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Cardinal Eduardo Francisco Pironio
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Birth: Dec. 3, 1920
Death: Feb. 5, 1998

The Servant Of God, Cardinal Eduardo Francisco Pironio, one of Latin America's Highest Ranking Churchmen, who was twice considered to be a Candidate for the Papacy, was the youngest of 22 children. 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. My parents were Italians. The only reason they went to Argentina was to get married. 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."

Not knowing what she should do, his mother went to consult the Auxiliary Bishop of La Plata, who calmed her down and celebrated a Mass for her, praying that she be protected.

"She later gave birth to 21 more children - I am the last - and she lived to the age of 82".

Born on December 3, 1920, in Nueve de Julio, Argentina, to the named couple, José Pironio and Enriqueta Rosa Butazzoni, an immigrant middle class family originally from Percoto, Friuli, Italy, Eduardo received his initial studies at the Elementary School of Nueve de Julio. He entered the Diocesan Seminary of San José, La Plata, where he studied Philosophy and Theology, and finished successfully his studies at the Pontifical Angelicum Athenaeum in Rome, Italy, from where he obtained his Licentiate in Theology.

Ordained to the Priesthood at 23 years of age, on December 5, 1943, at the Basilica of Our Lady of Luján, by Msgr. Annunziato Serafini, Bishop of the Diocese of Mercedes, Pironio served as Faculty Member of Pío XII's Seminary of Mercedes between 1944 and 1959, Vicar General of the Diocese of Mercedes, Rector of the Metropolitan Seminary of Villa Devoto, Buenos Aires from 1960 until 1964, Apostolic Visitor to the Catholic Universities of Argentina, Faculty Member and Dean of the Theological Faculty of the Pontifical Catholic University of Buenos Aires, and Expert at the Second Vatican Council.

Aged 43, Pironio was appointed as Auxiliary Bishop of the See of La Plata, receiving his Episcopal Consecration with the Titular See of Ceciri on May 31, 1964, inside the Basilica of Our Lady of Luján, from Msgr. Antonio José Plaza, Archbishop of La Plata, assisted by Msgr. Antonio Quarracino, Bishop of Nueve de Julio and Future Cardinal, and by Msgr. Luis Juan Tomé, Bishop of the Diocese of Mercedes. Apostolic Administrator of the Diocese of Avellaneda, Bishop Pironio served furthermore as Secretary General of the Latin American Episcopal Counsel (CELAM), between 1967 and 1972 and President of the Latin American Episcopal Counsel.

Transferred to the See of Mar del Plata on April 19, 1972, he preached the Spiritual Exercises for the Pope and the Roman Curia in the Lent of 1974. Relator and Member of the General Secretariat of the World Synod of Bishops, Pironio was promoted to the Titular Archbishopric See of Tiges and appointed Pro - Prefect of the Sacred Congregation for Religious and Secular Institutes on September 20, 1975.

In the Consistory of May 24, 1976, Msgr. Pironio was created Cardinal Deacon with the Deaconry of Ss. Cosma e Damiano and appointed Prefect of the Sacred Congregation for Religious and Secular Institutes five days later by Pope Paul VI. Resigning the Prefecture on April 8, 1984, following his appointment as President of the Pontifical Council for the Laity, he was later named President of the Pontifical Commission for the Pastoral of Health Care Agents on February 16, 1985. Opting for the Order of Cardinal Priests, his Deaconry was elevated Pro Illa Vice to Title on June 22, 1987. One of the three President Delegates of the VII Ordinary Assembly of the World Synod of Bishops, held at the Vatican City between October 1 and 30, 1987, he resigned the Presidency of the Commission on March 1, 1989.

Special Papal Envoy to the Fifth National Marian Congress held in Ibarra, Ecuador from December 8 to 12, 1992, the Cardinal was named as Bishop of the Title of the Suburbicarian See of Sabina-Poggio Mirteto by Pope John Paul II on July 11, 1995. Resigning the Presidency of the Council for Laity on August 20, 1996, Pironio died on Thursday February 5, 1998, at Vatican City, aged 77, whilst suffering from bone cancer.

On Saturday February 7, 1998, in the Altar of the Chair of the Patriarchal Vatican Basilica, Pope John Paul II presided over the Funeral Mass for the Eternal Repose of the late Cardinal with 27 Cardinals concelebrating. The Pope also delivered the Homily. The remains of Cardinal Pironio were transferred to Buenos Aires on February 11, 1998 and exposed in the Metropolitan Cathedral of that City, where another Funeral took place on Thursday, February 12, presided by Cardinal Antonio Quarracino, Archbishop of Buenos Aires with 39 Bishops and 141 Priests concelebrating. In attendance were the President of the Republic of Argentina, Dr. Carlos Saúl Menem, and Ministers of the his Government, Representatives of the Armed Forces, the Chief and Vice - Chief of the Government of the City of Buenos Aires, Fernando de la Rúa and Enrique Olivera, and representatives of several Orthodox Oriental Churches.

After the Funeral, the mortal remains were taken to the Abbey of Santa Escolástica, of the Benedictine Nuns in Victoria, Province of Buenos Aires, for a Night Vigil of Prayers. The following day, the body was taken to the Basilica of Our Lady of Luján, where a Farewell Mass was presided by the Apostolic Nuncio, Archbishop Ubaldo Calabresi and concelebrated by fifty one Bishops and 180 Priests, and the attendance of 50 Seminarians from different Dioceses of Argentina. After the Mass, the body was buried in that Basilica, where the late Cardinal had been ordained a Priest and consecrated as a Bishop.

The solemn opening of the Diocesan Phase of the Process of the Cause of Beatification and Canonization of the Cardinal took place on June 23, 2006, at noon, in the Conciliazione Hall of the Lateran Apostolic Palace, situated on Piazza San Giovanni in Laterano, 4, Rome, and was presided by Cardinal Camillo Ruini, Vicar General of His Holiness for the Diocese of Rome. The opening of the Diocesan Phase took place in Rome because it is the Diocese where the Cardinal lived his last years and where he died. The Cardinal was instrumental in the organization of the World Youth Days. The Archdiocesan Tribunal of Buenos Aires initiated the Argentinian Phase of the Beatification Process on February 22, 2007. It heard the testimonies of approximately thirty three witnesses, including Bishops, Priests, Religious men and women, and lay people. The Tribunal is presided by Msgr. Joaquín Mariano Sucunza, Auxiliary Bishop and Vicar General of the Archdiocese of Buenos Aires. The Phase of gathering testimonies continued, besides Argentina, in Spain and Colombia. 
Basilica of Our Lady of Luján
Buenos Aires, Argentina
Created by: Eman Bonnici
Record added: Oct 22, 2008
Find A Grave Memorial# 30767680
Cardinal Eduardo Francisco Pironio
Added by: Eman Bonnici
Cardinal Eduardo Francisco Pironio
Added by: Eman Bonnici
Cardinal Eduardo Francisco Pironio
Added by: Eman Bonnici
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Rest in peace.
- Errete
 Added: Sep. 27, 2013

- Linda Doyle Bow Ash of Kentucky USA
 Added: Apr. 9, 2012
It Was You, O God, Who Made Your Servant Cardinal Pironio, 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. 22, 2011
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