Activities forming part of the funeral of Archbishop Emeritus Emmanuel Gerada started this afternoon when his coffin was taken from Mater Dei Hospital to his hometown Zejtun. A funeral cortège formed of the clergy, the local council, and representatives of Church organisations and accompanied by two bands, made its way from Carlo Diacono Square to the Oratory near the parish square, where Mgr Gerada will lie in state until 8 p.m.

Lying in state will continue tomorrow between 7.30 a.m. and 10 a.m.

The funeral then leaves for St John's Co-Cathedral, Valletta, for lying in state until 2.30 p.m.

Archbishop Paul Cremona will lead the funeral Mass at 3 p.m. followed by private burial at San Girgor Cemetery in Zejtun.

Mgr Gerada passed away on Friday, aged 90.

He was consecrated titular bishop of Nomentum by Archbishop Mgr. Michael Gonzi and appointed as his auxiliary in April 1967. After a year, Mgr. Gerada was appointed Coadjutor Archbishop of Malta and worked to heal the rift between the Church and the Labour Party.

In 1973 he returned to the Vatican diplomatic service, where he had also served before his appointment as bishop.

In that year he was appointed apostolic nuncio to El Salvador and Guatemala.

Mgr. Gerada’s next postings were those of apostolic nuncio to Pakistan (1980) and Ireland (1989). He retired in Malta in 1995.

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