Blessed Cardinal Eduardo Pironio
A Signed Easter Greeting from Cardinal Eduardo Pironio
Announcement from the Vatican of the Beatification of Cardinal Eduardo Pironio
The Beatification of Cardinal Eduardo Pironio
December 16, 2023
Shrine of Our Lady of Lujan, Argentina
Kathleen N. Hattrup – published on 12/17/23
Cardinal Eduardo Pironio was beatified on December 16 in Argentina: “a humble and zealous pastor, a witness of hope, defender of the poor”
After praying the midday Angelus on December 17, Pope Francis noted that in his homeland on Saturday, Cardinal Eduardo Pironio was beatified.
Yesterday in the Shrine of Our Lady of Luján in Argentina, Cardinal Eduardo Pironio was beatified, a humble and zealous pastor, a witness of hope, defender of the poor. He collaborated with St. John Paul II in the promotion of lay people and World Youth Day. May his example help us to be a Church that goes out, that accompanies everyone on their way, especially the weakest. A round of applause for the new Blessed!
Cardinal Eduardo Pironio, a cardinal from Argentina, is best known for his role in organizing the first World Youth Day.
Pironio was also a personal friend of Pope Francis, as they both lived in Argentina at one time, and a friend of Saint Archbishop Oscar Romero.
St. John Paul II summarized his life during the homily for his funeral in 1998.
He was born on December 3, 1920, and was ordained a priest in the Basilica of Our Lady of Luján on December 5, 1943. In the first years of his ministry he carried out intense educational and didactic activities in the seminary of Buenos Aires. During the Second Vatican Ecumenical Council he was asked to take part in the work as a conciliar peritus.
(Periti were priests invited by the Vatican to assist the Second Vatican council as theological experts.)
In 1964 Paul VI made him Auxiliary to the Archbishop of La Plata. He was then appointed Apostolic Administrator of Avellaneda and General Secretary of CELAM, of which he also became President. He was later promoted to the see of Mar del Plata.
Paul VI wanted him to be close at hand, and entrusted him with the then Congregation for Religious and Secular Institutes, and in 1976 raised him to the dignity of Cardinal.
On April 8, 1984 I myself called him to direct the Pontifical Council for the Laity, where he served until August 20, 1996, working throughout with youthful enthusiasm and total competence.
He then recalled his work in helping promote the first World Youth Day, “How could his great contribution to the celebration of the World Youth Days be forgotten? Here I would like to make public my heartfelt gratitude to this Brother who was a great help to me in the exercise of the Petrine ministry.”
Pope Francis called to mind Pironio’s contribution to Catholic Action in a letter addressed to them in 2021.
Pironio was a man with deep roots, with a memory anchored in the dynamism of history as a Kairos, a strong time of salvation, a time of work, trial, purification and hope. He loved Catholic Action and believed in the lay missionary vocation. The Church can testify that Catholic Action has opened up new perspectives in the field of the responsibility of the laity in Evangelization. Many evangelized and formed by Catholic Action put truth, depth and the Gospel in civil spheres, often closed to faith. The lay saints and blesseds of Catholic Action are a treasure for the Church. Those who were “the saints next door” of so many communities.
Blessed Cardinal Eduardo Pironio
Eduardo Pironio was born on 3 December 1920 in Argentina as the last of 22 children of José Pironio and Enriqueta Rosa Butazzoni, who had emigrated from Friuli, Italy.
Months before his death, in an interview, he stated that: “I am the twenty-second child, the last born, and I have to recognize that the story is somewhat miraculous. …When their first son was born, my mother was only 18 years old, and she became gravely ill. She was in bed for six months, unable to move. When she recovered, the doctors told her that she would not be able to have more children, and that if she did, her life would be in grave danger. She later gave birth to 21 more children – I am the last – and she lived to the age of 82.”
Pironio attended elementary school prior to moving into the seminary in La Plata where he studied both philosophy and theology. He continued his studies at the Pontifical Angelicum Athenaeum in Rome where he attained a licentiate in theology.
He was ordained on 5 December 1943 and served as a staff member of the Pío XII Seminary in Mercedes from 1944 until 1959. Pironio served as the vicar general of there from 1959 until a year later, and he went on to serve as the rector of the Metropolitan Seminary of Villa Devoto from 1960 to 1964. He attended the Second Vatican Council from 1962 to 1964 as a “peritus” (an expert).
On 24 March 1964 Pope Paul VI appointed him auxiliary bishop of La Plata and titular bishop of Caeciri. He received his episcopal consecration on 31 May 1964 from Antonio José Plaza. He attended the later sessions of the Second Vatican Council in 1964 and 1965 as a bishop, no longer as an expert. In 1967 he was named to serve briefly as apostolic administrator of the Avellaneda.
Pironio served as the Secretary-General of the Latin American Episcopal Council from 1967 to 1972. He also attended the Synod of Bishops from 29 September to 29 October 1967, and later attended the Second General Conference of the Latin American Episcopate from 24 August to 6 September 1968 in Colombia. He attended two additional synods in 1969 and in 1971. Pironio was elected president of the Latin American Episcopal Conference in 1972, served until 1974, and was confirmed for an extra year.
He was named the bishop of Mar del Plata on 19 April 1972. He preached the Lenten spiritual exercises for Pope Paul VI and the Roman Curia in 1974. On 20 September 1975 he was named pro-prefect of the Congregation for Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life and made titular archbishop of Thiges. He became prefect of that Congregation when he became a cardinal and held that office until 1984. Pironio also attended the synod of 1974 as a relator and as a member of its general secretariat.
In 24 May 1976, Pope Paul made him Cardinal-Deacon of Santi Cosma e Damiano. He participated in the synod of 1977 and served as a cardinal elector in the papal conclaves of August and October 1978 that elected Pope John Paul I and Pope John Paul II. He was thought to be a possible candidate for election as pope in that year. In 1979, he attended the Third General Conference of the Latin American Episcopate in Mexico, and later a synod in 1980 and 1983.
On 8 April 1984 Pope John Paul II named him president of the Pontifical Council for the Laity. In that position, together with John Paul II, Pironio was a promoter of the first World Youth Day. He served at seven additional synods during the next decade. After ten years as a cardinal-deacon, he took the option of becoming a cardinal-priest while retaining his titular church. On 11 July 1995 John Paul named him Cardinal-Bishop of the suburbicarian see of Sabina-Poggio Mirteto.
Pironio attended the Fourth General Conference of the Latin American Episcopal Conference in 1992 in the Dominican Republic and was appointed papal envoy to the 5th National Marian Congress in Ecuador in 1992. He retired as president of the Pontifical Council for the Laity in 1996.
Pironio died in 1998 of bone cancer in Rome. John Paul II presided over the funeral rites with 27 cardinals also in attendance. His remains were taken to Buenos Aires and after a Mass presided over by Cardinal Antonio Quarracino, his remains were buried in the left lateral altar of the Basilica of Our Lady of Luján.
Venerable Eduardo Pironio, not Blessed
But with many images of the newly beatified Cardinal.
- Date December 17, 2023
- Tags Blessed Eduardo Pironio