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Cardinal Lourdusamy Laid To Rest At Pondicherry

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altPONDICHERRY, JUNE 09 (Sagaya):  The mortal remains of Cardinal Lourdusamy were laid to rest today, June 9, at the Immaculate Conception Cathedral, Pondicherry.

Cardinals Oswald Gracias, Telesphore Toppo, George Alencherry and the Apostolic Nuncio, Archbishop Salvatore Pennacchio along with hundreds of Priests and a large gathering bid Adieu to the late Cardinal.

Earlier, a requiem Mass was celebrated at St. Peter’s Basilica in the Vatican¬†on Thursday, 5th¬†June which was presided over by Cardinal Angelo Sodano, dean of College of Cardinals. At the end of the Eucharist, Pope Francis administered the rites of ultimate commendation and farewell.

After the funeral rites at St. Peter’s Basilica, the body was taken straight to the Fiumicino Airport and flown to Chennai, from there it was transferred to Pondicherry, the hometown of Cardinal Lourdusamy.

Cardinal Lourdusamy passed away at his residence, Rome at 5.05 am (IST) on June 2. He was 90.

Earlier he was the Prefect of the Congregation for the Oriental Churches in the Roman Curia, and was elevated to the cardinalate in 1985. He was the 4th cardinal from India and the first curial cardinal of Asia outside of the Middle East.

Cardinal Lourdusamy was born in Kalleri, (Archdiocese of Pondicherry), India as seventh of twelve children.


He was the elder brother of priest and theologian late Fr. D. S. Amalorpavadass, who was killed in an automobile accident while travelling from Mysore to Bangalore. The two of them are credited with playing key roles with the implementation of Vatican II Council reforms in India and leading others to do the same.


He had his early education at St. Ann's in Tindivanam; and finished his high school studies at St. Joseph Higher School of Cuddalore; then, he entered St. Agnes's Minor Seminary in Cuddalore; completed major seminary education in Philosophy and Theology at St. Peter's Pontifical Seminary, Bangalore during 1946–1951.


He was ordained to the priesthood on 21 December 1951 by Archbishop Auguste-Siméon Colas, MEP, the then Archbishop of Pondicherry and Cuddalore.


He obtained a doctorate in Canon Law from the Pontifical Urbaniana University¬†(1953–1956).

On returning to  India Fr. Lourdusamy served as Archdiocesan  Chancellor and private secretary to Archbishop Ambrose Rayappan, as Editor of the archdiocesan weekly "Sarvaviyabhi".

Pope (now saint) John XXIII appointed Fr. Lourdusamy Auxiliary Bishop of Bangalore and Titular Bishop of Sozusa in Libya on 2 July 1962.

On 9 November 1964, he was promoted to titular archbishop of Filippi, and appointed the Coadjutor Archbishop of Bangalore.


He succeeded Archbishop Thomas Pothacamury as Archbishop of Bangalore on 11 January 1968.


Blessed Pope Paul VI appointed him as Secretary adjunct of the Pontifical Congregation of the Evangelization of Peoples, 2 March 1971.


Pope Saint John Paul II created Lourdusamy, Cardinal – Deacon of Santa Maria della Grazie alle Fornaci fuori Porta Cavalleggeri in the consistory of 25 May 1985. He was the fourth Cardinal from India and the first Curial Cardinal of Asia outside Middle East.


Cardinal Lourdusamy was named Perfect of the Congregation for the Oriental Churches on 30 October 1985 and later resigned the post on 24th May 1991.


Pope John Paul II appointed him a member of several important Departments of Roman Curia, such as Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, Congregation for the Causes of Saints, congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples, Congregation for Catholic Education, Supreme Tribunal of the Apostolic Signatura, Pontifical Commission for the Revision of the Code of Canon Law, Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity etc.


After his retirement, he continued to live in Rome till his death. He did not have any serious health problems except for his dementia. May his soul rest in peace!


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