CHICAGO (CBS) — After fighting a long battle with cancer, Francis Cardinal George has died.
Archbishop Blase Cupich, George’s successor, confirmed the cardinal died at 10:45 a.m. Friday at his official residence.
“A man of peace, tenacity and courage has been called home to the Lord,” Cupich said Friday afternoon.
George had battled three bouts with cancer, his most recent diagnosis coming last year.
Cupich called George “a man of great courage who overcame many obstacles to become a priest.”
Born Jan 16, 1937, he contracted polio at the age of 13, leaving him with permanent leg damage.
Illinois Supreme Court Justice Anne Burke knew the cardinal well.
“He, every day, woke up, and all day until he went to sleep at night, had pain; and that’s not an easy thing to deal with, and try to function, and have a smile on your face all day long. I think he did a remarkable job,” she said.
Cupich said, despite George’s many health issues at the end of his career, he maintained his dedication to keeping busy with his duties leading the Catholic Church in Chicago.
“He pursued an over-full schedule, always choosing the church over his own comfort, and the people over his own needs,” Cupich said.
Last month, George had been re-admitted to Loyal University Medical Center for treatment of hydration issues and pain management
At the time, a church statement did not have any further information on Cardinal George’s condition, but did ask for prayers for the cardinal. Earlier in March, George was hospitalized after experiencing leg pain.
In late January, George announced his cancer treatments had stopped, and his doctors had run out of options, after an experimental drug proved ineffective for him.