Pondy's Cardinal Lourdusamy Dies at 90 in Rome
CHENNAI: Cardinal Duraisamy Simon Lourdusamy, a native of Puducherry, passed away early on Monday in Rome at the age of 90. “His Eminence D Simon Cardinal Lourdusamy passed away this morning at 5.05 am. RIP,” according to the official website of Archdiocese of Pondicherry and Cuddalore.
His body would be brought to Puducherry for funeral after a mass is conducted in Rome on June 5 by Pope Francis. The funeral ceremony would take place on June 8 or 9, according to a statement from Fr Jayanth Rayan, secretary to Archdiocesan Curia, Archdiocese of Pondicherry and Cuddalore.
Born on February 5, 1924 at Kalleri near Gingee in Villupuram, the Cardinal became a priest in Puducherry in 1951. Lourdusamy was an Indian Cardinal of Roman Catholic Church from the Archdiocese of Pondicherry and Cuddalore. He was the fourth cardinal from India and the first curial cardinal of Asia outside the Middle-East. He completed his high school in Tindivanam from 1937 to 1939 and then started his seminary formation.
After completing his philosophical and theological studies at St Peter’s Pontifical Seminary in Bangalore, he was ordained as a priest in 1951 in Tindivanam in the Archdiocese of Pondicherry and Cuddalore.
After completing his higher studies, he was sent to Rome to do his doctorate in Cannon Law from 1953 to 1956. He returned to India and was appointed as a secretary to the Archbishop of Pondicherry and Cuddalore and Chancellor of the diocese and also the editor of “Sarva Viabi” and choir master of the cathedral. He was nominated as Bishop Auxiliary to the Archbishop of Bangalore on July 19, 1962. He attended the Second Vatican Council in Rome (1962-1965).
In February 1973, he was appointed as the secretary of the Evangelisation of people and Vice Chancellor of the Urbaniana University, Rome. Archbishop Lourdusamy was raised to Cardinal Deacon in the Consistory on May 25, 1985 by Pope John Paul II. He then served as prefect of the Congregation for the Oriental Churches from October 1985 to May 24, 1991. His episcopal silver jubilee was celebrated on December 30, 1985 at Pondicherry.
Cardinal Lourdusamy also served as a special papal legate at the funeral of Mother Theresa. On April 5, 1993 he was appointed as proto-deacon and became a cardinal priest on January 19, 1996.