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Cardinal Lustiger

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Cardinal Lustiger
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.

As chaplain 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 Holy Land.

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 volume.

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 Bishops.

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 abroad.

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 whole Church".

Created and proclaimed Cardinal by John Paul II in the consistory of 2 February 1983. Titular church St. Louis of France

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.

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