Cardinal Francisco Álvarez Martínez Dies After Long Illness

Archbishop Emeritus of Toledo was 96

Cardinal Francisco Álvarez Martínez
Cardinal Francisco Álvarez Martínez, Archbishop Emeritus of Toledo, Spain

Archbishop Francisco Cerro Chaves of Toledo and Primate of Spain announced the death of Cardinal Francisco Álvarez Martínez, Archbishop Emeritus of Toledo, on January 5 in a statement addressed to the priests, religious, and the faithful of the Archdiocese of Toledo, according to Vatican News.

Cardinal Álvarez died at 6:45 am Wednesday morning in a hospital in Madrid following a long illness.

In the statement, Archbishop Cerro Chaves invited the faithful of the Archdiocese of Toledo, “to raise their prayers to the Lord so that the hope that encouraged Father Francisco throughout his life is filled with that fullness of life,” while “we entrust his soul to the Father of Mercy and God of all consolation, with the certain confidence that the promises of the Lord will be fulfilled in all those who love him.”

With the death of Cardinal Álvarez Martínez, the College of Cardinals now consists of  214 cardinals of whom 120 are electors and 94 are non-electors.

Biography of Cardinal Álvarez Martínez

Cardinal Francisco Álvarez Martínez was born on 14 July 1925 in Santa Eulalia de Ferroñes Llanera, Spain.

He was ordained for the Archdiocese of Oviedo on 11 June 1950, and held a doctorate in canon law from the Pontifical University of Comillas, Madrid. He was personal secretary to Archbishop Lauzurica y Torralba and did parish work in the Corredoría neighborhood. He was later chancellor and secretary of the Archdiocesan Curia and also served as chaplain to university students of the Teresian Institute.

On 13 April 1973 he was appointed Bishop of Tarazona and received episcopal ordination on 3 June.

He was named Bishop of Calahorra and La Calzada-Logroño on 20 December 1976, and was transferred to Orihuela-Alicante on 12 May 1989. He was promoted to Archbishop of Toledo on 23 June 1995, and was a member of the Standing Commission and the Executive Committee of the Spanish Episcopal Conference.

His retirement came on 24 October 2002. He participated in the conclave of April 2005, which elected Pope Benedict XVI. He was created and proclaimed Cardinal by St. John Paul II in the consistory of 21 February 2001, of the Title of S. Maria “Regina Pacis” a Monte Verde (Holy Mary ‘Queen of Peace’ in Monte Verde).