Styles of
Georges Grente
CardinalCoA PioM
Reference style His Eminence
Spoken style Your Eminence
Informal style Cardinal
See Le Mans

Georges-François-Xavier-Marie Grente (5 May 1872 – 5 May 1959) was a French Cardinal of the Roman Catholic Church. He served as Archbishop of Le Mans from 1918 until his death, and was elevated to the cardinalate in 1953 by Pope Pius XII.


Georges Grente was born in Percy, Coutances, and studied at the University of Paris School of Law, Major Seminary of Coutances, and Catholic Institute of Paris. He was ordained to the priesthood on 29 June 1895, and then taught at the minor seminary in Mortain until 1903.

Grente was director of the diocesan College of Saint Louis from 1903 to 1916, whence he became superior of St. Paul Institute in Cherbourg. He was made an honorary canon of the cathedral chapter of Coutances in 1917.

On 30 January 1918, Grente was appointed Bishop of Le Mans by Pope Benedict XV. He received his episcopal consecration on the following 17 April from Cardinal Louis-Ernest Dubois, with Bishops Claude Bardel and Joseph Guérard serving as co-consecrators. He was given the title of Assistant at Pontifical Throne on 18 January 1933, and personal title of "Archbishop" in March 1943. During World War II, Grente worked in the French resistance movement[1].

Pope Pius XII created him Cardinal Priest of S. Bernardo alle Terme in the consistory of 12 January 1953. Despite speculation that his poor health would prevent him from participating[2], Grente was one of the cardinal electors in the 1958 papal conclave, which selected Pope John XXIII. A member of the Académie française, he was in close correspondence with Charles de Gaulle as well. It was in a letter to Grente that de Gaulle made his famous distinction between la France chrétienne and la république läique.

The Cardinal died in Le Mans, on his 87th birthday, and was buried in the Cathedral of Le Mans. He had served as the ordinary of that city for over forty years. In 1998, Grente was the posthumous object of an attempt at character assassination by Christian Gury.


  1. TIME Magazine. Milestones May 18, 1959
  2. TIME Magazine. The Succession October 20, 1958

External links

Catholic Church titles
Preceded by
Raymond-Marie-Turiaf de La Porte
Archbishop of Le Mans
Succeeded by
Paul-Léon-Jean Chevalier
Honorary titles
Preceded by
José María Caro Rodríguez
Oldest Living Cardinal
December 4, 1958 – May 5, 1959
Succeeded by
Elia Dalla Costa
Cultural offices
Preceded by
Pierre de Nolhac
Seat 32
Académie française

Succeeded by
Henri Massis
no:Georges-François-Xavier-Marie Grente

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