Rome, Italy. José Cardinal Saraiva Martins, CMF, Prefect Emeritus of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints and Cardinal-Bishop of Palestrina, celebrates his 65th year of priestly ordination today, March 16, 2022, at 90 years of age.
Cardinal Saraiva was born on January 6, 1932 in Gagos de Jarmelo, Portugal. He entered the Congregation of Missionaries Sons of the Immaculate Heart of Mary (Claretian Missionaries) in the late 40s and made his first profession on August 22, 1950. After his studies in Rome, he was ordained a priest on March 16, 1957, by Archbishop Ettore Cunial, Titular Archbishop of Cunial. He then taught and became the rector of the Pontifical Urbanian University.
As a theologian and scholar, on May 26, 1988, Pope John Paul II appointed him Secretary of the Congregation for Seminaries and Study Institutes, elevating him at the same time to the dignity of archbishop and assigning him the titular see of Tuburnica. On July 2, 1988, he was consecrated by Agostino Cardinal Casaroli, the Cardinal-Bishop of Porto-Santa Rufina, making him part of the episcopal lineage of Scipione Cardinal Rebiba, Titular Patriarch of Constantinople.
He was elevated to the rank of cardinal by Pope John Paul II during the consistory of February 21, 2001. He then was appointed Prefect of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints and served until July 9, 2008. He is also a member of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments, the Congregation for Bishops, the Pontifical Council for Pastoral Care for Health Care Workers, and the Special Council for Europe of the General Secretariat of the Synod of Bishops.
On February 24, 2009, Pope Benedict XVI promoted him to the order of cardinal bishops, assigning him the suburbicarian see of Palestrina.
José Cardinal Saraiva Martins, CMF, is a missionary firmly rooted in Christ and audacious in his given mission. The Claretian Missionaries are proud of you and thankful for that particular day in 1932 when you generously said yes to be consecrated alter Christus in the service of the Church.