Friday, February 09, 2007

"Icon" of an Era

The cause for beatification of the late Cardinal Eduardo Pironio -- who, as president of the Pontifical Council for the Laity through the 1980s and early '90s, was the "co-founder" of World Youth Day -- was opened last June.

On Tuesday, the seventh anniversary of the veteran curialist's death, a Mass for the cause was celebrated by the Secretary of State:
Eduardo Pironio was born in Argentina in 1920 and ordained a priest in 1943. He served as bishop of Mar del Plata, secretary and president of the Latin American bishops' council, prefect for the Congregation for Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life, and president of the Pontifical Council for the Laity.

Cardinal Pironio also shared a great spiritual closeness with Sister Lucia, the visionary of Fatima. He died in Rome on Feb. 5, 1998, and the process of his beatification was initiated in June 2006.

Cardinal Bertone told those present that Cardinal Pironio was a "man of God" who "irradiated God's holiness in the Church."

"His life leaves us with an icon of a holy, generous and ardent minister of Christ," affirmed the secretary of state. "He made of his own existence an act of love for God and for his brothers and sisters; an act of love sustained by unwavering faith and joyful hope."

Cardinal Bertone concluded with the hope "that the Church will recognize his holiness and offer him as a model for living."
The local investigations for the process are taking place both in Rome and Pironio's native Argentina.