Jean-Marie Villot
Church positions
See Lyon
Title Cardinal Secretary of State
Period in office May 2, 1969—March 9, 1979
Successor Agostino Casaroli
Previous post Prefect of the Congregation for Council
Created cardinal February 22, 1965
Date of birth October 11, 1905
Place of birth Saint-Amant-Tallende, Puy-de-Dôme, France
Date of death March 9, 1979
Place of death Vatican City

Jean-Marie Villot (October 11, 1905 — March 9, 1979) was a French Cardinal of the Roman Catholic Church who served as Archbishop of Lyon from 1965 to 1967, Prefect of the Congregation for Council from 1967 to 1969, Vatican Secretary of State from 1969 to 1979, and Camerlengo (or Camerlengo) from 1970 to 1979. He was elevated to the cardinalate in 1965.

Early life

He was born in Saint-Amant-Tallende, Puy-de-Dôme, to Joseph and Marie (née Laville) Villot; he was an only child. Before serving in the military until August 2, 1924, he studied for the priesthood in Riom, Clermont, and Lyon. He became a Marist novice on September 7, 1925, but left the order three months later in December. Villot went on to study at the Catholic Institute of Paris and the Pontifical Athenaeum Angelicum in Rome (where he earned a licentiate in canon law and a doctorate in theology).


He was ordained a priest on April 19, 1930, by Archbishop Alfred-Henri-Marie Baudrillart. Villot was then incardinated into the Archdiocese of Paris, and from 1931 to 1934 served as secretary to Pierre-Marie Gerlier, bishop of Tarbes-et-Lourdes. He taught at the Clermont seminary and the Catholic University of Lyon, becoming vice-rector of the latter in 1942 and holding the post for the next eight years.

Bishop and Cardinal

Working in the French Episcopal Conference in the early 1950s, Villot was appointed auxiliary bishop of Paris and titular bishop of Vinda on September 2, 1954. He received his episcopal consecration on the following October 12 from Cardinal Maurice Feltin, with Archbishop Emile Guerry of Cambrai and Bishop Pierre de la Chanonie of Clermont as co-consecrators.

On December 17, 1959, Villot was promoted to Coadjutor Archbishop of Lyon and titular archbishop of Bosporus. During the Second Vatican Council, he served as the Council's Undersecretary. He succeeded Cardinal Gerlier as Archbishop of Lyon on January 17, 1965, and in the next month, was created Cardinal Priest of SS. Trinità al Monte Pincio by Pope Paul VI in the consistory of February 22. He was named Prefect of the Congregation for Council (later renamed the Congregation for the Clergy) in the Roman Curia on April 7, 1967, and he would henceforth play a very prominent role in the reign of Paul VI, being named Cardinal Secretary of State on May 2, 1969. Villot was named Camerlengo, also known as the Camerlengo, on October 16, 1970.

Styles of
Jean-Marie Villot
CardinalCoA PioM
Reference style His Eminence
Spoken style Your Eminence
Informal style Cardinal
See Lyon

On July 15, 1971, he was appointed President of the newly-formed Pontifical Council Cor Unum. It was a position he held until September 4, 1978, when he resigned from it during the pontificate of Pope John Paul I.

Elevated to Cardinal Bishop of Frascati on December 12, 1974, Villot remained Secretary of State for the remainder of Paul VI's reign, and was retained in that same capacity under both John Paul I and John Paul II.

Villot participated as a cardinal elector in both the August and October conclaves of 1978, which selected John Paul I and John Paul II respectively. In his capacity of Camerlengo, he served as the interim administrator of the Vatican between Paul VI's death and John Paul I's election, and between John Paul I's death and John Paul II's election.

He died from bronchial pneumonia on March 9, 1979, in his Vatican City apartment, at age 73. John Paul II celebrated his funeral Mass in St. Peter's Basilica on the following March 13, and his remains were buried in the crypt of Ss. Trinità al Monte Pincio.

External links

Catholic Church titles
Preceded by
Pierre-Marie Gerlier
Archbishop of Lyon
1965 - 1967
Succeeded by
Alexandre Renard
Preceded by
Pietro Ciriaci
Prefect of the Congregation for the Clergy
1967 - 1969
Succeeded by
John Joseph Wright
Preceded by
Amleto Giovanni Cicognani
Cardinal Secretary of State
1969 - 1979
Succeeded by
Agostino Casaroli
Preceded by
Benedetto Aloisi Masella
1970 - 1979
Succeeded by
Paolo Cardinal Bertoli
Preceded by
President of the Pontifical Council Cor Unum
1971 - 1978
Succeeded by
Bernardin Gantin
hr:Jean Villotla:Ioannes Maria Villotno:Jean Villotpt:Jean-Marie Villot

ru:Вийо, Жан-Мари sv:Jean Villot

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