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His Eminence
  • Duraisamy Simon Lourdusamy
  • துரைசாமி சைமன் லூர்துசாமி
Prefect Emeritus of the Congregation for the Oriental Churches
Caridnal Lourdusamy.jpg
Appointed 30 October 1985
Term ended 24 May 1991
Predecessor Wladyslaw Rubin
Successor Achille Silvestrini
Other posts Cardinal-Priest of Santa Maria delle Grazie alle Fornaci fuori Porta Cavalleggeri
Ordination 21 December 1951
by Auguste-Siméon Colas
Consecration 22 August 1962
by Ambrose Rayappan
Created Cardinal 25 May 1985
Rank Cardinal-Priest
Personal details
Born (1924-02-05) 5 February 1924 (age 90)
Kottuchery, Karaikal, Pondicherry
Denomination Roman Catholic
Previous post
Alma mater
  • Aedificare domum Dei
  • To build the house of God
Signature {{{signature_alt}}}
Coat of arms {{{coat_of_arms_alt}}}
Styles of
Duraisamy Simon Lourdusamy
CoA Duraisamy Simon Lourdusamy.svg
Reference style His Eminence
Spoken style Your Eminence
Informal style Cardinal
See Santa Maria delle Grazie alle Fornaci fuori Porta Cavalleggeri

Duraisamy Simon Lourdusamy (born 5 February 1924) is an Indian Cardinal of the Roman Catholic Church. He is the Prefect emeritus of the Congregation for the Oriental Churches in the Roman Curia, and was elevated to the cardinalate in 1985. His episcopical motto is Aedificare domum Dei which means To build the house of God.

He is the 4th cardinal from India and the first curial cardinal of Asia outside of the Middle East.


Lourdusamy was born in Kalleri, (Archdiocese of Pondicherry), India as seventh of twelve children, of Annamarie (aka Matharasi) and Duraisamy Simeon. Cardinal Lourdusamy is the elder brother of priest and theologian D. S. Amalorpavadass, who was killed in an automobile accident while travelling from Mysore to Bangalore. The two of them are credited with playing most significant roles with the implementation of Vatican II Council reforms in India and leading others to do the same.

He had his early education at St. Ann's in Tindivanam; and finished his high school studies at St. Joseph Higher School of Cuddalore; then, he entered St. Agnes's Minor Seminary in Cuddalore; completed major seminary education in Philosophy and Theology at St. Peter's Pontifical Seminary, Bangalore during 1946–1951.

He was ordained to the priesthood on 21 December 1951 at Seven Sorrows Church, Tindivanam, Pondicherry by Archbishop Auguste-Siméon Colas, MEP, the then Archbishop of Pondicherry and Cuddalore. 1951–1952, pastoral ministry in the archdiocese of Pondicherry.

After studying further at Loyola College in Madras (1952–1953), he was sent to Rome to pursue higher studies in the area of Canon Law at the Pontifical Urbaniana University (1953–1956) from where he obtained a doctorate. He obtained 100% in all of his exams in canon law studies, something which had never occurred in other Roman universities before or after. He plays the piano, and has composed the music for devotional songs.

On returning to the [[Roman Catholic Latin Rite Archdiocese of Pondicherry and Cuddalore|Archdiocese of Pondicherry and Cuddalore]] he served as Secretary to the Bishop, Editor of the archdiocesan weekly "Sarva viyabhi" (சர்வ வியாபி), and was choir master at the Cathedral in Pondicherry, Director of the Catholic Doctors' Guild; Director of the Catholic Medical Students' Guild; Director of the Newman Association; Director of the Catholic University Students Union.


On returning to India, Lourdusamy served as Archdiocesan Chancellor and private secretary to Archbishop Ambrose Rayappan, edited the archdiocesan Tamil weekly Sarva Viyabhi (சர்வ வியாபி), and was Choir Master at the Cathedral from 1956 to 1962. Pope John XXIII appointed Auxiliary Bishop of Bangalore and Titular Bishop of Sozusa in Libya on 2 July 1962. He received his episcopal consecration on the following 22 August from Archbishop Ambrose Rayappan, with Bishops Rajarethinam Sundaram (bishop of Tanjore) and Daniel Arulswamy (bishop of Kumbakonam) serving as co-consecrators Bishop Antony Padiyara of Ooty was also present at the consecration.

Lourdusamy attended the Second Vatican Council (Sessions 2, 3 and 4 as a Council Father). On 9 November 1964, he was promoted to titular archbishop of Filippi, and appointed the Coadjutor Archbishop of Bangalore. Attended, the First Ordinary Assembly of the Synod of Bishops, Vatican City, 29 September to 29 October 1967. Vice-president of the Pan Asiatic Catechetic-Liturgical Conference, Manila, 1967. He succeeded Thomas Pothacamury as Archbishop on 11 January 1968.

Pope Paul VI appointed him as Secretary adjunct of the S.C. for the Evangelization of Peoples, 2 March 1971. He resigned as Archbishop of Bangalore on 30 April 1971 and left India to serve in the Curial Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples in March 1971, Secretary of the S.C. for the Evangelization of Peoples, president of the Pontifical Missionary Work and Vice-Grand chancellor of the Pontifical Urbanian University, 26 February 1973, the same University at which he was a student from 1953–56. He is the first Asian to become a member of the Roman Curia.


Pope John Paul II created Lourdusamy Cardinal-Deacon of Santa Maria delle Grazie alle Fornaci fuori Porta Cavalleggeri in the consistory of 25 May 1985; he is the first Tamil to be raised to the rank of cardinal. Lourdusamy was named Prefect of the Congregation for the Oriental Churches on the following 30 October, and later resigned the post on 24 May 1991.

Attended the Second Extraordinary Assembly of the Synod of Bishops, Vatican City, 24 November to 8 December 1985, and the Seventh on 1 to 30 October 1987. Special papal envoy to the closing ceremonies of the Year of St. Willibrord, Luxemburg, 3 to 5 June 1990. Attended the Eighth Ordinary Assembly of the Synod of Bishops, Vatican City, 30 September to 28 October 1990.

He became Cardinal Protodeacon (the senior Cardinal-Deacon) on 5 April 1993, and served as a special papal legate to the funeral of Mother Teresa on 13 September 1997. On 5 April 1993 was appointed protodeacon. He chose to become a Cardinal-Priest on 29 January 1996.

From the history of the cause of Mother Teresa's cause for sainthood: "24 September 2002 In Ordinary Session, the Cardinals and Bishops of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints (CCS), after hearing the report of Simon Cardinal Lourdusamy, the Proposer [Ponens] of the Cause, unanimously recognise that the Servant of God Mother Teresa of Calcutta practised the theological, cardinal and other annexed virtues to a heroic decree." Lourdusamy visited 110 countries on all continents in the service of Popes John XXIII, Paul VI, John Paul I, and John Paul II, also receiving numerous distinctions in appreciation of his work and has been honoured by the Governments of Philippines, Taiwan, China, France, and Germany. Cardinal Lourdusamy is fluent in several languages including English, Italian, French, German, Tamil, Latin, Kannada, Spanish, Portuguese, Dutch, Swedish,...

At the request of the Pope he also served on numerous curia congregations and councils, including the Apostolic Signatura Tribunal, the Congregation of the Evangelization of Peoples, the Congregation for the Causes of Saints, the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue, the Pontifical Council for the Family, the Pontifical Council for Interpretation of Legislative Texts, and the Pontifical Commission for International Eucharistic Congresses.

External links[edit]

Catholic Church titles
Preceded by
Hailé Mariam Cahsai
Bishop of Sozusa in Libya
2 July 1962 - 9 November 1964
Succeeded by
Guido Attilio Previtali, O.F.M
Preceded by
Leone Giovanni Battista Nigris
Archbishop of Philippi
9 November 1964 - 11 January 1968
Preceded by
Thomas Pothacamury
Archbishop of Bangalore
11 January 1968 – 30 April 1971
Succeeded by
Packiam Arokiaswamy
Preceded by
Bernardin Gantin
Secretary of Congregation for the Propagation of the Faith
19 December 1975 – 30 October 1985
Succeeded by
José Tomás Sánchez
Preceded by
Władysław Rubin
Prefect of Congregation for the Oriental Churches
30 October 1985 – 24 May 1991
Succeeded by
Achille Silvestrini
Preceded by
Aurelio Sabattani
Cardinal Protodeacon
5 April 1993 – 29 January 1996
Succeeded by
Eduardo Martínez Somalo

Original courtesy of Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Duraisamy_Simon_Lourdusamy — Please support Wikipedia.
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