CARDINAL CORMAC MurphyO'Connor paid tribute to the late Lord Forte of Ripley at a packed memorial Mass on May 1, calling him a "good servant" of God who "imitated in his own way St Anthony [of Padua] 's charity for the poor".
He said that the Italianborn entrepeneur, who built up a multi-billion pound global hotel and restaurant empire and died on February 28, 2007, "never forgot the rock out of which he was hewn. He was devoted to his family, his wife Irene and his six children".
Cardinal MurphyO'Connor, who was the principalcorrcelebrant at the Mass, at Westminster Cathedral, added: "Charles Forte heeded the words of St Anthony [of Padual: 'A person who is filled with the Holy Spirit speaks several languages. Language comes alive when it speaks by dads. Enough of talking, let actions speak.' He imitated in his own way St Anthony's charity for the poor. We give thanks to God for the life of his good servant Charles Forte."
Later in the Mass, Sir Rocco Forte paid tribute to his father, saying: "He imbued us with a sense of responsibility and duty towards others less fortu nate than ourselves... He was one of nature's rare gentlemen and many will remember him in this way," The Hon Nicholas Soames MP described Lord Forte as "an entrepreneur, a real trailblazer, a visionary in a fast-growing industry" and a "business genius". He added: "His story is inspirational, his achievements now legendary."