome together with Fr. Agostino Trapè, Grech served as its president between 1971 and 1979.
The Maltese Episcopal Conference remembered Cardinal Prospero Grech as a wise and jovial man who had a great sense of humour and humanity.
The Bishops offered their condolences both to the family of Cardinal Grech as well as to his Augustinian family and added their prayers for the soul of the cardinal to those of the faithful.
Second Maltese Cardinal
He was created a cardinal on 18 February 2012 by Pope Benedict XVI. He was the second Maltese to become a cardinal and the first Augustinian made a cardinal in more than one hundred years. Before being made a cardinal, Grech was consecrated a bishop on 8 February 2012
He delivered the opening meditation at the 2013 conclave but was never an elector because he became cardinal after reaching age 80
Cardinal Grech had joined the Augustinian Order in 1943 when Malta was still under siege during the Second World War. He was ordained a priest in 1950.
The Maltese cardinal had an outstanding academic career and was considered to be one of the greatest living experts in the subjects he researched and taught. He graduated in theology, Sacred Scripture and education from the best Universities in Rome and conducted research in Semitic languages at the universities of Oxford and Cambridge.
Grech lectured at the Pontifical Biblical Institute in Rome, was Professor of Biblical Theology, a member of the Studiorum Nove Testament Societas, member of the Pontifical Biblical Commission and a Counsellor of the Congregation for the Doctrine of Faith.
Cardinal Grech was a passionate photographer and an exhibition of his photos held under the patronage of the President last October.
Cardinal Grech said that his love for photography started some seventy years ago. He explained that he strives for beauty in imagery that balances colour, light, and timing, with people and architecture being his favourite subject matters.