Update 2: The funeral of Mary Fenech Adami was held in Birkirkara this morning. Hundreds took part in a cortege from Valley Road to St Helen Basilica, which was packed for the funeral Mass.

The much-loved former first lady, 77, passed away on Friday after having suffered a heart attack the previous Saturday.

The hearse was escorted by police outriders from Mater Dei Hospital to Birkirkara, where the cortège started near the PN club in Valley Road and proceeded up High Street, past her residence. Applause broke out as the cortège paused in front of the club and then in front of the Fenech Adami residence. A number of people threw flowers.

President Emeritus Eddie Fenech walked immediately behind the coffin, holding two of his young grandchildren on either side. With him were his  five children.

Behind the family was Prime Minister Lawrence Gonzi, ministers and MPs from both sides of the house.

Several hundred people lined the route or walking behind the coffin.

The cortège was accompanied by the Birkirkara bands.

President George Abela led the congregation at the basilica.  Those present in the packed church include Archbishop Paul Cremona and Gozo Bishop Mario Grech, members of the judiciary and the diplomatic corps. Dr Fenech Adami read the first reading. Maria, his daughter, read the second, and the grandchildren read the bidding prayers.

Archpriest Anton Cassar praised Mrs Fenech Adami for her public life and her spiritual one. He said she had been an example to the nation, but she also did a lot of good work away from the media and public knowledge.

Tenor Joseph Calleja sang at the end of the Mass. He also paid tribute to Mrs Fenech Adami at his concert on Saturday.

There were emotional scenes as the coffin was carried out of the basilica by some of her sons and members of her family as the people applauded and many wiped away tears.

Mrs Fenech Adami will be buried at Lija cemetery.

Fr Joe Borg Blog:  http://www.timesofmalta.com/articles/view/20110711/blogs/her-faith-was-her-strength.374969

Lino Spiteri's tribute: http://www.timesofmalta.com/articles/view/20110711/opinion/Tribute-to-a-wife-mother-and-lady.374918

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