Late Vatican ambassador Lindy Boggs remembered for her service

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Ambassador Lindy Boggs

Lindy Boggs, a former U.S. Ambassador to the Holy See and pro-life Democratic politician, died July 27 at the age of 97, and is being remembered for her legacy of public service.

“We thank God for her life of faith and her life of service to the people of Louisiana and beyond. May she know the fullness of God’s peace and love,” Archbishop Gregory Aymond of New Orleans, Boggs' hometown, said July 27.

He offered the “prayers and condolences of Louisiana and especially New Orleans” to Boggs’ family.

Boggs served as the United States’ fifth ambassador to the Vatican, from 1997 to 2001 under the Clinton administration. She died Saturday at her home in Chevy Chase, Md., a suburb of Washington, D.C.

She was born Marie Corinne Morrison Claiborne in 1916 on a plantation home near New Orleans to a prominent Louisiana family, the Washington Post reports. A Catholic, she attended St. Joseph’s Academy in New Roads, La.

She married Thomas Hale Boggs in 1938 and had three children with him. She was a campaign manager for her husband, a successful politician who would go on to become Democratic majority leader in the U.S. House of Representatives.

After her husband’s October 1972 disappearance in an apparent plane crash over Alaska, Lindy Boggs won a special election to succeed him.

Both before and after her election to office, she focused on civil rights, anti-poverty efforts, and equal treatment for women. She also had a strong pro-life voting record.

In 1976 she became the first woman to chair the Democratic National Convention.

She was considered a possible Democratic vice-presidential candidate in 1984. Boggs believed her stand against abortion hurt her chances, the New York Times reports.

Boggs retired from Congress in 1990. She is survived by Thomas Hale Boggs Jr., a Chevy Chase lawyer and lobbyist, and ABC News political analyst Cokie Roberts. Another daughter, Barbara Boggs Sigmund, a mayor of Princeton, N.J., died in October 1990. Her survivors also include eight grandchildren and 18 great-grandchildren.

Boggs’ awards included the University of Notre Dame’s Laetare Medal, given in 1991.

Archbishop Aymond said Boggs was an “active member” of St. Louis Cathedral Parish in New Orleans. The cathedral will host a visitation at 9 a.m. Thursday, August 1, and a service at 11 a.m.

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