Vidal wants to visit Rome for Calungsod mosaic, JP canonization
“Sa awa ng Dios (By God’s mercy), I am still alive.”
These were the first words spoken by Cebu Archbishop Emeritus Ricardo Cardinal Vidal as he met with reporters in his retirement house at Sto. Nino Village in Cebu City yesterday.
The 82-year-old prelate cracked jokes and expressed gratitude for the public concern after he suffered a mild stroke two weeks ago.
“Thank God, I was able to survive that transient ischemic attack. According to doctors, if I am not careful, there would be another one,” Vidal said.
The cardinal is expected to return to the hospital within the week for another CT scan to find out whether or not the hemorrhage on his brain is already gone.
“I am already old. I don’t know whether I will still live long although my father lived for 103 years,” Vidal said.
He said he was grateful to everyone who prayed for him and visited him at the hospital.
“I wish to thank those who prayed for my complete recovery, who visited me in the hospital, who brought flowers and fruits. I offered a special Mass for all of them so that the Lord will bless their generosity in remembering me in my sickness,” he said.
The cardinal was advised by his doctors to abstain from eating meat; to have a low fat, low salt diet; and to avoid traveling to far places.
But Vidal hopes he will be allowed by his doctors to travel to Rome within the month to attend the blessing of the mosaic of St. Pedro Calungsod that is placed at the crypt beneath the main altar of St. Peter’s Basilica.
“I would like to assist at the blessing of the mosaic of San Pedro Calungsod down in the tomb where the popes are buried. It will be the Pope (Francis) who will bless the mosaic,” the cardinal said.
He said the Philippine Ambassador to the Holy See Merceditas Tuazon invited him to attend the blessing of the mosaic on Oct. 21, the first anniversary of the San Pedro’s canonization.
Vidal said he would also want to go to Rome to attend the canonization of Blessed John Paul II and John XXIII on April 27, 2014.
“It was John Paul II who made me the archbishop of Cebu, created me cardinal, and appointed me as the first Filipino to preside in the World Synod of Bishops during the Synod of the Laity,” he said.
Vidal was appointed coadjutor archbishop of Cebu in 1981 and was installed archbishop on August 24, 1982. He was named cardinal on May 25, 1985.
On October 15, 2010, his resignation as Archbishop of Cebu was accepted by Pope Benedict XVI.
Vidal was replaced by Cebu Archbishop Jose Palma on January 13, 2011. Reporter Ador Vincent Mayol
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