“If John brought the brilliant mind to the peace-making then Pat brought the pure heart,” the funeral Mass of Pat Hume was told this week.
Fr Paul Farren paid tribute to Mrs Hume both as a community activist and as a mother.
The funeral of the 83-year-old former teacher was held in St Eugene’s Cathedral and attended President Michael D. Higgins. The deputy Lord Lieutenant Helen Quigley represented Britain’s Queen Elizabeth II.
Bishop of Derry Donal McKeown said that in welcoming the dignitaries the funeral is “first and foremost, a family event as they grieve the loss of a mother and grandmother.
“Their personal bereavement is at the heart of this gathering,” he said.
During his homily, Fr Farren compared Mrs Hume’s personal philosophy with the Beatitudes. “In the Gospel we have heard that blessed are the peacemakers, they will be called children of God. More than that we heard, blessed are the pure in heart, they shall see God.
“Pat had the purest heart of anybody I have ever met,” he said.
Fr Farren noted the critical influence that Mrs Hume exerted during the peace process and that her “commitment to truth and to justice was consistent and unquestionable”, particularly when she engaged with victims of the Troubles alongside Mrs Daphne Trimble wife of the former First Minister Baron Trimble.
Although large periods of the latter stage of Mrs Hume’s life were spent tending to her ill husband, Fr Farren maintained that these years merely enhanced her reputation as “a motherly figure to everyone” and that her faith sustained her during such distressing episodes in her life.
“It was Pat’s faith which was a practical and living, contemplative and silent faith, nourished by the Eucharist here at Mass every day and with quiet prayer that enabled Pat to put the realities of life in the eternal context of God’s love.
“This certainly was how Pat got through the tough days in her life. It was her faith that enabled her to see God in everybody she met,” Fr Farren said.