Pope Francis expressed this in his Portuguese telegram of condolences for the passing away, October 9, 2019, of Brazilian Cardinal Serafim Fernandes de Araújo, who passed away at 95.
In the message sent to President of the Brazilian Bishops’ Conference, Archbishop Walmor Oliveira de Azevedo of Belo Horizonte, the Holy Father called the archbishop emeritus of Belo Horizonte ‘a beloved pastor’ and a ‘beloved cardinal.’
Pope Francis entrusted to God’s mercy “the beloved cardinal who served the church with great zeal, as a council father during the Second Vatican Council.” In particular, Francis praised his having dedicated himself for more than 50 years to the Archdiocese of Belo Horizonte, “where his missionary passion increased love for Jesus Christ and His Church in the hearts of the faithful.”
Expressing his communion in prayer with his relatives and archdiocese’s faithful, Pope Francis sent his Apostolic Blessing to the Archdiocesan community “that mourns the loss of its beloved pastor,” as well as to the Church of Brazil and those sharing in this hour of sadness that announces the Resurrection.
Below is the Vatican’s English translation of the telegram:
HIS MOST REVEREND EXCELLENCY
DOM WALMOR OLIVEIRA DE AZEVEDO
ARCHBISHOP OF BELO HORIZONTE AND
PRESIDENT OF THE NATIONAL CONFERENCE OF BISHOPS OF BRAZIL
I HAVE RECEIVED WITH REGRET THE NEWS OF THE DEATH OF CARDINAL SERAFIM FERNANDES DE ARAÚJO, AND I WISH TO EXPRESS MY COMMUNION IN PRAYER WITH HIS RELATIVES AND WITH ALL THE FAITHFUL OF THE ARCHDIOCESE IN THIS MOMENT OF MOURNING. I ENTRUST TO GOD’S MERCY THE BELOVED CARDINAL WHO SERVED THE CHURCH WITH GREAT ZEAL, AS A COUNCIL FATHER DURING THE SECOND VATICAN COUNCIL AND, IN PARTICULAR, BY DEDICATING HIMSELF FOR MORE THAN FIFTY YEARS TO THE ARCHDIOCESE OF BELO HORIZONTE, WHERE HIS MISSIONARY PASSION INCREASED LOVE FOR JESUS CHRIST AND HIS CHURCH IN THE HEARTS OF THE FAITHFUL. I RAISE FERVENT PRAYERS THAT, BY THE INTERCESSION OF OUR LADY OF THE GOOD JOURNEY, GOD MAY WELCOME THIS GOOD AND FAITHFUL SERVANT INTO HIS ETERNAL HAPPINESS, AND I SEND MY APOSTOLIC BLESSING TO THE ARCHDIOCESAN COMMUNITY THAT MOURNS THE LOSS OF ITS BELOVED PASTOR, TO THE CHURCH OF BRAZIL AND TO THOSE WHO SHARE IN THIS HOUR OF SADNESS THAT ANNOUNCES THE RESURRECTION.
Brazilian Cardinal Serafim Fernandes de Araújo Dies at 95
Archbishop Emeritus of Belo Horizonte
Cardinal Serafim Fernandes de Araújo, Archbishop Emeritus of Belo Horizonte, died on Tuesday, 8 October 2019, reported Vatican News.
Following his death, the College of Cardinals now numbers 224, of whom 127 Cardinals are electors and 97 are non-electors.
Cardinal Serafim Fernandes de Araújo was born on August 13, 1924, in Minas Novas, in the Brazilian state of Alto Jequitinhonha. He lived his childhood in Itamarandiba, also in the Jequitinhonha region, and at the age of 12, he began to study at the Diamantina Seminary, where he graduated in Humanities and in Philosophy.
He was chosen to study in Rome, where he obtained a Masters in Theology and Canon Law from the Pontifical Gregorian University. His priestly ordination took place on March 12, 1949, at the Cathedral of St. John Lateran in Rome.
Cardinal de Araújo returned to Brazil in 1951 and began his priestly activity as parish priest in the city of Gouveia where he remained until 1957.
During this same period, he served as chaplain of the Companhia Industrial de São Roberto. From 1956 to 1957 he assumed the position of military chaplain of the 3rd Military Battalion of the Military Police of Minas Gerais. He was also director of Religious Education of the Archdiocese of Diamantina and professor of Canon Law at the Provincial Seminary. In Curvelo, where he was parish priest in 1957 and canon from 1958 to 1959, he also acted as a teacher in several schools.
Cardinal de Araújo was deeply committed to education and social communications. In 1960, he was appointed the rector at the Catholic University of Belo Horizonte and for several years he was in charge of a daily radio program, “A Palavra de Deus”, broadcast by Rádio América and of a Sunday TV program.
Cardinal de Araújo participated in the Second Vatican Council, from 1962 to 1965, and he participated in the General Conferences of the Latin American Bishops (CELAM) held in Puebla in 1979 and in Santo Domingo in 1992.
He was created a Cardinal by Pope Saint John Paul II in the Consistory of 21 February 1998. Since 2004, he has been Archbishop Emeritus of Belo Horizonte in Brazil.