By Steve Jalsevac

COLLEGEVILLE, Minnesota, March 20, 2010 (LifeSiteNews.com) - Fr. Paul Marx, the famed pro-life missionary priest who founded Human Life International in 1981, and the Population Research Institute in 1989, died at 8:10 a.m this morning at the St. John's Benedictine Abbey in Collegeville, Minnesota. He was 3 months short of 90 years of age.

Fr. Thomas Euteneuer, the current head of Human Life International, called LifeSiteNews today with the news of Fr. Marx's death and stated the following about his organization's founder:

"Because of Fr. Paul Marx, the world has a pro-life movement. He travelled 3 million miles to over 90 countries and was like the Johnney Appleseed of the pro-life movement planting pro-life groups everywhere he went. Pope John Paul II called him the apostle of life with good reason. We miss him terribly but we pray that he has entered into the fullness of life for which he worked so hard in this world."

Stephen Mosher of the Population Research Institute also mourned Fr. Marx' passing in a release today.

"It grieves me to tell you that Father Paul Marx, OSB, my mentor and spiritual Father, went to his reward this morning, March 20, at 8:30 a.m., said Mosher.

"Father Marx touched my life in many ways—he helped to bring me into the Catholic Church, he founded the Population Research Institute and served as its long-time Chairman, and he did me the honor of allowing me to work alongside him in defending Life."

In his statement Mosher also urged, "May we all, in honor of this great Apostle of Life, redouble our efforts on behalf of God's little ones."

Fr. Frank Pavone of Priests for Life also issued a statement about the passing of the great pro-life priest:

"I just learned with sorrow of the death of one of the world's greatest pro-life advocates, Fr. Paul Marx, OSB.

"Fr. Marx was, first and foremost, a priest who was not afraid to be a prophet. He knew that his mission in bearing witness to the Gospel and in fostering love of God and neighbor compelled him to speak up for our smallest neighbors, those in the first moments and weeks of life. He undertook countless initiatives, made seemingly endless trips, gave innumerable talks, wrote a warehouse of articles and books, and inspired countless people in the effort to build a Culture of Life.

"I first came to know Fr. Marx through his founding and leadership of Human Life International and the remarkable conferences he held for pro-life advocates around the world. He was always a clear reminder to his brother priests that we should never be afraid to speak about abortion, contraception, and the beauty of human sexuality as taught by the Church. All of us at Priests for Life are grateful for the strong encouragement he gave to our ministry. We will pray not only for the repose of his soul, but for the continued fruit of his labors in the minds and hearts of so many people and in the policies of so many nations."

Fr. Euteneuer stated that the wake service for Fr. Marx will take place on Thursday night, the Feast of the Annunciation, at 7 p.m. at St. John's Benedictine Abbey in Collegeville, Minnesota. The funeral will follow on Friday at 3:30 p.m. at the same location.