|Death: ||Mar. 27, 1977|
Cardinal Emile Biayenda was born in 1927, in Mpongala, within the Apostolic Vicariate of Brazzaville, Congo. He received his elementary studies at Mpongala between 1935 and 1937, then at Kindamba's Catholic Mission from 1937 until 1942, when he moved for further studies to Boundji's Catholic Mission, where he stayed till 1944, when he entered Seminary.
After undergoing studies at the Seminary of Brazzaville, he was ordained a Presbyter on October 26, 1958, in Brazzaville, by Michel-Jules-Joseph-Marie Bernard, C.S.Sp., Former Archbishop of Brazzaville. Following his Ordination, he was named Vicar of the Sainte Marie of Ouenzé Parish in August 1959. He also took care of the construction of the Saint Jean de Vianney Parish Church in Mouléké between March 1962 and July 1965. Subsequently he was named as its Curate. Performing Pastoral Work in the Archdiocese of Brazzaville, he served as National Chaplain of the Legion of Mary between 1960 and 1965. He suffered house arrest for a few months in 1964, but was acquitted and freed and pursued further studies from 1965 till 1969. On February 18, 1970, he was appointed Episcopal Vicar for Apostolic Works and Archdiocesan Commissions of Brazzaville.
Diocesan Responsible for the Society of Mary from 1960 to 1965, this Marian Movement seemed dangerous to some politicians. Biayenda was innocently tortured together with Father Louis Badila (1930 - ), and Father Robyr of the Holy Spirit Congregation.
Biayenda was sent to Lyon, France, in October 1965, from where he obtained a Doctorate in Sociology and a Licentiate in Theology in 1969. Back in Brazzaville in May of that same year, he was assigned as Vicar at Holy Spirit Parish of Moungali and Episcopal Vicar for Apostolic Works and Archdiocesan Commissions.
Biayenda was elected as Titular Archbishop of the See of Garba and appointed Coadjutor of the See of Brazzaville, with Right of Succession on March 7, 1970, receiving his Episcopal Consecration on the following May 17, in Rome, from Msgr. Sergio Pignedoli, Titular Archbishop of the See of Iconio, Secretary of the Sacred Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples and Future Cardinal, assisted by Msgr. Mario Tagliaferri, Titular Archbishop of the See of Formia, Apostolic Delegate to the Republic of Congo, and by Msgr. Guy-Marie-Joseph Riobé, Bishop of Orléans. He succeeded to the Metropolitan See of Brazzaville on June 14, 1971, and was named President of the Episcopal Conference of Congo, later that year.
Pope Paul VI created him Cardinal Priest in the Consistory of March 5, 1973, with the Title of San Marco in Agro Lauretino and therefore became the First Cardinal from Congo.
Following his elevation to the Sacred College, he celebrated a Solemn Mass at Eboué Stadium, which saw the participation among others of Cardinal Malula, Msgr. Mario Tagliaferri, numerous African and Congolese Bishops and hundreds of fellow compatriots.
On March 23, 1977, the Cardinal was brutally assassinated in Brazzaville, victim of tribal rivalries. His remains are found interred inside the Metropolitan Cathedral of Brazzaville.
Cathédrale du Sacré-Coeur de Brazzaville
Kinshasa, Congo, Democratic Republic of
Created by: Eman Bonnici
Record added: Jun 11, 2008
Find A Grave Memorial# 27475961