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Shortly before his death, Sen. Edward M. Kennedy wrote a letter to Pope Benedict XVI asking for the pontiff to pray for him as he struggled with an aggressive form of brain cancer, it was revealed at his graveside service Saturday evening.

Kennedy, the youngest and last-surviving brother of a heralded Kennedy generation, was laid to rest on a hillside at Arlington National Cemetery alongside his slain brothers, the late President John F. Kennedy and Sen. Robert F. Kennedy -- both assassinated more than four decades ago.

Cardinal Theodore McCarrick read a recent letter from Kennedy to the pope at the private burial ceremony in Arlington, Virginia.

"I am writing with deep humility to ask that you pray for me as my own health declines," McCarrick said, quoting from Kennedy's letter.

"I was diagnosed with brain cancer more than a year ago, and although I continue treatment the disease is taking its toll on me. I am 77 years old, and preparing for the next passage of life," the cardinal read. Read excerpts from Kennedy's letter to pontiff Read full article »

CNN's Jessica Yellin, John King and Elaine Quijano contributed to this report.

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A Celebration of Life
CNN covers the life and death of Sen. Ted Kennedy, including the funeral and burial Saturday.
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