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College of Cardinals

Biographical notes

[Updated: 01.05.2010]


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


MAYER Card. Paul Augustin, O.S.B.




Cardinal Paul Augustin Mayer, O.S.B., Prefect emeritus of the Congregation for Divine Worship and Discipline of Sacraments, President emeritus of the Pontifical Commission Ecclesia Dei, was born on 23 May 1911 in Altötting, in Baviera, diocese of Passua (Federal Republic of Germany). Having entered the Abbey of St. Michael in Metten, in 1931 he took his monastic profession. From 1932 until 1937 he studied philosophy at the University of Salzburg and theology in Rome at the Pontifical Athenaeum of St. Anselm. On 25 August 1935 he was ordained priest and in 1937 he received his doctorate in theology.

In 1939 he began teaching at the Pontifical Athenaeum of St. Anselm, where in 1949 until 1966 he acted as rector. As rector he founded the Pontifical Liturgical Institute. During this time he was also consultor of the congregation for seminaries and universities (1950) and then apostolic visitor of seminaries in Switzerland (1957-1959). He also collaborated with the movement of catholic university graduates, female missionary association and with various contemplative monasteries. He was nominated secretary of the preparatory commission of Second Vatican Council and of the council and post-council commission for catholic schools and the formation of priests. In 1965, he was nominated ecclesiastical delegate for the Focolari Movement. In 1966 he was elected Abbot of Metten.

In 1971 he was called to Rome and Paul VI named him Secretary of the Congregation for Religious and Secular Institutes. On 6 January 1972 he was nominated titular archbishop of Satriano and received episcopal ordination from Paul VI on 13 February 1972.

27 May 1985 until 1988 Prefect of the Congregation for Sacraments and Divine Worship

2 July 1988-1991 President of the Commission Ecclesia Dei.

Created and proclaimed Cardinal by John Paul II in the consistory of 25 May 1985, of the Title of S. Anselmo all'Aventino (St. Anselm on Aventino), deaconry raised pro hac vice to presbyteral title.

Cardinal Paul Augustin Mayer, O.S.B., died on 30 April 2010.

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