A former Archbishop of Birmingham, the Most Reverend Maurice Couve de Murville has died.
As Birmingham's seventh Archbishop he served the city from March 1982 until June 1999, when he resigned on grounds of ill health.
The 78-year-old, who retired to Horsham in West Sussex, died peacefully at St Joseph's Nursing Home in Littlehampton, at 6.15am on Saturday.
Archbishop Maurice's funeral will take place over three days, beginning on Monday, November 19, with the reception of his body at St Chad's Cathedral, at 4pm.
A Mass with representatives of Diocesan secondary schools, and an evening Vigil Mass will follow on Tuesday. The funeral Mass will be held at St Chad's on Wednesday, at 11.30am followed by his internment at St Mary's College, Oscott.
Last night the Most Reverend Vincent Nichols, Archbishop of Birmingham, said: "The Archdiocese of Birmingham will be at prayer for their late Archbishop Maurice. He was much loved by so many who admired his achievements and his humour. He always gave me his full support, for which I am grateful.
"Characteristically he bore his last illness with dignity and calm, with his strong faith and trust in the Lord so much to the fore.
"May the Lord welcome this faithful servant with love and mercy. May he rest in peace."
Maurice Couve de Murville was born on June 27, 1929, in Saint-Germain-en-Laye, France, and later educated at Downside School and Trinity College, Cambridge.
Further studies were undertaken at the Institute Catholique in Paris and he received an MPhil from the School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London.
Fr Maurice was ordained a priest on June 29, 1957, for the Diocese of Southwark by Bishop Cyril Cowderoy.
His first appointments, as a curate, were at St Anselm's in Dartford, Kent from 1957 to 1960, followed by a move to St Joseph's in Brighton, West Sussex.
In 1961 Fr Maurice was appointed Catholic Chaplain at the University of Sussex where he served until 1977.
After Fr Maurice took up his next post as Catholic Chaplin at Cambridge University, came a surprise announcement on January 22, 1982, from the Holy See who announced he would succeed Archbishop George Patrick Dwyer as Archbishop of Birmingham.
He was ordained as the city's new Arch-bishop two months' later on March 25.
One of his first major engagements as Archbishop was to welcome Pope John Paul II to Coventry Airport on Pentecost Sunday, May 30 1982 - the third day of the Pope's visit to Britain.
He served the Diocese of Birmingham tirelessly for 17 years, particularly in establishing the Maryvale Institute in Birmingham, as an international Catholic College for Theology, Religious Education and Catechesis.
As chairman of the Governors at Newman College of Education, in Bartley Green, Birmingham, Archbishop Maurice actively supported its work and expansion.
He also took a keen interest in the restoration of St Mary's College, Oscott, the diocesan seminary near Sutton Coldfield, and supported rectors and procurators in improving the amenities.
During the course of his ministry, Archbishop Maurice had to face some of the first of the child abuse cases within the Catholic Church in England and Wales.
Fr Eric Taylor was jailed in 1998 for seven years for assaulting boys at the Fr Hudson Home in Coleshill, Warwickshire, during the 1950s and 1960s. He had denied the charges.
Dealing with these events, which inflicted so much harm on their victims, caused him great distress.
Archbishop Maurice, according to a church spokesman at the time, become "wearied" by the sex-abuse scandals.
However it was not the motivating factor behind his request for early retirement. The Archbishop was granted Papal permission to retire five years early, on his 70th birthday on June 27, 1999.
Outside the Catholic Church, Archbishop Maurice was a Principal Chaplain, Order of Malta (British Association) 1987 to 1991 and 2001 to 2007.
He also received the Ecclesiastical Knight Grand Cross of Grace in the Sacred Military Constantinian Order of St George, and was awarded an Honorary doctorate from Birmingham University in 1996.
As a noted Catholic historian, Archbishop Maurice wrote a number of books: Catholic Cambridge (with Philip Jenkins) in 1983; John Milner 1752-1826, in 1986; and The Man Who Founded California: Junipero Serra, in 2000.
During the last weeks of his life he also completed his translation of a comprehensive history of the church in China.
Archbishop Maurice presided at Mass in St Chad's Cathedral for the last time on March 26, 2007, to mark the silver anniversary of his episcopal ordination.