Luis Aponte Martínez
Luis Aponte Martínez
|Cardinal Archbishop of San Juan|
|Installed||January 15, 1965|
|Term ended||March 26, 1999|
|Predecessor||James Peter Davis|
|Successor||Roberto González Nieves OFM|
|Other posts||Bishop of Ponce (1963-1964)|
|Ordination||April 10, 1950
by Bishop James Edward McManus CSsR
|Consecration||October 12, 1960
by Cardinal Francis Spellman
|Created Cardinal||March 5, 1973|
August 4, 1922|
Lajas, Puerto Rico
|Died||April 10, 2012
San Juan, Puerto Rico
|Buried||Cathedral of San Juan Bautista, San Juan, Puerto Rico|
Luis Aponte Martínez (August 4, 1922–April 10, 2012) was Archbishop of San Juan in Puerto Rico. To date he is the only Puerto Rican to have been elevated to a cardinal of the Catholic Church. He served as Archbishop of San Juan for 34 years. He was a Cardinal Elector in the two conclaves of 1978 responsible for the elections of Popes John Paul I and John Paul II.
Early life and education
Aponte came from a large family, the eighth of 18 children. He served as an altar boy for many years in his town of Lajas. parish church.
Aponte studied in the Seminary of San Ildefonso in San Juan; from there he went to Boston, Massachusetts, where he studied in the Seminary of Saint John. He also attended Boston College and earned his Doctorate from the Seminary of Saint Leo of Florida.
Priesthood and episcopacy
Aponte was ordained a priest of the Diocese of Ponce in San German, Puerto Rico, on April 10, 1950, by James Edward McManus CSsR, the Bishop of Ponce. Between 1950 and 1955, he served as a pastor in various towns in the Diocese. In 1955 he served as Secretary to the Bishop, as well as Superintendent of Catholic Schools for the Diocese. In 1957, he once again served as a pastor and also served as chaplain for the Puerto Rico National Guard, until his appointment in 1957 as Chancellor of the Pontifical Catholic University of Puerto Rico in Ponce.
On October 12, 1960, Aponte Martinez became only the second native-born Puerto Rican in nearly 150 years (after Juan Alejo de Arizmendi) to be consecrated as a Bishop, being appointed Auxiliary Bishop in the Diocese of Ponce by Pope John XXIII, assigned as the Titular Bishop of Lares in Asia Minor (Turkey). On April 16, 1963, Aponte Martinez was appointed Coadjutor Bishop of Ponce by Pope John, to which office he succeeded on November 18, 1963, and was installed on the following February 22. On November 4, 1964, he was appointed by Pope Paul VI as the Archbishop of San Juan.
Luis Aponte Martínez
|Reference style||His Eminence|
|Spoken style||Your Eminence|
On March 5, 1973, Pope Paul VI made Archbishop Aponte Martínez the Cardinal-Priest of Santa Maria della Provvidenza a Monteverde. He held the position of President of the Board of Directors of the Catholic University of Puerto Rico. He was President of the Puerto Rican Episcopal Conference and also of the Latin American Episcopal Conference (CELAM).
In 1984, Aponte helped coordinate and was among the many dignitaries who greeted Pope John Paul II, upon his visit to Puerto Rico.
Cardinal Aponte was actively involved in some of the church's major acquisitions in Puerto Rico. Among these were a television and radio station and a weekly publication called El Visitante (The Visitor). This served to spread the church's point of view all over the island.
Cardinal Aponte retired as Archbishop of San Juan in May 1999, after almost 30 years as Archbishop. He participated in the preparation for the Papal Conclave of 2005, but was unable to vote, since he was 82 at the time of the Conclave, past the canonical age of 80 for electors.
In 2006, he published his memoirs, Unde hoc mihi.
According to a brief online news release posted on Tuesday, April 10, 2012, by Catholic News Service (CNS), the Cardinal Archbishop Emeritus,: "died April 10 at the Hospital Español e Auxilio Mutuo in San Juan after a long illness. He was 89. ... Puerto Rican Governor Luis Fortuno declared five days of official mourning for the cardinal, who died on the 62nd anniversary of his priestly ordination.
The cardinal's body was taken to churches in Lajas, San German, Ponce and Santurce, to allow local Catholics to pay their respects, and a Mass of the Resurrection took place on April 16 in the Cathedral of San Juan Bautista in Old San Juan. Cardinal Carlos Amigo Vallejo, retired Archbishop of Seville, Spain, presided, with the Puerto Rican bishops and Archbishop Josef Wesolowski, Papal Nuncio to the Dominican Republic and Apostolic Delegate to Puerto Rico, concelebrating.
|Ordination history of Luis Aponte Martínez|
|Ordained by||James Edward McManus CSsR (Ponce)|
|Date of ordination||April 10, 1950|
|Principal consecrator||Francis Cardinal Spellman (New York)|
|Date of consecration||October 12, 1960|
|Elevated by||Pope Paul VI|
|Date of elevation||March 5, 1973|
|Miguel Rodriguez Rodriguez||March 23, 1974|
|Ulises Aurelio Casiano Vargas||April 30, 1976|
|Héctor Manuel Rivera Pérez||August 17, 1979|
|Enrique Manuel Hernández Rivera||August 17, 1979|
|Hermín Negrón Santana||September 7, 1981|
|Ruben Antonio González Medina||February 4, 2001|
|Catholic Church titles|
James Peter Davis
|Archbishop of San Juan
Roberto González Nieves OFM