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College of Cardinals

Biographical notes

[Updated: 15.10.2004]


Notice: the biographical notes are only a working instrument for the press, for the exclusive use of accredited journalists.


FRESNO LARRAÍN Card. Juan Francisco

© Gregorz Galazka


Cardinal Juan Francisco Fresno Larraín, Archbishop emeritus of Santiago de Chile, was born on 26 July 1914 in Santiago, Chile.

He was ordained priest on 18 December 1937 and thereafter served as spiritual director and vice rector of the minor seminary of the archdiocese of Santiago. He also served as national assistant for the young of Catholic Action, pro-synodal judge, and parish priest.

In 15 June 1958 he was called to guide the new diocese of Copiapó. He was consecrated bishop on 25 August 1958.

On 28 July 1967 he was promoted to Archbishop of La Serena. Having taken possession on 28 September, he dedicated his energy to the local church, creating new parishes and reopening those that were closed. He also encouraged the arrival of many religious from different congregations to increase work in the field of education.

He also established the major seminary dedicated to Santa Curato d’Ars, and the archdiocese after 15 years of lacking vocations, ordained new priests.

From 1975 until 1977 served as president of the Bishops Conference of Chile. He also served as president of the vocations department of CELAM and president of the Bishops Commission for the Latin American College in Rome.

On 3 May 1983 he was nominated Archbishop of Santiago de Chile and took possession on 10 July of the same year.

On 30 March 1990, Archbishop emeritus of Santiago de Chile.

Created and proclaimed Cardinal by Pope John Paul II in the Consistory of 25 May 1985. Titular church St. Mary Immaculate of Lourdes at Boccea.

Cardinal Juan Francisco Fresno Larraín died on 14 October 2004.

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