PUDUCHERRY: Hundreds of people paid homage to Cardinal D Simon Lourdusamy, whose mortal remains were brought here on Saturday night. People from Puducherry, Cuddalore, Villupuram and other districts of Tamil Nadu queued up to pay last respects to Cardinal Lourdusamy, who passed away on June 2 in Rome at the age of 90.
People from all walks of life converged at Petit Seminare School to pay homage. Lieutenant Governor Virendra Kataria, Chief Minister N Rangasamy, former Union Minister V Narayanasamy, Ministers P Rajavelu and Thiagarajan, and Government whip Nehru turned up to pay their respects to the departed. Several nuns and priests attended the special mass conducted on Sunday. The prayers were held from 11 am.
The mortal remains of the Cardinal will be kept at the school till 9 am on Monday. After that the it will be taken in a procession to the nearby Immaculate Conception Cathedral.
Apostolic Nuncio, Salvatore Pinnachio, who is the represent of Pope, will lead the funeral service, which will begin at 9.30 am at the Immaculate Conception Cathedral. Cardinals Oswald (Mumbai), Cardinal Telesporre Toppo (Ranchi) and Cardinal George Alancherry (Ernakulam) will be among the four cardinals attending the service, said Maria Vianney, secretary of the archbishop of Pondicherry and Cuddalore.
Forty bishops led by Archbishop Anthony Anandarayar of Pondicherry and Cuddalore and more than 400 priests are expected to take part in the funeral.
Cardinal Lourdusamy’s mortal remains will be buried inside the Immaculate Conception Cathedral as per his wish, said Maria Vianney.
As a mark of respect to the departed soul, the Puducherry administration has declared a local holiday for the government and private schools.
Meanwhile, Sunday market street vendors were stopped from erecting stalls close to the Petit Seminare School, where the mortal remains were kept.