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Cardinal Mikel Koliqi
Birth: Sep. 29, 1902
ShkodŽr, Albania
Death: Jan. 28, 1997
ShkodŽr, Albania

Roman Catholic Cardinal. ShkodrŽ born Mikel Koliqi received his initial studies at the Kolegjin Saverian until 1911, when due to the country's situation, he was sent to Italy, where he pursued his studies at the Collegio Arici of the Jesuit Fathers in Brescia. Entering the Collegio Vilorez of Monza in 1919, in 1924 he moved to Bergamo, Florence and Bari where he passed the final examinations in the technical institute. Entering the Polytechnical Institute of Milan, it was during this period that he felt his vocation to the priesthood and entered seminary in Venegono and later in Milan. Returning to Albania, he was ordained priest on May 30, 1931 at the church of the Jesuit Fathers of ShkodrŽ by Msgr. LazŽr Mjeda, Archbishop of ShkodrŽ. Vice-pastor of the cathedral of ShkodrŽ between 1931 and 1936, he founded the cathedral's Schola Cantorum in 1932 and eventually served its pastor from 1936 till 1945. Vicar general of the archdioceseas of 1936, Koliqi was furthermore put in charge of the diocesan press, serving as editor of the "Veprimin Katolik Shqiptar" and director of the cultural review "Kumona e sŽ djelŽs" between 1938 and 1944. Arrested by the Communist authorities on February 3, 1945 and sentenced to two years in prison, he was freed and again arrested and sentenced to five years in 1946. He was once again freed in 1951 and later re-arrested and sentenced to forced labor in camps in Lsunie, Gradishta, Gjas, Valona and others amidst Enver Hoxha's Communist persecutions. In total, he spent twenty years years of forced labor and another twenty one of imprisonment for having listened to foreign radio stations and organized the Catholic Youth. Finally, he was freed in 1986 because of his advanced age and given the title "Pishtar i Demokracise" - Torchbearer of Democracy - by the People's Assembly. Named Honorary Prelate of His Holiness with the title of monsignor on January 31, 1992, he served briefly as parish priest of St. Stephen's cathedral of ShkodrŽ following his release. Authoring a number of famous melodramas, that to this day remain considered as the precursors of the Albanian operatic movement, at ninety two years of age, he was created cardinal deacon with the deaconry of Ognissanti in via Appia Nuova in the consistory of November 26, 1994 by Pope John Paul II, becoming thus the first Albanian Cardinal. Declining to receive his episcopal consecration because of his advanced age, Koliqi died in ShkodrŽ on Tuesday, January 28, 1997 and lies interred in the crypt of the local metropolitan cathedral. (bio by: Eman Bonnici) 
Saint Stephen's Cathedral of ShkodrŽ
ShkodŽr, Albania
Plot: Cathedral Crypt.
Maintained by: Find A Grave
Originally Created by: Eman Bonnici
Record added: Mar 03, 2009
Find A Grave Memorial# 34375218
Cardinal Mikel Koliqi
Added by: Eman Bonnici
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