Ángel Fernández Artime

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Ángel Fernández Artime

Portrait (2014).
Elected25 March 2014
PredecessorPascual Chavez Villanueva
Other post(s)Cardinal-Deacon of Santa Maria Ausiliatrice in Via Tusculana (2023-)
Ordination4 July 1987
Consecration20 April 2024
by Emil Paul Tscherrig
Created cardinal30 September 2023
by Pope Francis
Personal details
Born (1960-08-21) 21 August 1960 (age 63)
Previous post(s)
Alma materUniversity of Valladolid
MottoSufficit tibi gratia mea
("My grace is sufficient for You")
Coat of armsÁngel Fernández Artime's coat of arms

Ángel Fernández Artime, S.D.B. (born 21 August 1960) is a Spanish Catholic archbishop of the Salesians of Don Bosco, who has been Rector Major of the Salesians since 2014, the first Spaniard to hold that office. He was previously provincial superior of the Salesian Province of Leon from 2000 to 2006 and of the Southern Argentina Province from 2009 to 2014.

Pope Francis made him a cardinal on 30 September 2023 and has announced that Fernández can continue to serve as rector until 31 July 2024. He is the first cleric made a cardinal while heading a religious order and he was the first cardinal elector not a bishop since Roberto Tucci spent two months as a cardinal elector in 2001.[a]

His episcopal consecration was celebrated on 20 April 2024.

Early life[edit]

Ángel Fernández Artime was born in Gozón-Luanco, Asturias, on 21 August 1960. His father was a fisherman and his mother sold his catch. In 1970 his family moved to Astudillo, Palencia, where he enrolled in boarding school. He then studied for three years in Cambados (Pontevedra) and then entered the Salesian school in León.[1] He professed his first vows on 3 September 1978 and his final vows on 17 June 1984 in Santiago de Campostela. He was ordained a priest on 4 July 1987 in León.[2]

Fernández holds a bachelor's degree in pastoral theology, philosophy and pedagogy from the University of Valladolid.[3]

Following his ordination, he began his ministry teaching religion at the Santo Angel Salesian College of Avilés (Asturias)[citation needed] and was then director of the Salesian College of Ourense.[1]


As a member of the Salesian Province of León, Fernandez was a member of the Provincial Council and vice provincial. From 2000 to 2006 he was superior of that Province. He was selected to team with the organizers of the 26th General Chapter in Rome in 2008. In 2009 he was elected provincial for the Southern Argentina Province, headquartered in Buenos Aires. There Fernandez worked with Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio, who later became Pope Francis.[4]

The General Council of the Salesians elected him to a six-year term as rector major of the order in March 2014.[1][b] He is the first Spaniard[1] and third non-Italian[citation needed] to become rector of the Salesians.

As rector major, he presided at the opening of the celebrations of the 200th birthday of Saint John Bosco on 24 January 2015 in Turin.[6]

He was elected to a second six-year term as rector on 11 March 2020.[7][8]

On 9 July 2023, Pope Francis announced his plans to create him a cardinal at a consistory scheduled for 30 September.[9] He is the first superior of a religious congregation be made a cardinal.[10] At that consistory he was assigned the rank of cardinal deacon with the title of Santa Maria Ausiliatrice in via Tusculana.[11]

Pope Francis told Fernandez he could continue to serve as rector until 31 July 2024, when he will be given a new assignment.[8] He was made a member of the Dicastery for Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life on 4 October 2013.[12] Fernandez announced that the Salesians plan to hold an election to replace him as rector in the spring of 2025.[13]

His episcopal consecration was celebrated on 20 April 2024. Pope Francis assigned him the titular see of Ursona with the title of archbishop.[14]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Tucci was never consecrated a bishop, but turned 80 and lost his status as an elector two months after becoming a cardinal.
  2. ^ He had been designated to become provincial of the new Province of Mediterranean Spain headquartered in Sevilla, but never took up that position because of his election as rector.[5]


  1. ^ a b c d "Ángel Fernández, máximo responsable de los salesianos, "Asturiano del mes" de marzo". La Nueva España. 27 March 2014. Retrieved 28 January 2015.
  2. ^ "Annuncio di Concistoro il 30 settembre per la creazione di nuovi Cardinali, 09.07.2023" (Press release) (in Italian). Holy See Press Office. 9 July 2023. Retrieved 11 July 2023.
  3. ^ "Interview with Isabel Artime – the mother of the Rector Major (Ángel Fernández Artime)". Salesians of Don Bosco (Interview). Interviewed by José Antonio San Martín. Retrieved 28 January 2015.
  4. ^ "Salesians' new leader worked with Bergoglio in Argentina". Catholic News Agency. 29 March 2014. Retrieved 27 January 2015.
  5. ^ "Rector Major Fr Fernández Artime, Ángel". Salesians of Don Bosco. Retrieved 9 August 2023.
  6. ^ "200 anni con don Bosco, via alle celebrazioni Torino, 24 gennaio 2015" (in Italian). 24 January 2015. Retrieved 30 January 2015.
  7. ^ "Celebra a vida do Reitor Mor, P. Ángel Fernández Artime". Inspetoria São João Bosco Belo Horizonte (in Portuguese). 21 August 2023. Retrieved 22 September 2023.
  8. ^ a b O'Connell, Gerard (14 July 2023). "Pope Francis to new Salesian cardinal: You can stay in charge of order for one more year". America. Retrieved 9 August 2023.
  9. ^ "Le parole del Papa alla recita dell'Angelus, 09.07.2023" (Press release) (in Italian). Holy See Press Office. 9 July 2023. Retrieved 9 July 2023.
  10. ^ "The Future Cardinal, Fr. Ángel Fernández Artime". Salesian Bulletin. 4 August 2023. Retrieved 9 August 2023.
  11. ^ "Assignation of Titles and Deaconries to the new Cardinals, 30.09.2023" (Press release). Holy See Press Office. 30 September 2023. Retrieved 1 October 2023.
  12. ^ "Resignations and Appointments, 04.10.2023" (Press release). Holy See Press Office. 4 October 2013. Retrieved 7 March 2024.
  13. ^ "Cardinal who leads Salesian order to be ordained a bishop". Our Sunday Visitor. Catholic News Service. 5 March 2024. Retrieved 7 March 2024.
  14. ^ "Rinunce e nomine, 05.03.2024" (Press release) (in Italian). Holy See Press Office. 5 March 2024. Retrieved 5 March 2024.
Additional sources
Catholic Church titles
Preceded by Rector Major of the Salesians
Preceded by Cardinal-Deacon of Santa Maria Ausiliatrice in Via Tusculana
30 September 2023–present