Ángel Herrera Oria

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His Eminence
Ángel Herrera Oria
Servant of God
Bishop Emeritus of Málaga
Iglesia de Santa Lucía (Estatua).JPG
Church Roman Catholic Church
Archdiocese Granada
Diocese Málaga
See Málaga
Installed 12 October 1947
Term ended 19 August 1966
Predecessor Balbino Santos y Olivera
Successor Emilio Benavent Escuín
Other posts Cardinal-Priest of Sacro Cuore di Maria (1965-1968)
Ordination 28 July 1940
Consecration 30 June 1947
by Gaetano Cicognani
Created Cardinal 22 February 1965
by Pope Paul VI
Rank Cardinal-Priest
Personal details
Birth name Ángel Herrera Oria
Born (1886-12-19)19 December 1886
Santander, Cantabria, Spain
Died 28 July 1968(1968-07-28) (aged 81)
Madrid, Spain
Nationality Spanish
Denomination Roman Catholic
Previous post
  • President of the Central Board of Spanish Catholic Action (1933-1936)
  • Coadjutor of Santa Lucia (1943-1947)
Alma mater University of Salamanca
University of Deusto
Complutense University of Madrid
Motto Orationi et ministerio Verbi ("Prayer and the ministry of the Word")
Venerated in Roman Catholic Church
Title as Saint Servant of God
Styles of
Ángel Herrera Oria
External Ornaments of a Cardinal Bishop.svg
Reference style His Eminence
Spoken style Your Eminence
Informal style Cardinal
See Málaga (Emeritus)
Ordination history of
Ángel Herrera Oria
Priestly ordination
Date of ordination 28 July 1940
Place of ordination Seminary of Saint Charles, Fribourg
Episcopal consecration
Principal consecrator Gaetano Cicognani (Titular Archbishop of Ancyra)
Co-consecrators José María Eguino y Trecu (Santander)
Juan Hervás y Benet(Titular Bishop of Alinda)
Date of consecration 30 June 1947
Place of consecration Santa Lucía, Spain
Elevated by Pope Paul VI
Date of elevation 22 February 1965
Episcopal succession
Bishops consecrated by Ángel Herrera Oria as principal consecrator
Antonio Añoveros Ataún 12 October 1952

Ángel Herrera Oria (19 November 1886 – 28 July 1968) was a Spanish journalist and Roman Catholic politician and later a cardinal. He established the Fundacion Pablo VI to promote the social doctrine of the Church and named it in honor of Pope Paul VI who elevated him into the cardinalate in 1965.

His cause of canonization has commenced and he is referred to as a Servant of God.


Early life and education[edit]

Ángel Herrera Oria was born in Spain on 19 November 1886 as the thirteenth of fifteen children to José Herrera Ariosa and Asunción Oria; four brothers became Jesuit priests while another joined the missions in China.

He completed his secondary studies with the Jesuit Fathers in Valladolid and studied law at the University of Deusto; he also studied for a licentiate in law in 1905 at the University of Salmanca and also attended the University of Fribourg in Switzerland for ecclesiastical studies from 1936 until 1940.

Oria entered the Cuerpo de Abogados del Estado in 1908 and was later sent to the Delegation of the Treasury in Burgos where he remained for a year. He returned to Madrid and entered the Marian Congregation of los Luises, directed by Jesuit Father Ángel Ayala. On 3 December 1909, he was named as the president of the recently founded Asociación Católica Nacional de Jóvenes Propagandistas. He also served as the director of El Debate from 1 November 1911 to 1933. He was the founder of Editorial Católica, of El Debate School of Journalism, of Confederación Nacional Católica Agraria, and of Centro de Estudios Universitarios e Instituto Social Obrero. Oria also partook in the formation of Pax Romana as well as in the initial steps of the Summer University of Santander. He served as the president of Central Board of Spanish Catholic Action for three years from 1933 to 1936.

He co-founded and presided (1908-1935) the Asociación Católica Nacional de Propagandistas (ACNdP) (Propagandists Catholic National Association[1]), and the rightist party Acción Nacional (named after Acción Popular) (1931), presided Spanish Catholic Action (1933-1935), and edited (1911-1933) the pre-Civil War most important Catholic newspaper, El Debate.

He studied Law at the Universities of Salamanca and Deusto, and hold his doctorate at the University of Madrid in 1908. That year, he co-founded, with the jesuit Ángel Ayala, the ACNdP. On November 1911, he purchased El Debate, a Catholic newspaper established a year before, and he made of it one of the most read newspapers in Spain. In 1912, the ACNdP established the Editorial Católica, a leading Catholic publishing house during 20th century Spain. In 1926 he founded the first Journalism School in Spain, associated with El Debate.

When the Second Republic was proclaimed, he founded the political party Acción Nacional (later named Acción Popular, as government banned the usage of term 'national' by any political party), with very little political success. In 1933, he was elected president of Spanish Catholic Action and left edition of El Debate. That same year, the ACNdP founded the Centro de Estudios Universitarios (CEU).


In 1936 he decided to become priest and began his ecclesiastical studies in the University of Fribourg. He was ordained a priest on 28 July 1940 in the seminary of Saint Charles. He was assigned as coadjutor to a parish in Santander, where he founded several social initiatives. In 1944, he encouraged the establishment by the Editorial Católica of the prestigious Biblioteca de Autores Cristianos (BAC).

Episcopate and cardinalate[edit]

In 1947 he was appointed Bishop of Málaga by Pope Pius XII. He advocated a large number of apostolic and social initiatives in his diocese and his homilies were very often nationwide broadcast. Spanish Catholic Action elected him as its national ecclesiastical counselor from 1949 to 1955. In 1951 he founded the Leo XIII Social Institute, later the Faculty of Arts of the Pontifical University of Salamanca (Madrid campus), and between 1958 and 1967 he presided the Editorial Católica. He participated in the Second Vatican Council in all sessions.

On 22 February 1965 he was elevated to the rank of cardinal by Pope Paul VI with the titular church of Sacro Cuore di Maria simultaneously inducted into the order of cardinal-priests. He retired as bishop of Malaga in 1966 despite several failed attempts to have the pope accept his resignation.

Oria died on 28 July 1968 and was buried in the chapel of San Rafael in the cathedral of Málaga on 31 July 1968.


The process of his canonization commenced on 15 July 1996 with the declaration of "nihil obstat" (nothing against) and he was proclaimed a Servant of God. The official diocesan process spanned from 20 November 1996 until 14 December 2010; the process was validated by the Congregation for the Causes of Saints on 22 June 2012.


  1. ^ Understand the term 'propaganda' in its etymological meaning.


  • García Escudero, José María: De periodista a cardenal: vida de Ángel Herrera, Madrid: Biblioteca de Autores Cristianos, 1998
  • García Escudero, José María: El pensamiento de Ángel Herrera: antología política y social, Madrid: Biblioteca de Autores Cristianos, 1987
  • Herrera Oria, Ángel: Obras completas (6 vols., edited by José Luis Gutiérrez García), Madrid: Biblioteca de Autores Cristianos, 2002-2006
  • Sánchez Jiménez, José: El Cardenal Herrera Oria: Pensamiento y acción social, Madrid: Encuentro, 1986

External links[edit]