Styles of
Eduardo Pironio
CardinalCoA PioM
Reference style His Eminence
Spoken style Your Eminence
Informal style Cardinal
See Sabina-Poggio Mirteto (Suburbicarian diocese

Eduardo Francisco Pironio, Servant of God (3 December 1920 – 5 February 1998) was a Roman Catholic Cardinal-Bishop. On 30 June 2006 the Diocese of Rome began requesting testimonies about the life and sanctity of Cardinal Pironio.

Early life

Eduardo Pironio was the youngest of 22 children. Months before his death, in an interview he stated that: "I am the twenty-second child, the last born, and I have to recognize that the story is somewhat miraculous. My parents were Italians. The only reason they went to Argentina was to get married. When their first son was born, my mother was only 18 years old, and she became gravely ill. She was in bed for six months, unable to move. When she recovered, the doctors told her that she would not be able to have more children, and that if she did, her life would be in grave danger."

Not knowing what she should do, his mother went to consult the auxiliary bishop of La Plata, who calmed her down and celebrated a Mass for her, praying that she be protected.

“She later gave birth to 21 more children – I am the last – and she lived to the age of 82."[1]

Church career

He was ordained on 5 December 1943 in Argentina. He carried out the duties of a priest until Pope Paul VI on 24 March 1964 appointed him Auxiliary Bishop of the diocese of La Plata, Argentina receiving the titular see of Caeciri.

He was chosen as the Bishop of Mar del Plata in 1972. He stayed in his diocese until he was appointed on 20 September 1975 to be Pro-Prefect of the Congregation for Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life in the Roman Curia that same day becoming titular Archbishop of Thiges. He remained as Pro-Prefect until his elevation to the rank of cardinal on 24 May 1976, becoming Cardinal-Deacon of the titular church Ss. Cosma e Damiano.

He was appointed by Pope John Paul II on 8 April 1984 as President of the Pontifical Council for the Laity. In that position, together with Pope John Paul II, Pironio was a promoter of the first World Youth Day.

As is traditional after ten years of serving as Cardinal-Deacon he took the option of becoming Cardinal-Priest. On 11 July 1995 he was elected to take the suburbicarian see of Sabina-Poggio Mirteto. He retired in 1996 becoming President Emeritus of the Pontifical Council for the Laity.

Process of canonisation

On 28 June 2006 Cardinal Camillo Ruini, Vicar for the Diocese of Rome, stated in an edict that “with the passing of years, his fame for sanctity has increased, and therefore it has been formally requested that we begin his cause of beatification and canonization.[2]

Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone celebrated a Mass on the seventh anniversary of his death. "His life leaves us with an icon of a holy, generous and ardent minister of Christ," said Cardinal Bertone. "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.[3] The Archdiocesan Tribunal of Buenos Aires initiated the Argentine phase of the beatification process on 22 February 2007 and it will hear the testimonies of approximately thirty-three witnesses, bishops, priests, religious men and women, and lay people.


Preceded by
Arturo Tabera Araoz
Prefect for the Congregation for Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life
20 September 1975 - 8 April 1984
Succeeded by
Jean Jérôme Hamer
Preceded by
Opilio Rossi
President of the Pontifical Council for the Laity
8 April 1984 - 20 August 1996
Succeeded by
James Stafford
no:Eduardo Francisco Pironio

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