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
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.