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CONGREGATION OF THE SAINTS
from issue no. 01 - 2008

A passage from the biography of Cardinal Saraiva Martins

I wanted to be a missionary



by Cardinal José Saraiva Martins


I remember that Cardinal Agnelo Rossi, Prefect of Propaganda Fide and Grand Chancellor of the Urbanian, said to me shortly after my nomination: “I have to have an audience with the Pope; if you like, you can come with me, and I’ll present you to Paul VI”. I was very glad. Cardinal Rossi introduced me to the Pontiff: “Holy Father”, he said, “this is the new Rector of the Urbanian”. I still remember the penetrating and somewhat astonished gaze of Pope Montini, who said: “But... so young...”. And the Cardinal promptly answered: “Holiness, the Portuguese mature quickly!” He said it not least because the Carnation Revolution had recently taken place in Portugal and had appointed a young general as President of the Republic. That meeting with Paul VI was marvellous, and I shall remember it forever.


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