By Mark Abrams

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Thousands came today to say a final goodbye to Cardinal John Foley, who was laid to rest today at the Cathedral Basilica of Saints Peter and Paul, on the Benjamin Franklin Parkway.

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Cardinals, archbishops, and bishops from across the country took part in the final rites for the beloved Philadelphia cleric, who was best known for helping to deliver the message of Pope John Paul II to the world.

Foley’s body was carried into the cathedral by seminarians (see previous story).  Following a brief prayer service, Knights of the Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulchre of Jerusalem, many of whom worked with the cardinal on his last assignment in Rome, stood guard at his open casket.  Among them was Adolpho Rinaldi, who came from Rome for the funeral.

“Fascinated by his humility, his love, his faith, and his sense of humor,” Rinaldi told KYW Newsradio.

David Smith, another Knight (bel0w), says he came from England to pay respects to a man who so impressed him not just for his piety but for his outlook on life.

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David Smith, a member of the Knights of the Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulchre of Jerusalem. Credit: Mark Abrams)


“He was a very humorous person and always put on a very cheerful aspect on things,” Smith said.

Foley’s longtime friend, New York’s archbishop Timothy Dolan, delivered the homily.

“It was to the service of the church universal, the Mystical Body of Christ, under the pastorate of the successor of St. Peter, that John Patrick Foley served most famously the last 27 years.  And it is now to the tender and unfailing mercy of this Jesus that, with immense love and gratitude, we commend this loyal son to the church.”

Cardinal Foley was buried beneath the crypt of the high altar here in the cathedral, following the funeral mass (see related story).

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