José Avelino Bettencourt

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

José Avelino Bettencourt

Apostolic Nuncio to Cameroon and Equatorial Guinea
Titular Archbishop of Aemona
Installed26 February 2018
PredecessorJulio Murat
Other post(s)Titular Archbishop of Aemona
Ordination29 May 1993
by Marcel André J. Gervais
Consecration19 March 2018
by Pope Francis
Personal details
Born (1962-05-23) 23 May 1962 (age 62)
DenominationRoman Catholic
Previous post(s)
Alma materUniversity of Ottawa, St. Paul University, Pontifical Gregorian University, Pontifical Ecclesiastical Academy
MottoFIDES SPES CHARITAS (Corinthians 13:13)
Coat of armsJosé Avelino Bettencourt's coat of arms
Styles of
José Avelino Bettencourt
Reference style
Spoken styleYour Excellency
Religious styleArchbishop

José Avelino Bettencourt ComC, OMRI (born 23 May 1962) is a Portuguese-Canadian prelate of the Catholic Church who works in the diplomatic service of the Holy See.


Born in Velas, Azores, on 23 May 1962, he settled at a young age in Canada with his family. Bettencourt was ordained a priest in 1993 in the Archdiocese of Ottawa and graduated with degrees in literature and theology from the University of Ottawa.[1]

Diplomatic career[edit]

He entered the diplomatic service of the Holy See in 1999 and obtained a doctorate in canon law at Pontifical Gregorian University. He worked at the apostolic nunciature to the Democratic Republic of the Congo and then moved to the Secretariat of State of the Holy See.[1]

On 14 November 2012, Pope Benedict XVI appointed him head of the protocol of the Secretariat of State. He was also responsible for contacts with the embassies accredited to the Holy See and to the central Vatican authority.

On 26 February 2018, Pope Francis gave him the title apostolic nuncio and appointed him Titular Archbishop of Aemona.[1] He was named nuncio to Armenia on 1 March[2] and to Georgia as well on 8 March.[3] He received his episcopal ordination from Pope Francis on 19 March.[4][5]

On 30 August 2023, Pope Francis appointed him as nuncio to Cameroon and Equatorial Guinea[6]

Honours and Arms[edit]


Commander of Order of Christ, Palácio Nacional de Belém, 29 April 2013[7]
Grand Officer of Order of Merit of the Italian Republic, Rome, 18 April 2015[8]

Coat of Arms[edit]

Bettencourt was granted coat of arms by the Canadian Heraldic Authority through a Grant of Arms, on August 15, 2019.[9]

Coat of arms of José Avelino Bettencourt
Gules on a chevron Argent three concentric stars of eight points Sable voided Argent between two lions passant Sable.
FIDES • SPES • CHARITAS (hese Latin words meaning “Faith, hope, love” are taken from 1 Corinthians 13:13: “Now faith, hope and love abide; and the greatest of these is love.”)
The red symbolizes love, strength and faithful service. The chevron alludes to a carpenter’s square, the attribute of St. Joseph, Patron of the Universal Church, of Canada, and of the Archdiocese of Ottawa, as well as Archbishop Bettencourt’s namesake, José being Portuguese for Joseph. The Holy Trinity is represented by the three iterations of the star, Jesus Christ by its cross form, and the Blessed Virgin Mary by the star itself. The lions refer to Portuguese Bettencourt coats of arms, which feature a rampant black lion on white. The two of them indicate that Archbishop Bettencourt’s parents came from different branches of the Bettencourt family

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c "Resignations and Appointments, 26.02.2018" (Press release). Holy See Press Office. 26 February 2018. Retrieved 13 August 2019.
  2. ^ "Resignations and Appointments, 01.03.2018" (Press release). Holy See Press Office. 1 March 2018. Retrieved 13 August 2019.
  3. ^ "Resignations and Appointments, 08.03.2018" (Press release). Holy See Press Office. 8 March 2018. Retrieved 13 August 2019.
  4. ^ "Indicazioni - Ordinazione Episcopale conferita dal Santo Padre Francesco (19 marzo 2018)".
  5. ^ Itcode. "Vaticano: Padre luso-canadiano é o novo chefe de protocolo da Secretaria de Estado". Archived from the original on 2016-03-03. Retrieved 2018-01-16.
  6. ^ "Resignations and Appointments, 30.08.2023". Retrieved August 30, 2023.
  7. ^ Group, Global Media (29 April 2013). "Chefe do protocolo do Vaticano vive ″momento histórico″".
  8. ^ Segretariato generale della Presidenza della Repubblica. "Bettencourt Mons. José Avelino: Le onorificenze della Repubblica Italiana". Quirinale.
  9. ^ General, The Office of the Secretary to the Governor. "Bettencourt, José Avelino [Individual]". Retrieved 2020-02-14.

External links[edit]

Diplomatic posts
Preceded by Head of Protocol of Secretariat of State of the Holy See
14 November 2012 – 26 February 2018
Succeeded by
Preceded by Apostolic Nuncio to Armenia
1 March 2018 – 30 August 2023
Succeeded by
Preceded by Apostolic Nuncio to Georgia
8 March 2018 – 30 August 2023
Succeeded by
Preceded by Apostolic Nuncio to Cameroon
30 August 2023 – present
Preceded by Apostolic Nuncio to Equatorial Guinea
30 August 2023 – present