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Mozambique’s 1st priest, bishop, and cardinal dies at 97

Cardinal Alexandre José Maria dos Santos, archbishop Emeritus of Maputo in Mozambique, died at the age of 97 on September 29.

The College of Cardinals now has 216 cardinals – 121 electors and 95 non-electors.

“I would like to express my solidarity with the bereaved family and all those, in particular in the Archdiocese of Maputo, who have benefited from the service of this pastor,” reacted Pope Francis in a telegram sent to Archbishop Francisco Chimoio of Maputo.

“To the Lord who guided him throughout his life, I entrust this tireless servant of the Gospel and of the Church, asking that he be welcomed in the heavenly Jerusalem,” he added, assuring his apostolic blessing to all those mourning the cardinal’s death.

José Maria dos Santos was born on March 18, 1924 in Zavala, Mozambique. He was the first priest, the first bishop, and the first cardinal of the modern country. Portugal did not relinquish Mozambique until 1975.

Mozambique is about 27% Catholic and is divided into 12 dioceses including three archdioceses.

Read more at Aleteia

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