Joaquim Arcoverde de Albuquerque Cavalcanti

Cardinal Arcoverde
Styles of
Joaquim Arcoverde de Albuquerque Cavalcanti
Reference style His Eminence
Spoken style Your Eminence
Informal style Cardinal
See São Sebastião do Rio de Janeiro

Joaquim Arcoverde de Albuquerque Cavalcanti (January 17, 1850 – April 18, 1930) was the first Cardinal to be born in Latin America--however Cardinal Juan de la Cruz Ignacio Moreno y Maisonave was born Nov 24, 1817,in Guatemala--and the first cardinal from any South American diocese (Spanish prelates who served dioceses in the West Indies (the Caribbean) had been appointed cardinals for many years prior to Arcoverde's elevation). He was also the first Brazilian national to be made a Cardinal, the first Cardinal born in the Southern Hemisphere, and the second Cardinal to serve as ordinary of a See located south of the equator. He was known as "Cardeal Arcoverde".

Born into a prominent family in Cimbres, province of Pernambuco, in the Northeast of Brazil, he showed an early vocation for the priesthood but the absence of local seminaries meant that he did all his studies prior to becoming a priest in Rome. However, after being ordained in 1874, Arcoverde returned to Olinda to become rector of the new seminary there. He was nominated a bishop by Pope Leo XIII in 1888 but refused; however, when Pope Leo, obviously believing very firmly in his ability, nominated him again three years later to the diocese of Goiás he accepted his nomination very willingly.

In 1897 Arcoverde was promoted to the archiepiscopal see of São Sebastião do Rio de Janeiro, then clearly the highest position on the Latin American Church. Although Leo did not name him a cardinal, Pope Pius X did so in his second consistory on December 11, 1905. He was only the second cardinal to serve as ordinary of a diocese located in the Southern Hemisphere behind Francis Patrick Moran, the Irish-born Archbishop of Sydney who had been elevated in 1885. Arcoverde was the first Cardinal to be born in the Southern Hemisphere.

He participated in the conclave in 1914 but did not attempt to reach Rome in time for the 1922 conclave, due to ill health.[1] The other three cardinals from the Americas, William Henry O'Connell of Boston, Denis Dougherty of Philadelphia, and Louis-Nazaire Bégin of Québec City, made the attempt but arrived too late. Pope Pius XI then made it easier for distant cardinals to participate by increasing the time between the death of a Pope and the start of a conclave.

Cardinal Arcoverde led the See of Rio de Janeiro for more than 30 years, until his death in 1930, although in his later years (from 1921 onwards), due to failing health, he was aided by a coadjutor Archbishop. He died in Rio de Janeiro, then the Brazilian capital.

Preceded by
João Fernando Santiago Esberard
Archbishop of Rio de Janeiro
24 August 1897–18 April 1930
Succeeded by
Sebastião da Silveira Cintra


  1. ^ Catholic Hierarchy

External links

  • Biography
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