Cardinal Vidal dies at 86

(UPDATED) CEBU Archbishop Emeritus Ricardo Cardinal Vidal died at the Perpetual Succour Hospital at 7:28 a.m. Wednesday, October 18.

He was 86 years old.

Monsignor Joseph Tan, Archdiocesan spokesperson, confirmed the report.

Cardinal Vidal was confined at Perpetual Succour Hospital on October 11 after experiencing nausea and shortness of breath.

Msgr. Joseph Tan said the Archdiocese of Cebu will hold a mass at 8 p.m. Wednesday at the Cebu Metropolitan Cathedral in honor of the late archbishop.

Tan urged the faithful to pray for the late archbishop's eternal repose.

Vidal served as archbishop of Cebu for 29 years, from 1982 until his retirement in 2011.

He was ordained deacon on September 24, 1955; a priest on March 17, 1956; and a bishop on November 30, 1971.

Vidal was born on February 6, 1931 in Mogpog, Marinduque.


Juanito, his younger brother, told reporters he was devastated by his older brother's death.

When Vidal was hospitalized, Juanito immediately flew from Manila to Cebu just to stay by his side.

"Don't worry, I won't leave you until you get out of the hospital," Juanito said, recalling what he last said to his brother.

Juanito said when they were young, Vidal was brave but kind.

When Vidal was appointed as archbishop of Cebu, Juanito understood that he was meant to serve his flock.

He thanked the Cebuanos for treating his brother as one of their own.

"Salamat sa pag-alala sa aking kapatid. Salamat po sa pag-alaga sa kanya dito sa Cebu," Juanito said.

'Cannot die'

Msgr. Socrates Villegas, Catholic Bishops' Conference of the Philippines president, said "Cardinal Vidal cannot die. He who has always shared in the dying and rising of the Lord daily in his priestly life cannot die. He now joins the immortal ones who served the Lord faithfully here on earth. His wisdom and his humility, his love for priests and his devotion to the Virgin Mary must live on in us whom he has left behind. Rest well Eminence. Pray for us in the Father's House."

'Forever grateful'

Fr. Joseph de Aquino, secretary to the late archbishop, said he will be forever grateful to the late prelate.

De Aquino recalled he last talked to Vidal during his regular morning mass at the late prelate's residence in Barangay Talamban.

He never thought that it was the last time he would see Vidal alive and well.

De Aquino, who served as secretary to Vidal for eight years, said he thought of the late prelate as a "second father."

One of his fondest memories was when Vidal brought him to Rome to meet with Pope Francis.


Msgr. Ruben Labajo, who is the Cathedral's head parish priest, said public viewing on Vidal's remains will start at 5 p.m. this afternoon.

Vidal's remains will stay at the Cathedral until Friday where it will be transferred to the St. Pedro Calungsod Shrine in D. Jakosalem Street, Cebu City. (With FVC/SunStar Philippines)

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