Nobel laureate John Hume has been awarded a Papal Knighthood.
The former SDLP leader has been honoured by Pope Benedict in recognition of his “outstanding services to Catholic social teaching in the area of peace”.
The Derry man has been conferred with the official title of Knight Commander of the Equestrian Order of Saint Gregory the Great.
Details of the honour were announced last night during the final ceremony of the Derry Diocesan pilgrimage to Lourdes. Both Mr. Hume and his wife, Pat, are on the pilgrimage.
Derry’s Diocesan Administrator Monsignor Eamon Martin last night paid tribute to Mr. Hume as someone who has “worked tirelessly for peace and justice, at considerable personal cost and risk... On behalf of the Diocese of Derry, I extend to Mr. Hume, his wife Pat and their family, congratulations on this great honour,” he said.
The Scroll of Conferral will be presented to Mr. Hume at a special ceremony at a later date.