Argentine Cardinal Eduardo Pironio Declared Venerable

He Was Among the Organizers of the World Youth Days. A Capuchin Poor Clare Will Be Proclaimed Blessed

Argentine Cardinal Eduardo Pironio
Cardinal Pironio (C) Vatican Media

A new Blessed and four new Venerables, outstanding among whom is the figure of Argentine Cardinal Eduardo Pironio, that Pope Francis has authorized the Congregation for the Causes of Saints to proclaim the Decree on the miracle attributed to the intercession of the Venerable Servant of God Maria Costanza Panas (in the world, Agnese Pacifica), professed nun of the Capuchin Poor Clares of the Monastery of Fabriano, who was born on January 5, 1896, at Alano di Piave, in the province of Belluno, and died on May 28, 1962, at Fabriano.

The Other Venerables

 In addition to the Argentine Cardinal, the other Decrees regarding the heroic virtues of four Servants of God are: Immacolato Giuseppe do Gesù (in the world: Aldo Brienza), Discalced Carmelite, born in Campobasso on August 15, 1922, and died there on April 13, 1989. Brazilian religious Benigna Vittima di Gesù (in the world: Maria Concetta Santos), of the Congregation of the Sisters Helpers of Our Lady of Mercy, born on August 16, 1907, at Diamantina and died on October 16, 1981, in Belo Horizonte. Finally, Giovanna Méndez Romero (called Juanita), religious of the Congregation of the Sisters Workers of the Heart of Jesus, born on January 9, 1937, at Villanueva de Córdoba, Spain, and died there on April 5, 1990.

The best known of the new Venerables is, undoubtedly, Cardinal Eduardo Francisco Pironio, one of Saint John Paul II’s collaborators in conceiving the World Youth Days (WYD). Born on December 3, 1920, at Nueve de Julio, in Argentina, he was the last born of a very numerous family (23 children) of Friulian emigrants. He received his priestly Ordination on December 5, 1943. He was Professor and Rector of the Seminary of Buenos Aires and then Dean of the Faculty of Theology of the Argentine Catholic University.

Episcopal Ministry

Saint Paul VI appointed him Auxiliary of La Plata in 1964 and then Bishop of Mar del Plata in 1972. He also held the office of Secretary of the Latin American Episcopal Council (CELAM). In 1975 he was called to Rome as Prefect of the Congregation for Religious and created Cardinal the following year. In 1984 Saint John Paul II appointed him President of the Pontifical Council for the Laity and he collaborated in the realization of the WYD.

Cardinal Pironio died in Rome on February 5, 1998, following a bone tumor and was buried in the Shrine of Lujan in Argentina. Inn his spiritual testament he wrote: “I thank the Lord for my ministry of service in the Episcopate. How good the Lord has been to me! I wished to be father, brother, and friend of priests, of men and women religious, of all the People of God. To be simply the presence of ‘Christ, the hope of glory.’ I wished to be so always in the different services that God asked of me as Bishop.”

Translation by Virginia M. Forrester