Jul. 26, 1914 Santiago Santiago Metropolitan, Chile
Oct. 14, 2004 Santiago Santiago Metropolitan, Chile
Roman Catholic Cardinal. Santiago de Chile born, Juan Francisco Fresno Larraín entered seminary in his native city, later furthering his studies at the Pontifical Gregorian University in Rome, earning a licentiate in theology. Ordained priest on December 18, 1937 in the cathedral of Santiago, he successively performed pastoral ministry in the archdiocese between 1937 and 1958, serving among others as spiritual director and vice-director of the minor seminary, counselor of the National Catholic Action for Youth and pro-synodal judge. Elected bishop of the diocese of Copiapó, he received his episcopal consecration on August 15, 1958 in the parish church of Santos Angeles Custodios of Santiago. Promoted to the metropolitan see of La Serena on July 28, 1971, he was elected president of the Episcopal Conference of Chile in 1975. Transferred to the metropolitan see of Santiago de Chile on May 3, 1983 following the retirement of Cardinal Raúl Silva Henríquez SDB., he played a key role in the efforts to restore democracy in his country during the military dictatorship of General Augusto Pinochet, leading to the 1988 plebiscite that marked the beginning of the end of the military regime. Pope John Paul II created him cardinal priest in the consistory of May 25, 1985 with the title of Santa Maria Immacolata di Lourdes a Boccea. Resigning the pastoral government of his see on March 30, 1990, the Cardinal went on to serve as rector of the Sagrada Familia chapel in La Dehesa, known as Las Pataguas Chapel, for over six years until his death, which occurred on October 14, 2004, at 8.50 pm., of general renal insufficiency in his private residence in Santiago. He was buried in the crypt of the local metropolitan cathedral following the celebration of a solemn mass and the dignity of a state funeral. (bio by: Eman Bonnici)
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It Was You, O God, Who Made Your Servant Cardinal Fresno, A Successor Of The Apostles By Raising Him To The Episcopal Order. May He Also Be Associated With Them Forever. We Ask This Through Our Lord, Jesus Christ, Your Son. Amen. -
Eman Bonnici Added: Jul. 20, 2011