Birth. April 3, 1895, Albano Laziale, Rome, Italy.
Education. Studied at the Pontifical Lateran Athenaeum, Rome; and at the Pontifical Gregorian University, Rome.
Priesthood. Ordained, August 10, 1917, Rome, by Cardinal Basilio Pompilj, vicar of Rome. Further studies, 1917-1919. Faculty member of the Pontifical Urbanian Athenaeum "De Propogonda Fide," 1919-1936. Staff member of the S.C. of Seminaries and Universities and minutant in the S.C. for Propagation of Faith, 1927-1930. Assessor and subpromoter general of the faith in the S.C. for the Propagation of Faith, August 18, 1930. Domestic prelate of His Holiness, February 22, 1932. Auditor of the Sacred Roman Rota, September 17, 1936.
Episcopate. Elected titular archbishop of Cesarea di Palestina and appointed vice-gerent of Rome, December 21, 1936; occupied the post until March 28, 1960. Consecrated, January 6, 1937, patriarchal Lateran basilica, Rome, by Cardinal Francesco Marchetti Selvaggiani, vicar general of Rome, assisted by Angelo Calabretta, bishop of Noto, and by Domenico Spolverini, titular archbishop of Larissa di Tessalia. His episcopal motto was Primum regnum Dei. Assistant at the Pontifical Throne, January 19, 1951. President of the Special Committee for the Marian Holy Year, October 7, 1953. President of the Commission for the First Roman Synod, 1959.
Cardinalate. Created cardinal priest in the consistory of March 28, 1960; received the red hat and the title of S. Andrea della Valle, March 31, 1960. Pro-vicar general of Rome and its district, March 28, 1960. Attended the Second Vatican Council, 1962-1965. Participated in the conclave of 1963, which elected Pope Paul VI. Vicar general of Rome and its district, March 30, 1965. Attended the First Ordinary Assembly of the Synod of Bishops, September 29 to October 29, 1967. Resigned the vicariate, January 9, 1968. Chancellor of the Holy Roman Church, January 13, 1968; resigned the post on February 7, 1973; the office was abolished on February 27, 1973. Opted for the title of S. Lorenzo in Damaso, assigned to the chancellorship, April 28, 1969. Attended 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. Cardinal bishop of the title of the suburbicarian see of Albano, March 15, 1972. Elected vice-dean of the Sacred College of Cardinals and confirmed by pope, March 24, 1972. Dean of the Sacred College of Cardinals and bishop of the title of suburbicarian see of Ostia, retaining the title of the suburbicarian see of Albano, January 7, 1974. Papal legate to the opening of Holy Door at the basilica of San Paolo fuori le mura, December 24, 1974. Lost the right to participate in the conclave when turned eighty years of age, April 3, 1975.
Death. November 22, 1977, in a Roman clinic after a long illness. Buried, temporarily, Campo Verano cemetery, Rome. His remains were transferred to the basilica of S. Lorenzo in Damaso, Rome, in August 1982.
Links. Biography, in Italian, Wikipedia; his arms, photograph and portrait, Araldica Vaticana.
Birth. December 22, 1892, Sendai, Japan. He came from an old Samurai family. Baptized on April 21, 1902.
Education. Studied at the Seminary of Sendai; and at the Pontifical Urbanian Athenaeum "De Propaganda Fide," Rome.
Priesthood. Ordained, May 1, 1921, Sendai. Pastoral ministry in the diocese of Sendai, 1921-1934. Secretary to the apostolic delegate in Japan, 1934-1937.
Episcopate. Elected archbishop of Tōkyō, December 2, 1937. Consecrated, February 13, 1938, Tōkyō, by Jean-Alexis Chambon, M.E.P., archbishop-bishop of Yokohama, assisted by Paul Aijiro Yamaguchi, bishop of Nagasaki, and by Marie-Joseph Lemieux, bishop of Sendai. Director of the National Catholic Central Committee during the Second World War. Assistant at the Pontifical Throne, July 14, 1956.
Cardinalate. Created cardinal priest in the consistory of March 28, 1960; received the red hat and the title of S. Antonio in via Merulana, March 31, 1960. Attended the Second Vatican Council, 1962-1965. Participated in the conclave of 1963, which elected Pope Paul VI. He was the first Japanese cardinal.
Death. February 21, 1970, of pneumonia, Tōkyō. Buried in the metropolitan cathedral of Tōkyō.
Link. His arms, Araldica Vaticana.
Birth. April 15, 1892, Tourcoing, diocese of Lille, France. Son of Georges Jules Joseph Lefébvre and Marie Agnès Lucie Joseph Decaestecker. Cousin of Marcel Lefèbvre, apostolic delegate to French Africa and archbishop of Dakar, who was excommunicated in 1988 for consecrating four bishops with no mandate from Pope John Paul II.
Education. Studied at the Catholic University of Lille; at the Pontifical Gregorian University, Rome; and at the Pontifical French Seminary, Rome. He served in the French Army during the First World War; he was wounded and captured in Belgium in 1914; and liberated in prisoner exchange in Switzerland in 1918.
Priesthood. Ordained, December 17, 1921, Rome. Diocesan missions, 1921-1923. Pastoral ministry in the diocese of Poitiers, 1924-1938. Director of Works and honorary canon of Poitiers, 1926-1936. Vicar general of Poitiers, 1936-1938. Domestic prelate of His Holiness, December 28, 1936.
Episcopate. Elected bishop of Troyes, July 27, 1938. Consecrated, October 11, 1938, cathedral of Poitiers, by Edouard-Gabriel Mesguen, bishop of Poitiers, assisted by Joseph Heintz, bishop of Metz, and by Louis Liagre, bishop of La Rochelle. His episcopal motto was Veritatem facientes in caritate. Promoted to the metropolitan see of Bourges, June 17, 1943.
Cardinalate. Created cardinal priest in the consistory of March 28, 1960; received the red hat and the title of S. Giovanni dei Fiorentini, March 31, 1960. Attended the Second Vatican Council, 1962-1965. Participated in the conclave of 1963, which elected Pope Paul VI. President of the French Episcopal Conference, 1965-1969. Attended the First Ordinary Assembly of the Synod of Bishops, Vatican City, September 29 to October 29, 1967. Resigned pastoral government of archdiocese, October 10, 1969. Lost right to participate in the conclave when turned eighty years of age, April 15, 1972.
Death. April 2, 1973, Bourges. Buried in the metropolitan cathedral of Bourges.
Bibliography. Chapeau, O.S.B. André and Fernand Combaluzier, C.M. Épiscopologe français des temps modernes, 1592-1973. Paris : Letouzey et Ané, 1974, p. 381-382.
Link. His arms, Araldica Vaticana.
Birth. July 5, 1900, Nijkerk, archdiocese of Utrecht, Holland. Son of Theodorus Johannes Alfrink and Elisabeth Catherina Ossenvoort. He was the fifth child of the family. Baptized by Fr. Johannes Verstege in Nijkerk. When he was one year old, his mother died after giving birth to twins who did not survive either. Received his first communion in 1911.
Education. In 1913, he entered the archdiocesan minor seminary in Culemborh (philosophy, 1914-1920; then he studied theology at the Seminary of Rijsenburg, from 1920 to 1924; after his ordination, he was sent to Rome to study at the Pontifical Biblical Institute (licentiate in Sacred Scriptures, magna cum laude, 1927; doctorate, June 5, 1930; dissertation "Israelite and Babylonic Ideas of the Hereafter"); during his stay in Rome he lived at Collegio Germanico dell'Alma; in Jerusalem, 1928-1929, he lived at the recently established house of studies of the Pontifical Biblical Institute; and attended the lectures at the Dominican École Biblique et Archéologique Française de Jérusalem, especially by Fathers Marie-Joseph Lagrange, O.P., and Louis-Hugues Vincent, O.P.
Priesthood. Ordained, August 15, 1924, metropolitan cathedral of St. Catharina, Utrecht, by Henricus van de Wetering, archbishop of Utrecht. Further studies, 1924-1930. Curate in Maarssen, archdiocese of Utrecht, 1930-1933. In October 1933, he was named professor of Holy Scripture at the Major Seminary of Rijsenburg, Utrecht, 1933-1945. Professor of Old Testament and Hebrew at the Catholic University of Nijmegen, 1945-1951; during those years he wrote more than sixty five articles about the Old Testament problems as well as contributions to the Dutch Biblical Dictionary.
Episcopate. Elected titular archbishop of Tiana and appointed coadjutor of Utrecht, May 28, 1951. Consecrated, July 17, 1951, metropolitan cathedral of St. Catharina, Utrecht, by Paolo Giobbe, titular archbishop of Tolemaide di Tebaide, nuncio-internuncio in Holland, assisted by Willem Lemmens, bishop of Roermond, and Jan Smit, titular bishop of Paralo. His episcopal motto was "Evangelizare Divitias Christi". Apostolic administrator of Utrecht, September 8, 1955. Transferred to the metropolitan see of Utrecht, October 31, 1955. Military vicar of Holland, April 16, 1957.
Cardinalate. Created cardinal priest in the consistory of March 28, 1960; received the red hat and the title of S. Gioacchino ai Prati di Castello, March 31, 1960. Attended Second Vatican Council, 1962-1965; member of its Board of Presidency, 1962-1965. Participated in the conclave of 1963, which elected Pope Paul VI. President of the Episcopal Conference of Holland. 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. Resigned the pastoral government of the archdiocese, December 6, 1975. Participated in the conclave of August 25 to 26,1978, which elected Pope John Paul I. Participated in the conclave of October 14 to 16,1978, which elected Pope John Paul II. Attended the First Plenary Meeting of the Sacred College of Cardinals, Vatican City, November 5 to 8, 1979. Lost the right to participate in the conclave when turned eighty years of age, July 5, 1980. Attended the Second Plenary Meeting of the Sacred College of Cardinals, November 23 to 26, 1982, Vatican City. Attended the Second Extraordinary Assembly of the Synod of Bishops, Vatican City, November 24 to December 8, 1985; special guest.
Death. December 16, 1987, Nijmegen, Holland. Buried in St. Barbara cemetery, in the court of St. Catharina metropolitan cathedral, Utrecht (1). His predecessor, Cardinal Jan de Jong; and his successor, Cardinal Johannes Willebrands, are also buried there.
Bibliography. Alfrink en de kerk : 1951-1976 : historische en theologische essays, aangeboden aan kardinaal Alfrink bij zijn zilveren bisschopsjubileum. Baarn : Ambo, 1976; Oostveen, Ton. Bernard Alfrink, katholiek. 's-Hertogenbosch : Malmberg, 1972; Schaik, Ton H. M. van. Alfrink: een biografie. Amsterdam : Anthos, 1997; Schillebeeckx, O.P., Edward. Bernard Jan Cardinal Alfrink. Translated by C. A. L. Jarrot. Notre Dame, Indiana : University of Notre Dame Press, 1965. (The men who make the Council, 24).
Link. His arms, Araldica Vaticana.
(1) This is the text of the inscription in his vault, kindly provided by Mr. Eman Bonnici, from Malta:
Birth. August 26, 1908, Guagua, Pampanga, diocese of San Fernando, Philippines. Son of Gaudencio Santos and Rosalia Jiao. Rufino was the fourth of seven children; his siblings were Manuel, Emiliano, Quirino, Clara, Jovita and Exequiela. He was baptized in the parish church of Guagua, one of the oldest in Papanga; his god father was Emilio Lagman, a close friend of the family. Shortly after the mother's death, the family moved to Manila in 1917.
Education. Manila Cathedral Parochial School, July 1, 1917-1921; "San Carlos" Seminary of Manila, June 15, 1921-927 (Latin, English, Spanish, Greek, philosophy); in 1927, he was granted a scholarship to study at the Pontifical Gregorian University, Rome (baccalaureate in canon law, 1929; doctorates in theology, July 19, 1931; and canon law); while in Rome, he resided at Pontifical Collegio Pio-Latino-Americano.
Priesthood. Ordained, October 25, 1931, patriarchal Lateran basilica, Rome (he received a dispensation for not having yet reached the age for priestly ordination). He returned to the Philippines in February 1932. Assistant pastor of Imus, 1932-1934. Vice-chancellor of the archdiocese of Manila, 1934-1938. Superintendent of religious instruction, 1934-1938. Member, 1936-1937, of the Executive Committee of the International Eucharistic Congress, which took place in Manila in February 1937. Named financial secretary- treasured of the archdiocese of Manila in 1939. Arrested by the Japanese during the Second World War, he was sent to Fort Santiago on February 4, 1944; later transferred to the city jail in Azcarraga; and then to Montinlupa on October 12, 1994; he was sentenced to seven years of imprisonment to expire in 1951, for the "crime" of anti-Japanese propaganda, benefitting the enemy ; toward the end of July 1945, the sentence of imprisonment was suddenly changed, without explanations, to death by firing squad, together with several other Filipino and American civilians, to be carried out on February 5, 1945; providentially, the liberation forces of General Douglas MacArthur, which had landed in the Philippines a few days earlier, stormed the prison where Father Santos was interned, and freed him the day before he was going to be executed. Named vicar general of the archdiocese of Manila in July 1945.
Episcopate. Elected titular bishop of Barca and appointed auxiliary of Manila, August 19, 1947. Consecrated, October 24, 1947, chapel of the University of Santo Tomás, Manila, by Michael James O'Doherty, archbishop of Manila, assisted by Gabriel Martelino Reyes, archbishop of Cebú, and by Mariano Madriaga, bishop of Lingayen. Reappointed vicar general of Manila, September 29, 1949. Apostolic administrator of the diocese of Lipa, December 10, 1949. Received the Grand Cross of the Magistral Grace of the Military Sovereign Order of Malta, February 1950. Apostolic administrator of Infanta, March 1950. Auxiliary bishop of Manila, December 2, 1950. Military vicar of the Philippines, December 10, 1951. Apostolic administrator of Manila, October 17, 1952. Secretary general of the First Plenary Council of Philippines, Manila, January 1953. Promoted to the metropolitan see of Manila, February 10, 1953.
Cardinalate. Created cardinal priest in the consistory of March 28, 1960; received the red hat and the title of S. Maria ai Monti, March 31, 1960. Attended the Second Vatican Council, 1962-1965. Participated in the conclave of 1963, which elected Pope Paul VI. Attended the First Ordinary Assembly of the Synod of Bishops, Vatican City, September 29 to October 29, 1967. On June 29, 1973, he suffered his first stroke while reciting the rosary at Villa San Miguel; he was taken to Makati Medical Center; and later moved to San Juan de Dios Hospital. He never recovered from his condition. He was the first cardinal from the Philippines.
Death. September 3, 1973, peacefully, of heart failure after suffering a stroke a few months before his death, at San Juan de Dios Hospital, Manila. For one week, thousands of the faithful filed past his casket at the metropolitan cathedral of Manila; the funeral took place at noon on the following September 10. He was buried in the crypt of the metropolitan cathedral, near the tombs of his predecessors, Archbishops Michael James O'Doherty and Gabriel Martelino Reyes.
Bibliography. Acosta, Carmencita H. The life of Rufino Cardinal Santos. Manila: Printed at Kayumanggi Press, Quezon City, Philippines, 1973; Bransom, Charles. "Philippine episcopology (III)." Boletín Eclesiástico de Filipinas, LXV, 716-717 (July-August 1989), 576.
Link. His photograph and arms, Araldica Vaticana.
(1) This is the text of his prison record, taken from Acosta, The life of Rufino Cardinal Santos, p. 44:
Birth. July 12, 1912, Bukongo, diocese of Bukoba, Tanganyika (now Tanzania). When he was born, his family was still pagan, from the Nsiba tribe; his father was from the clan that gave chiefs to the tribe. If he had become chief, he could have had three or four wives. His surname meant "future celebrity". When he was seven years old, his father converted to Christianity; and soon after, his mother also converted. He started studying catechism at the Kagondo Mission of the White Fathers (African Missionaries) when he was eight. He was baptized on March 19, 1921, and took the name Laurean, in the Kagonodo Mission.
Education. Under the care of the White Fathers, during his primary education at the Mission of Rutabo, he learned to read and write his native dialect, besides English, Latin, Italian and Swahili; then, studied at the Regional Grand Seminary of Katigondo, Uganda, also of the White Fathers; and at the Scientific Missionary Institute "De Propaganda Fide," Rome, where he obtained a doctorate, magna cum laude, in canon law.
Priesthood. Ordained, December 12, 1943, Katigondo, by Burcardo Huwiler, M. Afr., titular bishop of Vazari, apostolic vicar of Bukoba. Parish ministry in Rutabo, 1944-1948. Further studies, Rome, 1948-1951.
Episcopate. Elected titular bishop of Febiana and appointed vicar apostolic of Lower Rugera, December 13, 1951. Consecrated, February 10, 1952, Rutabo, by David Matthew, titular archbishop of Apamea di Bitinia, apostolic delegate to Western Africa, assisted by Joseph Kiwanuka, M.Afr., titular bishop of Tibica, vicar apostolic of Masaka, and by Joseph Blomjous, titular bishop of Bubasti, vicar apostolic of Mwanza. His episcopal motto was Mater boni consilii. He was the first African bishop to be consecrated in East Africa. Transferred to the see of Rutabo when it became a diocese, March 25, 1953. During his episcopate in Rutabo, he founded the Rubya and Mugana Hospitals, the Major Seminary of Ntungamo, and a secondary school for girls which carries his name.
Cardinalate. Created cardinal priest in the consistory of March 28, 1960; received the red hat and the title of S. Francesco d'Assisi a Ripa Grande, March 31, 1960. Transferred to the see of Bukoba, June 21, 1960. In 1961, he received an honorary doctorate in laws from the University of Notre Dame, Indiana, United States of America. Attended the Second Vatican Council, 1962-1965. Participated in the conclave of 1963, which elected Pope Paul VI. Promoted to the metropolitan see of Dar-es-Salaam, December 19, 1968. Participated in the conclave of August 25 to 26,1978, which elected Pope John Paul I. Participated in the conclave of October 14 to 16,1978, which elected Pope John Paul II. Attended the First Plenary Assembly of the Sacred College of Cardinals, Vatican City, November 5 to 9, 1979; the Fifth Ordinary Assembly of the Synod of Bishops, Vatican City, September 26 to October 25, 1980. Lost the right to participate in the conclave when turned eighty years of age, July 12, 1992. During his episcopate in Dar-es-Salaam, he built the first Catholic hospital in Ukonga, founded a religious order for women, the Little Sisters of St. Francis of Assisi, and twenty elementary schools. Resigned the pastoral government of the archdiocese, July 22, 1992. Attended the Special Assembly of the Synod of Bishops for Africa, Vatican City, April 10 to May 8, 1994. In November 1996, he went to Rome to attend the 50th anniversary of Pope John Paul II's priestly ordination. He introduced in Dar-es-Salaam religious from different congregations both men and women, who helped him to open many parishes in the predominantly Moslem city. He built its first Catholic hospital at Ukonga. He was the first cardinal from Tanganyika (now Tanzania).
Death. December 8, 1997, at 10:15 pm, Dar-es-Salaam. Pope John Paul II sent a message of condolence to Polycarp Pengo, archbishop of Dar-es-Salaam, in which he described the late cardinal as "the first cardinal among all Africa's children and a close colleague of myself and my predecessors." He was laid out in state at St. Joseph's Cathedral in Dar-es-Salaam, where solemn funeral mass was celebrated on the following Saturday December 13. Buried temporarily in the church of Kashozi, the first mission in Bukoba Rural District. In 2012, his remains were transferred to the cathedral of Bukoba, which was under repairs, to coincide with the centenary of his birth. His remains were permanently laid to rest at the cathedral of Bukoba on October 6, 2012.
Bibliography. Senier, Richard M. Laurean Cardinal Rugambwa. Notre Dame, IN : University of Notre Dame Press, 1965. (The men who make the council, 21).
Links. His photograph and biography, in English, RCNet, biography, in English, Wikipedia; his arms, Araldica Vaticana; By the Treshhold of Eternity, a funeral poem by Father Stanislaus Mutajwaha, in English, RCNet, his portrait by Chumin Yu, chunmingarts; Cardinal Rugambwa to be 'permanently buried' by Joas Kaijage, The Citizen correspondent, The Citizen, Saturday, 13 August 2011; Preps for Rugambwa's re-burial get underway by Joas Kaijage, The Citizen correspondent, The Citizen, Sunday, 17 June 2012 10:32.
Birth. September 4, 1885, Giugnola, archdiocese of Florence, Italy.
Education. Studied at the Seminary of Florence.
Priesthood. Ordained, August 9, 1909, Florence. Faculty member and spiritual director of the Seminary of Florence, 1910-1922. Honorary chamberlain of His Holiness, March 15, 1923. Staff member of the Secretariat of State, 1922-1931. Secretary of Briefs to the Princes, 1931-1960. Domestic prelate of His Holiness, August 1, 1931.
Cardinalate. Created cardinal deacon in the consistory of March 28, 1960; received the red hat and the deaconry of S. Eugenio, March 31, 1960. His cardinalitial motto was Non nomen sed virtus.
Episcopate. Elected titular archbishop of Colonia de Cappadocia, April 5, 1962. Consecrated, April 19, 1962, patriarchal Lateran basilica, Rome, by Pope John XXIII, assisted by Cardinal Giuseppe Pizzardo and by Cardinal Benedetto Aloisi Masella. In the same ceremony were consecrated Cardinals Joaquín Anselmo María Albareda, O.S.B., Augustin Bea, S.J., Francesco Bracci, Michael Browne, O.P., William Theodore Heard, Alberto di Jorio, André Jullien, P.S.S., Arcadio María Larraona, C.M.F., Francesco Morano, Alfredo Ottaviani and Francesco Roberti. Attended the Second Vatican Council, 1962-1965. Participated in the conclave of 1963, which elected Pope Paul VI. Lost his right to participate in the conclave by being older than eighty years, January 1, 1971. Called "Cultor e Amator" of the Latin Language, he was the leading Vatican Latin expert, publishing along the years four editions of a Latin dictionary (Lexicon vocabulorum quae difficilius latine redduntur); the work included terms that did not exist in Cæsar's day, and the cardinal himself coined such gems as gummis salivaria "chewing gum" and barbara sahatio "the twist". He also published Viva Maria!, a famous poem in ottava rima which narrates the Aretine Uprisings against the French in 1799; as well as Daily Meditations, which were translated to various languages.
Death. January 20, 1971, Vatican City. Buried in the small cemetery of Piancaldoli, Firenzuola, Florence.
Links. His arms, Araldica Vaticana; I cardinali Antonio Bacci e Pericle Felici. Due latinisti in un ricordo by Oronzo De Simone, L'Ora del Salento, venerdì, giugno 7th, 2013.
Birth. January 12, 1887, Moretta, Cuneo, archdiocese of Turin, Italy. Son of Emanuele Lardone and Placida Minardi.
Education. Studied at the Pontifical School of Theology, Turin; the Royal University of Turin; and the Pontifical School of Canon Law, Turin.
Priesthood. Ordained, June 29, 1910, Turin, by Cardinal Agostino Richelmy, archbishop of Turin. Engaged in pastoral ministry in the parish of Caselle, archdiocese of Turin, 1913-1915. Served as Red Cross chaplain, 1915-1920, He was assistant editor of L'Osservatore Romano, the Vatican newspaper, from 1920 to 1923. In 1924, he was named professor of canon law at The Catholic University of America, in Washington, D.C.; dean of the faculty of canon law; he remained in the post until 1949; during his stay in the United States, he became an American citizen. He also was confessor to the apostolic delegation in Washington, D.C., where he became friend of Archbishop Amleto Giovanni Cicognani, the apostolic delegate and future cardinal secretary of State. Professor emeritus of The Catholic University of America.
Episcopate. Elected titular archbishop of Rizeo and appointed apostolic nuncio in Haiti and Dominican Republic, May 21, 1949. Consecrated, June 30, 1949, Washington, by Amleto Giovanni Cicognani, titular archbishop of Laodicea, apostolic delegate in the United States of America, assisted by Patrick Aloysius O'Boyle, archbishop of Washington, and by Egidio Vagnozzi, titular archbishop of Mira, apostolic delegate in the Philippines. Named nuncio in Perû, November 21, 1953. Named apostolic delegate to Turkey, June 30, 1959. Appointed apostolic internuncio to Turkey and apostolic administrator of the apostolic vicariate of Istanbul, February 20, 1960. He was charged with evaluating the possibility of resolving the hostility between the Soviet government and the Catholic Church. He was the first ambassador of the Catholic Church, 507 years after Cardinal Isidoro of Kiev, to cross the threshold of the walls of the Turkish city of Istanbul (1).
Cardinalate. In an interview in June 2007, Archbishop Loris Francesco Capovilla, who in 1960 was personal secretary to Pope John XXIII, revealed that Internuncio Lardone was one of the cardinals reserved in pectore in the consistory of March 28, 1960, because of the delicate position occupied by Archbishop Lardone at that time; he preferred not to give up the post of internuncio to Turkey, with the clear intent to help allow the bishops of the countries beyond the Iron Curtain to participate in the Second Vatican Council; if his promotion to the cardinalate had been published, he would not have been able to remain in Istanbul, which was not a cardinalitial diplomatic post, and he would have been moved to another post, thus interrupting his diplomatic mediation with the governments behind the Iron Curtain (2). He remained in his post until his retirement in 1966.
Death. January 30, 1980, at home, Moretta. The funeral took place on Saturday February 2, 1980, at 10 a.m., in the parish church of Moretta, dedicated to S. Giovanni Battista and the Vergine Maria. Buried, according to his will, in the tomb of the clergy in Moretta. He left his house to the parish of Moretta and it became a catechetical center and a place for parochial meetings.
Bibliography. Code, Bernard. Dictionary of the American Hierarchy (1789-1964). New York : Joseph F. Wagner, 1964, p. 162; Hebblethwaite, Peter. Pope John XXIII, shepherd of the modern world. Garden City, N.J.; New York: Doubleday, 1985, p. 406-407; Filippazi, Antonio G. Rappresentaze e rappresentanti pontifici dalla seconda metà del XX secolo. Cità del Vaticano : Libreria editrice Vaticana, 2006, p. 124, 185 and 311; L'Osservatore Romano [electronic resource]. Città del Vaticano : L'Osservatore Romano, CXX, n. 27 (February 2, 1980), p. 2; Tuninetti, Giuseppe. Monsignor Francesco Lardone : (1887 - 1980). Il Nunzio Apostolico precursore della Ostpolitik. Savigliano : L'Artistica, 1997; Zizola, Giancarlo. The utopia of Pope John XXIII. Translated by Helen Barolini. Maryknoll, New York : Orbis Books, 1978, p. 181-185. Originally published as L'utopia di Papa Giovanni XXIII. 2nd ed. rev. Assisi : Citadella Editrice, 1974.
Links. Biography, in Italian, Wikipedia; John XXIII: Pope of the Century by Peter Hebblethwaite, p. 209, Google Books; Esclusivo -- Era Monsignor Francesco Lardone uno dei tre Cardinali "in pectore" di Giovanni XXIII, PETRUS, Il quotidiano online sull'Apostolato di Benedetto XVI, June 6, 2007; Il Cardinale "in pectore" di Giovanni XXIII -- Monsignor Capovilla: "Fu Lardone a rifiutare la porpora per aiutare i Vescovi dell'Est a partecipare al Concilio", PETRUS, Il quotidiano online sull'Apostolato di Benedetto XVI, June 11, 2007.
(1) This is how Time, "Turkey: Unfinished Business", Monday, Mar. 14, 1960, reported the news: "When Mohammed II in 1453 wrested Constantinople from the last of the Caesars, Constantine XI Palaeologus, he barely missed capturing the papal ambassador, Cardinal Isidore of Russia, as an extra prize. But Isidore put his distinctive cardinal's hat and robes on a corpse, and in plebeian rags scuttled through a gap in the wall even as Mohammed's followers were mistakenly displaying the severed head of the corpse as Isidore's.
Although his undignified escape embarrassed the Vatican, Isidore had good reason for disappearing. Sent by Pope Nicholas V to show Western support for the Eastern Empire and to consummate the reunion of the Latin and Greek churches that had been uneasily agreed upon at the Council of Florence 14 years earlier, Isidore said Mass in St. Sophia as the Turks were gathering to batter down the walls. But disputatious followers of the monk Gennadius boycotted the church. After the fall of the city, Mohammed rewarded Gennadius by appointing him the first Ecumenical Patriarch of the Greek church under Islam. And one of Gennadius' first acts was to repudiate the Council of Florence's attempt to heal the 400-year-old East-West schism.
Last week, 507 years after Cardinal Isidore went through the wall, the Vatican again had an accredited ambassador in Istanbul. It named as apostolic internuncio (equivalent to minister plenipotentiary, and one step below apostolic nuncio or full ambassador) Francesco Lardone, 73, longtime (1924-49) professor of canon law at Catholic University of America in Washington, who last served the Vatican as nuncio to Peru. Last fall the Vatican switched Italian-born Archbishop Lardone to Istanbul as apostolic delegate to Turkey's 200,000 Catholics, mostly Eastern Rite Christians in communion with Rome. Turkey in turn has sent its first ambassador to the Vatican, veteran diplomat Nurettin Vergin.
Archbishop Lardone was finding conditions considerably improved since Cardinal Isidore's hasty departure. Turkey, since Ataturk, is a secular state. And Gennadius' successor, the Ecumenical Patriarch Athenagoras I, who once made his headquarters in Manhattan as Greek Orthodox primate for North and South America, is a lot more approachable on church reunion than was Gennadius. Both Athenagoras and Lardone became American citizens during their U.S. stay; though the Treaty of Lausanne required Athenagoras to become a Turk again on his election as Patriarch in 1948.
Athenagoras has said he will call an Orthodox synod this fall to consider whether Greek Orthodox churches should accept Pope John's invitation to participate in a new ecumenical council to pick up the unfinished business of the Council of Florence."
(2) According to Zizola, The utopia of Pope John XXIII, p. 182, certain sectors of the Vatican Secretariat of State were unhappy with the personal diplomacy that Pope John XXIII was conducting outside the regular diplomatic channels. Zizola says: "The organs of Vatican diplomacy had sniffed out something. Just at time, in fact, the Secretariat of State offered Lardone a much more prestigious seat than Ankara in the apostolic nunicature of Brussels, as if to tempt him to leave the post in which this "private" ambassador of Pope John had woven a personal network of contacts which were extremely important for the papal policy of thaw. But Lardone refused, for the reason that he was "attracted" by the responsibility of bringing to port the dealings with the Communists. He spoke of it to Pope John, who agreed with him, consenting to his staying on in Turkey."
Birth. Fiumelatte di Varenna, archdiocese of Milan, Italy, on October 4, 1889. His mother died on the day of his priestly ordination.
Priesthood. Ordained on July 6, 1913, by Cardinal Andrea Carlo Ferrari, archbishop of Milan. He was assigned to the parish of S. Tecla as coadjutor ad tempus and named spiritual assistant to the "Suore di Maria Bambina". Don Giovanni Rossi, secretary to Cardinal Ferrari, asked him to serve as Adjunct to the Cardinal, whom he assisted especially during his last illness. He was asked to keep his position as adjunct by Father Carlo Confalonieri, secretary to Cardinal Achille Ratti, who succeeded Cardinal Ferrari as archbishop of Milan. He was called to Rome by Cardinal Ratti following his election to the pontificate as Pope Pius XI. Privy chamberlain and vestiari of His Holiness, 1922. Protonotary apostolic sopranumerario of His Holiness, January 22, 1936. When Archbishop Confalonieri suffered from exhaustion during his episcopate at L'Aquila, Msgr. Venini offered him his residence in Rome and the best doctors whom he had met during the lengthy illness of Pope Pius XI. He was named canon of the chapter of the patriarchal Vatican basilica, where he also was sacristan.
Episcopate. Elected titular archbishop of Adana and appointed secret almoner of His Holiness, January 11, 1951. Consecrated, February 4, 1951, at the patriarchal Vatican basilica, by Cardinal Eugène Tisserant, bishop of Ostia and Porto e Santa Rufina, dean of the Sacred College of Cardinals, assisted by Carlo Confalonieri , titular archbishop of Nicopoli al Nesto, secretary of the S.C. for Seminaries and Universities, and by Francesco Beretti, titular archbishop of Leontopoli in Panfilia, commendatore of the Archhospital of Spirito Santo in Sassia. He was offered the see of Anagni but he declined.
Cardinalate. According to his own writings, in November 1960 he was offered the promotion to the cardinalate by Pope John XXIII, but he declined. On December 12, 1968, because of age and poor health, he resigned the post of secret almoner of His Holiness.
Death. July 20, 1981, of pneumonia, at Casa Di Cura Privata Capitanio, Milan, where he resided for the last five years of his life. The funeral took place on July 23 in the parish church of Fiumelatte di Varenna, where his body was buried. On August 2, in the patriarchal Vatican basilica, a requiem mass took place presided by Cardinal Carlo Confalonieri, bishop of the title of suburbicarian sees of Ostia and Palestrina, dean of the Sacred College of Cardinals.
Bibliography. Consonni, Lauro ; Ferrara, Paolo. Mons. Diego Venini accanto agli Arcivescovi di Milano. Bellano, 2001; Venini, Diego ; Cajani, Franco. Diego Venini al servizio di Pio XII : diari 1940 - 1958. Desio : Centro Interazionale di Studi e Documentazione Pio XI, 2007. (I quaderni della Brianza). Responsibility: a cura di Franco Cajani.
Link. Photograph and biography, in Italian, Wikipedia.
©1998-2014 Salvador Miranda.