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- H.E. Jean-Marie Card. LUSTIGER
- Archbishop Emeritus of Paris
- Friday, September 17, 1926
- August 5, 2007 (Aged 80)
- Cardinal since:
- Wednesday, February 02, 1983
- Cardinal Priest of S Luigi dei Francesi
Cardinal Jean-Marie Lustiger, Archbishop Emeritus of Paris, was born in
the French capital on 17 September 1926 of parents who were Polish Jews and had
emigrated to France at the beginning of the century. During the Nazi occupation
his parents were deported and his mother died in the concentration camp of
Auschwitz in 1943. The young Jean-Marie was spared because he was taken in by a
family in Orléans. Through contact with them he was converted to Catholicism and
was baptized on 25 August 1940 in the chapel of the bishop’s residence where
twenty years later he would be the pastor.
He studied at the Montaigne
Lyceum in Paris, then in Orléans, and later at the Sorbonne. In the years of
university studies, he was an active member of the Young Christian Students.
After working for a year as a mechanic in Decazenville in the southwest of
France, he entered the Carmelite Seminary in Paris. He earned a degree from the
Catholic Institute in theology and a licentiate in letters and in philosophy
from the Sorbonne. He was ordained a priest on 17 April 1954.
of students, he gave assistance in spiritual renewal at Richelieu Center. He was
often a tour guide for pilgrims and student groups to Rome, Chartres, and the
In 1969, he was called to direct the Parish of St. Jeanne de
Chantal, in which his dynamism and pastoral activity was put at the service of
young and old. He sermons were much sought, some of which were collected into a
On 10 November 1979, John Paul II appointed him Bishop of
Orléans. Episcopal ordination was conferred on 18 December by Cardinal Marty in
the presence of the Apostolic Nuncio, Mons. Angelo Felici and 17
On 2 February 1981 he succeeded Cardinal Marty in the
Archdiocese of Paris.
In the archdiocese, he has always dedicated himself
to pastoral work, which he has always carried out with relentless activity.
During this time, he has given numerous homilies and conferences in France and
Staunch defender of human rights, upon his announcement of being
named Cardinal, he said that he considers this dignity more as a responsibility
than an honour, in so far as "it concerns carrying even more the burden of the
Created and proclaimed Cardinal by John Paul II in the
consistory of 2 February 1983. Titular church St. Louis of
President Delegate to the 1st Special Assembly for Europe of the
Synod of Bishops (1991).
He retired in February 2005, the Holy Father
accepting his resignation several years after it was tendered.