Birth. July, 1916, Pass, diocese of Yopougon, Ivory Coast.
Education. Seminary of Abidjan, Abidjan; Catholic Institute, Paris.
Priesthood. Ordained, May 1, 1947. Faculty member of Minor Seminary of Bingerville and director of the Pre-Seminary École de Petit Clerics, 1947-1956. Pastoral ministry in Abidjan, 1956-1957. Further studies, Paris, 1957-1959. Counselor of the Catholic Action, Abidjan, 1959-1960.
Episcopate. Elected metropolitan archbishop of Abidjan, April 5, 1960. Consecrated, May 8, 1960, patriarchal Vatican basilica, by Pope John XXIII, assisted by Napoléon-Alexandre La Brie, titular bishop of Ilta, national director of the Pontifical Missionary Work of Canada, French sector, and by Fulton John Sheen, titular bishop of Cesariana, auxiliary of New York, national director of the Pontifical Missionary Work of the United States of America. In the same ceremony were consecrated future Cardinals Paul Zougrana, M.Afr., archbishop of Ouagadougou; Jérôme Rakotomalala, archbishop of Tananarive; and Peter Poreku Dery, bishop of Wa. His episcopal motto was Ut omnes unum sint. Attended the Second Vatican Council, 1962-1965. Attended the First Ordinary Assembly of the Synod of Bishops, Vatican City, September 29 to October 29, 1967; the First Extraordinary Assembly of the Synod of Bishops, Vatican City, October 11 to 28, 1969; the Second Ordinary Assembly of the Synod of Bishops, Vatican City, September 30 to November 6, 1971; the Third Ordinary Assembly of the Synod of Bishops, Vatican City, September 27 to October 26, 1974; the Fifth Ordinary Assembly of the Synod of Bishops, Vatican City, September 26 to October 25, 1980.
Cardinalate. Created cardinal priest in the consistory of February 2, 1983; received the red biretta and the title of S. Crisogono, February 2, 1983. Attended the Sixth Ordinary Assembly of the Synod of Bishops, Vatican City, September 29 to October 28, 1983; the Second Extraordinary Assembly of the Synod of Bishops, Vatican City, November 24 to December 8, 1985. Resigned the pastoral government of the archdiocese, December 19, 1994. Lost the right to participate in the conclave when turned eighty years of age, July 1996. He was the first cardinal from Ivory Coast.
Death. October 5, 1997, Abidjan. Buried in St. Paul's metropolitan cathedral, Abidjan.
Bibliography. Grah Mel, Frédéric. Bernard Yago, le cardinal inattendu. s.l. : Presses des universités de Côte d'Ivoire, 1998; Lébry, Léon Francis. Bernard Cardinal Yago : passioné de Dieu et de l'homme. Abidjan : NEI : Fraternité Matin, 1997.
Link. His arms and photograph, Araldica Vaticana.
Birth. April 13, 1901, Hai-lun, vicariate apostolic of Lan-si-sein (Kirin), Heilungkinang, Manchuria, China. Only son of Shuayuan Yü Pin and Ai-mei Siao, who were not Catholic; his father died when he was six, and his mother when he was seven; he was raised by his grandparents. The village where they lived in was mostly Catholic, and young Paul was sent to a Catholic school. He was baptized in 1914. When Peking students founded the May 4th Student Movement to protest against the Treaty of Versailles and to work for the Republic from within, Paul aged barely 18, was elected president of the movement. Speaking to large crowds of students, he gave them the watchword "We must love our country, but we must not create turmoil." His last name is also listed as Yu Bin.
Education. Studied at the Teachers Training College, Heilunkiang; and at Aurora University, Shanghai; he entered the Seminary of Kirin in 1920, his grandmother having helped him to overcome family opposition; later, he was sent to the Pontifical Urbanian Athenaeum "De Propaganda Fide," Rome; he also attended the Pontifical Roman Athenaeum "S. Apollinare", Rome; and the Royal University, Perugia. He knew Chinese, Latin, English, French, Spanish, Portuguese and German.
Priesthood. Ordained, December 22, 1928, Rome by Giuseppe Palica, titular archbishop of Filippi, vice gerent of Rome. For a year, he was professor of Chinese literature at the Pontifical Urbanian Athenaeum "De Propaganda Fide". From 1931 to 1933, he worked at Vatican Library. In 1933, he returned to China. National director of Catholic Action and inspector general of Catholic Schools, 1933-1936.
Episcopate. Elected titular bishop of Sozusa di Palestina and appointed vicar apostolic of Nanking (Nanjing), July 17, 1936. Consecrated, September 20, 1936, Peiping, by Mario Zanin, titular archbishop of Traianopoli di Rodope, apostolic delegate in China, assisted by Simon Tchu, S.J., titular bishop of Lesvi, vicar apostolic of Haimen, and by Paul Leo Cornelius Montague, C.M., titular bishop of Sidima, vicar apostolic of Peiping. His episcopal motto was Restaurare omnia in Christo. The new bishop became a close friend of President Chang Kai-shek, but the Sino-Japanese War and the ensuing civil war reduced China to a state of turmoil. On the establishment of the Catholic hierarchy in China, he was promoted to the metropolitan see of Nanking (Nanjing) when the vicariate was elevated to the metropolitan rank, April 11, 1946. Expelled from his see by the Communist regime in 1949. Attended the Second Vatican Council, 1962-1965. When Fu Jen University was transferred from Peking to Taipei in 1964, he was appointed its rector.
Cardinal. Created cardinal priest in the consistory of April 28, 1969; received the red biretta and the title of Gesù Divin Lavoratore, April 30, 1969. Resigned the rectorship and was named grand chancellor, August 5, 1978. He went to Rome to participate in the conclave after the death of Pope Paul VI occurred on August 6, 1978. He fainted during the pope's funeral and was taken to a convent, where he died four days later.
Death. August 16, 1978, at 12.50 p.m., of a heart attack, in a Roman institute of nuns, during the first sede vacante of 1978, at the death of Pope Paul VI. Buried, metropolitan cathedral, Taipei. Later, his remains were transferred to a specially built mausoleum on the campus of Fu Jen Catholic University, Taipei. A monument in his memory has also been erected on campus. On the occasion of the centenary of his birth, a special commemorative stamp was issued by the Republic of China (Taiwan).
Bibliography. Brender, Andreas ; Kierein-Kuenring, Mandred D. Catholic Hierarchy in China since 1307. Cluj-Napoca, 2012, pp. 213 and 260; Code, Bernard. Dictionary of the American Hierarchy (1789-1964). New York : Joseph F. Wagner, 1964, p. 448.
Links. Photograph and biographical information, in Chinese and English, Hong Kong Catholic Diocesan Archive; Photographs and arms, Araldica Vaticana; Christianity in China by Archbishop Paul Yu-Pin, Life, Jan 13, 1947.
©1998-2013 Salvador Miranda.