Cardinal Jozef Tomko died early Monday morning in Rome at the age of 98. At the time of his death, the Slovakian-born cardinal was the world’s oldest living member of the College of Cardinals.
Tomko died at 5:00 a.m. Aug. 8 in his apartment, where he was under the care of a dedicated nurse after hospitalization on June 25 for a cervical spine injury, according to Vatican News. He had returned home from Rome’s Gemelli Hospital on Aug. 6.
The Slovak bishops’ conference invited people to pray for Cardinal Tomko in a message announcing his death on Aug. 8.
The conference said more information about the cardinal’s funeral in Rome and his burial at St. Elizabeth Cathedral in Košice, Slovakia, will be announced soon.
Tomko was a member of the College of Cardinals for over 37 years after St. Pope John Paul II made him a cardinal in the consistory of May 1985.
A confidant of John Paul II, Tomko had been secretary general of the Synod of Bishops for almost six years at the time he was created cardinal.
Two days later, on May 27, 1985, he was named prefect of the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples. He served in that position until his retirement in 2001 at the age of 77.
For the following six years, Tomko served as president of the Pontifical Committee for International Eucharistic Congresses. In this position, he attended several international events as Vatican envoy.
Tomko was born in the small village of Udavské, Czechoslovakia, in the northeast part of what is now known as Slovakia.
Eternal rest grant unto him, O Lord, and let perpetual light shine upon him …