He’s Polish Cardinal Andrzej Deskur, a longtime promoter of media and communications and close friend of Blessed John Paul II (as shown above, when he was just Cardinal Wojtyla).
Pope Benedict XVI mourned the death of Polish Cardinal Andrzej Deskur…The cardinal died at home in Vatican City Sept. 3 at the age of 87.
“I recall with gratitude his precious decades-long collaboration with the Holy See, serving six pontiffs” and his special dedication to promoting Christianity in the fields of media and communications, the pope wrote in a telegram sent to Polish Cardinal Stanislaw Dziwisz of Krakow.
The Vatican released a copy of the telegram Sept. 4.
The pope wrote that the late cardinal, who was confined to a wheelchair the past 33 years, was closely tied to Pope John Paul and lived “in consistent and generous adherence to his own vocation as a pious and zealous priest, who enriched his ministry by accepting his infirmity” in a life surrendered to God.
His funeral Mass was Sept. 6 in St. Peter’s Basilica with Cardinal Angelo Sodano, the dean of the College of Cardinals, presiding.
Vatican Radio said Cardinal Deskur, born in 1924 in Sancygniow, Poland, was a man of great cultural depth, having grown up in a noble family with French heritage.
He developed a close friendship with then-Karol Wojtyla when they were studying at Krakow’s seminary in 1945. The late cardinal said he considered the pope “a brother and friend.”
Cardinal Deskur received a degree in law from Krakow’s Jagellonian University in 1945 and a theology degree from Germany’s University of Freiburg. He was ordained to the priesthood in 1950 serving the Archdiocese of Krakow.
He was called to work at the Vatican’s Secretariat of State in 1952 and soon began his long career in the field of communications.
Eternal rest grant unto him, O Lord, and let perpetual light shine upon him …