Birth. January 13, 1874, Vorsselaer, archdiocese of Mechelen, Belgium. Eldest of the five children of Stanislas van Roey and Anna-Maria Bartholomeus; the other siblings were Bernadette, Louis, Véronique, and Stephanie, who became a nun. He was baptized the same day of his birth in the parish church of Vorsselaer.
Education. Studied at the Jesuit school, Vorsselaer; at Saint-Joseph School, Herentals, 1885-1892; at the Seminary of Mechelen, September 1892-1894 (philosophy); at the Major Seminary of Mechelen, 1894-1897 (theology); at the Theological Falcuty of the University of Louvain, 1897-1901, obtaining a doctorate in theology and the habilitation, 1903.
Priesthood. Ordained, September 18, 1897, Mechelen, by Cardinal Pierre-Lambert Goossens, archbishop of Mechelen. Further studies, 1897-1901. Faculty member of "Collège Americaine," 1901-1905. Faculty member of the University of Louvain, 1905-1907; he became a friend of Dom Columba Marmion, O.S.B., future blessed. Honorary canon of the metropolitan chapter of Mechelen, May 19, 1907; vicar general, September 30, 1907 to 1925. Domestic prelate of His Holiness, April 2, 1909. Secretary of the provincial council, 1920. Participated in the "Conversations of Mechelen", 1921-1926 (1). Secretary of the diocesan synod, 1924. Protonotary apostolic, February 11, 1925.
Episcopate. Elected archbishop of Mechelen, March 12, 1926. Consecrated, Sunday April 25, 1926, metropolitan cathedral of Mechelen, by Clemente Micara, titular archbishop of Apamea, nuncio in Belgium, assisted by Gustave-Joseph Waffelaert, bishop of Brugge, and by Gaston-Antoine Rasneur, bishop of Tournai. His episcopal motto was In Nomine Domini.
Cardinalate. Created cardinal priest in the consistory of June 20, 1927; received the red hat and the title of S. Maria in Aracoeli, June 23, 1927. Papal legate to the centennial celebration of the University of Louvain, June 24, 1927. Participated in the conclave of 1939, which elected Pope Pius XII. Cardinal protoprete, March 29, 1958. Participated in the conclave of 1958, which elected Pope John XXIII. On July 2, 1959, in Brussels, he celebrated the marriage of Prince Albert, future King Albert II of the Belgians and Princess Paola Margherita Consiglia Ruffo di Calabria. On December 15, 1960, at the collegiate church of Saints-Michele-et-Gudule, Brussels, he celebrated the marriage of King Baudouin I of the Belgians and Doña Fabiola de Mora y Aragón.
Death. Sunday August 6, 1961, at 6:05 a.m., after a long circulatory illness, Mechelen; the day before, at noon, Auxiliary Bishop Leo-Jozef Suenens had administered him the last rites and the holy communion. His body lay in state for three days in the archiepiscopal palace of Mechelen. The funeral took place on August 10 in the metropolitan cathedral of Saint-Romabut of Mechelen; Honoré van Waeyembergh, auxiliary bishop of Mechelen and rector magnifique of the University of Louvain, delivered the homily; King Leopold and Queen Elizabeth of Belgium attended the ceremony together with the prime minister, the ministers of state, all the bishops of Belgium and several who had come from other countries such as Cardinals Francis Joseph Spellman of New York and Bernardus Johannes Alfrink of Utrecht. Buried in the crypt of the metropolitan cathedral of Mechelen (2), above the vault of Cardinal Engelbert Sterckx, whom he recognized as the second founder of the archdiocese, as he had explicitly requested (3).
Bibliography. Le jubilé sacerdotal de Son Éminence le Cardinal van Roey, archevêque de Malines = Het priesterjubileum van Zijne Eminentie Kardinaal van Roey, aartsbisschop van Mechelen. [S.l. : s.n.], (Nova et Vetera), 1947; Kempeneers, Joseph Marie Léonard. Le Cardinal Van Roey en son temps. 1874-1961. Trente-cinq années d'épiscopat. Préface de Léon-Joseph Cardinal Suenens. Bruxelles : OEuvres pontificales missionnaires ; Gembloux : J. Duculot, 1971. (Bibliotheca Ephemeridum theologicarum Lovaniensium, 30); Leclef, Edmond François Xavier Antoine Marie Joseph. Le Cardinal van Roey et l'occupation allemande en Belgique. Bruxelles : A. Goemaere, 1945. Responsibility: actes et documents publiés par le chanoine Leclef; Plavsic, Wladimir S. Le Cardinal Van Roey. Bruxelles : Labor, 1974. (Collection Humanisme).
Links. Photograph and biography, in English, Wikipedia; Kardinaal Jozef-Ernest Van Roey. De laatste Belgische kerkvorst by Gerrit Vanden Bosch, Pastoralia; his photograph and arms, Araldica Vaticana; and his bust by Willy Peeters, in Vorselaar; the bust was donated by Jef Olieslagers, Gemeente Vorselaar; Kardinaal van Roey-instituut; .
(1) A series of conversations between prominent Roman Catholic and Anglican figures. The conversations were held between 1921 and 1926 in Malines, Belgium, under the presidency of Cardinal Desiré-Joseph Mercier, archbishop of that city, at the instigation of Charles Lindley Wood, second viscount Halifax. Wood published the results in 1928 and 1930. All the conversations after the first took place with the knowledge of the pope and the archbishop of Canterbury. A wide range of agreements was reached on papal primacy of honor, real presence, eucharistic sacrifice, episcopacy, etc., which foreshadowed the current discussions of the Anglican-Roman Catholic International Commission (ARCIC). The conversations were held in in the archiepiscopal palace of Malines in 1921, 1923, 1925 and 1926, and besides Msgr. van Roey, for the Catholic Church, also took part Ferdinand Étienne Portal, president of the Mission; Hyppolite Hemmer; Msgr. Pierre-Henri Batiffol; and for the Anglican Church, Walter Howard Frere, R.C.; Charles Gore, bishop; and Benjamin Kidd.
(2) This is the inscription in his tomb kindly provided by Mr. Eman Bonnici from Malta:
Birth. July 5, 1881, Brzęczkowice, diocese of Katowice, Poland. Son of Jan Hlond and Maria Imilów. He had five brothers, Ignacy (missionary in Argenina); Antoni Wiktor (also a Salesian; better known as Antoni Wiktor Chlondowski, priest and musican); Jan Paweł; Stanisław; and Klemens; and six sisters, Anna, Paulina, Maria, Marta, and two girls who died shortly after birth. Baptized, July 10, 1881, in in the church of the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary, in Mysłowice. His baptismal name was August Józef. His first name is also listed as Augustus and Augustyn. In 1893, attracted by the fame of Don Giovanni Bosco, he followed his elder brother to Italy to join the congregation founded by Don Bosco. Another two brothers also entered the congregation.
Education. Joined the Pious Society of St. Francis de Sales (Salesians of Don Bosco), Foglizzo, Italy, 1896; received the religious habit from Michele Rua, future blessed; professed, 1897. Salesian houses of studies in Turin, Kraków, Lwow, and Rome; Pontifical Gregorian University, Rome (doctorate in philosophy, July 10, 1900). Returned to Poland to complete his regency (practical training) at Oswiecim. Received the subdiaconate on March 18, 1905; and the diaconate on July 9, 1905.
Priesthood. Ordained, September 23, 1905, Kraków, by Anatol Nowak, titular bishop of Irenopoli, auxiliary of Kraków. Further studies, 1905-1907. Rector of the new Salesian house of Pizemyśl, 1907-1909; and later of that of Vienna, 1909-1919. In 1919 when the Austro-Hungarian province was divided, he was named provincial, 1919-1922; he founded some ten new houses. Apostolic administrator of Upper Silesia, November 7, 1922. Protonotary apostolic, November 15, 1922.
Episcopate. Elected bishop of Katowice, December 14, 1925. Consecrated, January 3, 1926, Katowice, by Cardinal Aleksander Kakowski, archbishop of Warsaw, assisted by Anatol Nowak, titular bishop of Irenopoli, auxiliary of Kraków, and by Stanisław Kostka Łukomski, titular bishop of Sicca Veneria, auxiliary of Gniezno and Poznań. His episcopal motto was Da mihi animas cætera tolle. Promoted to the metropolitan see of Gniezno and Poznań, June 24, 1926.
Cardinalate. Created cardinal priest in the consistory of June 20, 1927; received the red hat and the title of S. Maria della Pace, December 22, 1927. Papal legate to the National Eucharistic Congress, Ljubljana, Yugoslavia, June 9, 1935; to the First National Congress of Christ the King, Poznań, May 16, 1937. Participated in the conclave of 1939, which elected Pope Pius XII. Papal legate to the 6th National Congress of Christ the King, Ljubljana, Yugoslavia, July 8, 1939. During the Second World War, the cardinal was forced into exile until the end of the belic conflict; at first, he went to Rome and conducted a strong defence of his fatherland; then, he went to Lourdes and the Nazi police deported him to Paris and tried to convince him to organize a Polish government favourable to them; the cardinal refused; arrested by the Gestapo on February 3, 1944, he was imprisoned by the Nazis, first at Lorene and later at Westphalia; later, the Allied forces freed him on April 1, 1945; he returned to Poznań on July 20, 1945. Transferred to the metropolitan see of Warsaw and named primate of Poland, June 13, 1946; he retained ad personam the archdiocese of Gniezno. Strongly opposed the Nazi and Communist regimes in Poland.
Death. October 22, 1948, of pneumonia, Warsaw. Buried in metropolitan cathedral of Warsaw.
Beatification. On January 9, 1992, the process for his beatification was started and he received the title of Servant of God; it was finished on October 21, 1996.
Bibliography. Kant, Bronislaw. Sztygar Bozej kopalni : obrazki z zycia ks. Kardynala Augusta Hlonda. Lódz : Wydawnictwo Salezjanskie, 1983. Wyd. 2-e. Other Titles: Obrazki z zycia ks. Kardynala Augusta Hlonda; Myszor, Jerzy ; Konieczny, Jan (red.). Korespondencja Augusta Hlonda i Józefa Gawliny w latach 1924-1948. Katowice: Księgarnia Św. Jacka - Wydział Teologiczny Uniwersytetu Śląskiego, 2003; Obrazki z zycia ksiedza Kardynala Augusta Hlonda; Nitecki, Piotr. Biskupi Kościoła w Polsce w latach 965-1999. Słownik biograficzny. Przedmowa Henryk Gulbinowicz. Warszawa : Instytut Wydawniczy "Pax", Warszawa 2000, col. 149; Prokop, Krzysztof Rafał. Polscy kardynałowie. Kraków : Wydawnictwo WAM, 2001, pp. 237-250; Scholz, Franz. Zwischen Staatsräson und Evangelium : Kardinal Hlond und die Tragödie der ostdeutschen Diözesen : Tatsachen, Hintergründe, Anfragen . 2 edition, verb. und erw. Frankfurt am Main : J. Knecht, 1988; Serwatka, Tomasz. Koncepcje społeczno-polityczne Prymasa Polski Augusta Hlonda (1926-1948). Poznań : Wydawnictwo Towarzystwa Chrystusowego Hlondianum, 2006.
Links. Photograph, arms and biography, in Polish; chronography, in English, Catholic Hierarchy; portrait and biographical data for his beatification, in English; his portrait by Józef Męcina - Krzesz, Muzeum Narodowe, Poznań; catalog of archbishops of Gniezno and primates of Poland, in English; and his photograph and arms, Araldica Vaticana.
©1998-2015 Salvador Miranda.