Pope Francis on Wednesday paid tribute to Cardinal George Pell, who spent 404 days in solitary confinement in his native Australia before his child sex convictions were overturned, praising his diligence in reforming the Vatican’s finances and his faith “even in the hour of trial.”

Francis sent a telegram of condolences to the head of the College of Cardinals, expressing his “sadness” over Pell’s death and relaying his prayers and sympathy to the Australian prelate’s family, according to AP.

Pell died Tuesday in Rome, where he had attended the funeral last week of Pope Benedict XVI. Pell suffered fatal heart complications following hip surgery, said Archbishop Peter Comensoli, Pell’s successor as archbishop of Melbourne. He was 81.

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