Avelar Brandão Vilela

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Styles of
Avelar Brandão Vilela
Coat of arms of Avelar Brandão Vilela.svg
Reference style His Eminence
Spoken style Your Eminence
Informal style Cardinal
See São Salvador da Bahia

Avelar Brandão Vilela (June 13, 1912—December 19, 1986) was a Brazilian Cardinal of the Roman Catholic Church. He served as Archbishop of São Salvador da Bahia from 1971 until his death, and was elevated to the cardinalate in 1973.


Avelar Brandão Vilela was born in Viçosa, and studied at the seminaries in Maceió and in Olinda. He was ordained to the priesthood on October 27, 1935. He then served as a professor and spiritual advisor of the seminary of Aracajú, secretary of the Diocese of Aracajú, and diocesan chaplain of the Catholic Action.

On June 13, 1946, his thirty-fourth birthday, Vilela was appointed Bishop of Petrolina by Pope Pius XII. He received his episcopal consecration on the following October 27 from Bishop José Gomes da Silva, with Bishop Adalberto Accioli Sobral and Archbishop Mário de Miranda Villas-Boas serving as co-consecrators. Vilela was later promoted to Archbishop of Teresina on November 5, 1955, and attended the Second Vatican Council from 1962 to 1965. Serving as President of the Latin American Episcopal Conference from 1966 to 1972, he was named Archbishop of São Salvador da Bahia on March 25, 1971.

Pope Paul VI created him Cardinal Priest of Santi Bonifacio e Alessio in the consistory of March 5, 1973. Vilela was one of the cardinal electors who participated in the conclaves of August and October 1978, which selected Popes John Paul I and John Paul II respectively. He earned the nickname of the "Great Conciliator" for his ability to reach both progressives and conservatives in the Brazilian Church,[1] and was given the title of Primate of Brazil when his archdiocese was raised to that rank on October 25, 1980.

The Cardinal died from stomach cancer[1] in São Salvador, at age 74. He is buried at the metropolitan cathedral of São Salvador da Bahia.


  1. ^ a b New York Times. Cardinal Brandao Vilela Dies; Head of the Brazilian Church December 21, 1986


External links[edit]

Catholic Church titles
Preceded by
Idílio Soares
Bishop of Petrolina
Succeeded by
Antônio Campelo de Aragão, SDB
Preceded by
Severino Vieira de Melo
Archbishop of Teresina
Succeeded by
José Freire Falcão
Preceded by
Eugênio de Araújo Sales
Archbishop of São Salvador da Bahia
Succeeded by
Lucas Moreira Neves, OP