ROME, JUNE 25, 2006 (Zenit.org).- The Pope’s Vicar for Rome opened the diocesan phase of the process of beatification of Cardinal Eduardo Pironio, who helped John Paul II launch World Youth Days.
Cardinal Camillo Ruini, the vicar, on Friday described the three characteristics of the faith of the Argentine cardinal: God the Father, the Virgin Mary and the cross.
The vicar for Rome explained that these three loves gave Cardinal Pironio the courage not to draw back, not even when he received death threats in his country.
The opening of the diocesan phase took place in Rome because that was the diocese in which the Cardinal Pironio lived during his last years, and where he died on Feb. 5, 1998.
Eduardo Pironio, born on Dec. 3, 1920, played an important part in Church history in the last quarter of the 20th century.
John Paul II appointed him president of the Pontifical Council for the Laity on April 8, 1984, and in that Vatican dicastery, he became the Pontiff’s right-hand man in his pastoral work with youth worldwide.
Before, Cardinal Pironio had been prefect of the Congregation of Institutes of Consecrated Life, the dicastery which oversees more than 1 million religious and consecrated persons in the world. He was spiritually close to Sister Lucia, the visionary of Fatima.
Pope Paul VI elevated him to cardinal in May 1976 after having worked for many years in the Latin American bishops’ council, first as secretary and later as president.
In Argentina, he was bishop of Mar del Plata, in the province of Buenos Aires. He was the youngest of an Italian immigrant family of 22 children.