José Saraiva Martins

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José Saraiva Martins

Prefect Emeritus of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints
Cardinal Saraiva Martins in January 2016
ChurchLatin Church
Appointed30 May 1998
Term ended9 July 2008
PredecessorAlberto Bovone
SuccessorAngelo Amato
Other post(s)Cardinal-Bishop of Palestrina
Ordination16 March 1957
by Ettore Cunial
Consecration2 July 1988
by Agostino Casaroli
Created cardinal21 February 2001
by Pope John Paul II
Personal details
Born (1932-01-06) 6 January 1932 (age 92)
DenominationCatholic Church
Previous post(s)
MottoVeritas in charitate
(Truth in charity)
Coat of armsJosé Saraiva Martins's coat of arms
Styles of
José Saraiva Martins
Reference styleHis Eminence
Spoken styleYour Eminence
Informal styleCardinal
SeePalestrina (titular see)

José Saraiva Martins, C.M.F. GCC (born 6 January 1932) is a Portuguese cardinal of the Catholic Church. He was prefect of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints from 1998 to 2008.


Born in Gagos de Jarmelo in Guarda, Portugal, to Antonio and Maria (née da Natividade Martins) Saraiva, he joined the Congregation of the Missionary Sons of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, commonly known as the Claretians, and professed his vows on 22 August 1950. Saraiva Martins was ordained as a priest by Archbishop Ettore Cunial on 16 March 1957. He studied at the Pontifical Gregorian University and the Pontifical University of St. Thomas Aquinas (Angelicum) in Rome, where he earned a licentiate and a doctorate (respectively) in theology.

Saraiva Martins taught metaphysics for a year in Marino, Italy, then in 1959 came to the Roman Claretianum, where he taught fundamental and sacramental theology for a decade. He became rector of the Pontifical Urbaniana University for three terms (1977–1980, 1980–1983, 1986–1988).

On 26 May 1988, Saraiva Martins was appointed Secretary of the Congregation for Catholic Education and titular archbishop of Thuburnica. He received his episcopal consecration from Cardinal Agostino Casaroli, with Archbishops Jan Pieter Schotte and Giovanni Battista Re serving as co-consecrators, on the following 2 July in the Basilica of Ss. XII Apostoli. On 30 May 1998, he was named Prefect of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints.

Pope John Paul made him Cardinal Deacon of Nostra Signora del Sacro Cuore in the consistory of 21 February 2001.[1] Like all major Vatican officials he lost his position on 2 April 2005 on the death of the pope. He was one of the cardinal electors who participated in the 2005 papal conclave that elected Pope Benedict XVI, who later confirmed him as prefect on 21 April 2005.

On 9 July 2008, Pope Benedict XVI accepted his resignation as prefect to be succeeded by Angelo Amato. On 24 February 2009, he was promoted to the order of cardinal bishops, with title of the suburbicarian see of Palestrina.[2] Pope Benedict XVI allowed Martins to remain as Roman Postulator for the Cause for José Sánchez del Río, a 14-year-old Mexican youth and Cristeros who died a martyr. Martins had conducted the beatification ceremony in Mexico City for the young boy as a stand-in for Pope Benedict XVI. Sanchez del Rio was finally canonized on 16 October 2016 in Rome by Pope Francis.[3]

External links[edit]


  1. ^ Stanley, Alexandra (22 January 2001). "37 New Cardinals Selected by Pope; Egan is Elevated". The New York Times. Retrieved 8 June 2018.
  2. ^ "Rinunce e Nomine, 24.02.2009" (Press release) (in Italian). Holy See Press Office. 24 February 2009. Retrieved 8 June 2018.
  3. ^ "Rinunce e Nomine, 09.07.2008" (Press release) (in Italian). Holy See Press Office. 9 July 2008. Retrieved 8 June 2018.

External links[edit]

Catholic Church titles
Preceded by Secretary of the Congregation for Catholic Education
26 May 1988 – 30 May 1998
Succeeded by
Preceded by — TITULAR —
Titular Archbishop of Thuburnica
26 May 1988 – 21 February 2001
Succeeded by
Preceded by Prefect of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints
30 May 1998 – 9 July 2008
Succeeded by
Preceded by Cardinal Deacon of Nostra Signora del Sacro Cuore
21 February 2001 – 24 February 2009
Succeeded by
Preceded by Cardinal Bishop of Palestrina
24 February 2009 –