The award is granted to individuals who have lived "in the service of peace as a gift of love" and who, because of their faith, "contribute to build a world where one does not live next to one another but for one another."
Cardinal Etchegaray has carried out numerous missions for John Paul II -- including when he was archbishop of Marseilles, France -- for understanding among peoples and support to Catholic churches in need.
Before the outbreak of the second Gulf war, the Pope sent the cardinal as a messenger to meet with Saddam Hussein, in an effort to avoid the conflict.
The award is an initiative of the Italian Association of Friends of Raoul Follereau, an international cooperation organization working in 30 countries in the area of health.
Follereau was a French writer, journalist and poet (1903-1977) who dedicated his life to combating Hansen's disease -- leprosy.