09/16/2014 04:47 EDT | Updated 06/16/2017 00:54 EDT

Retired Cardinal Jean-Claude Turcotte hospitalized

The Archdiocese of Montreal has confirmed that retired Cardinal Jean-Claude Turcotte is gravely ill and has been hospitalized.

The 78-year-old archbishop emeritus of Montreal has suffered from several health issues related to diabetes.

In a message on its website, the Archdiocese is asking for Montrealers to pray for Turcotte.

“Let us pray fervently for Cardinal Turcotte, for his health to improve and for there to be peace in his heart and soul,” Vicar General Michel Parent wrote.

Parent said he went to visit Turcotte in hospital Tuesday afternoon.

“We shared a moment of fraternal solidarity and friendship. The cardinal expressed his appreciation for everyone who assisted him in his various ministries...The archbishop emeritus before me was entirely at peace, utterly ‘tuned’ to the Lord, in full acceptance of His will. We prayed together for a long time,” Parent wrote on the website.

Prime Minister Stephen Harper sent his well wishes via social media.

Turcotte was the Archbishop of Montreal for 22 years, from 1990 to 2012. He retired when he reached the maximum age limit.

He was named cardinal in 1994 by Pope John Paul II.