Pope Francis 'saddened' by death of John Hume
Pope Francis has said he was saddened to learn of former SDLP leader John Hume's death and praised his efforts for peace in Northern Ireland.
In a message read out at Mr Hume's funeral this morning, Vatican Secretary of State Cardinal Pietro Parolin said Pope Francis "sends the assurance of his prayers to his family and to all who mourn his loss.
"Mindful of the Christian faith that inspired John Hume’s untiring efforts to promote dialogue, reconciliation and peace among the people of Northern Ireland, His Holiness commends his noble soul to the loving mercy of Almighty God."
In 2012, Pope Benedict XVI made Mr Hume a Knight Commander of the Papal Order of St Gregory the Great.
The Nobel Peace Prize winner will be laid to rest after today's funeral in his native city.
The Derry politician feted around the world as a peacemaker died on Monday at the age of 83 after a long battle with dementia.