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Arcadio Larraona Saralegui
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Reference style His Eminence
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Informal style Cardinal
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Arcadio María Larraona Saralegui, CMF (November 13, 1887—May 7, 1973) was a Spanish Cardinal of the Roman Catholic Church. He served as Prefect of the Sacred Congregation of Rites from 1962 to 1968, and was elevated to the cardinalate in 1959.


Arcadio Larraona Saralegui was born in Oteiza de la Solana, Pamplona, to Patricio Larraona and his wife Bartolina Saralegui. He was the second of five children, his siblings being named Luis, Digna, Amaprito (who died in infancy), and Amparo. Entering the Congregation of the Missionary Sons of the Immaculate Heart of Mary in 1899, Larraona received his habit on July 28, 1902, and professed his final vows on December 8, 1903. After attending the University of Lleida, he was ordained to the priesthood by Archbishop Juan Soldevilla y Romero on June 10, 1911. Larraona left for Rome on the following October 24 to study at the Pontifical Roman Athenaeum S. Apollinare (from where he obtained his doctorate in canon and civil law) and the University of Rome.

At his alma mater of the Pontifical Roman Athenaeum S. Apoillinare, he was made Professor of Institutions and History of Civil Law in 1919, and later served as Professor of Roman law for forty years. Within the Claretians, he held the posts of counselor of the Italian province, visitor to Germany, and general assistant to Italy, Central Europe, and China. Larraona was appointed consultor, in the Roman Curia, of the Sacred Congregation of the Oriental Churches on October 8, 1929, and of the Sacred Congregation of Religious on December 3 of that same year.

He was made Undersecretary (November 27, 1943) and later Secretary (December 11, 1949) of the Congregation of Religious. Before naming Larraona as Major Penitentiary on August 13, 1961, Pope John XXIII created him Cardinal Deacon of Ss. Biagio e Carlo ai Catinari in the consistory of December 14, 1959. He thus became the first Claretian member of the College of Cardinals; he required the permission of his order to change his brown habit for scarlet robes, provided they were made of wool.[1] On February 12, 1962, the Cardinal was advanced to Prefect of the Sacred Congregation of Rites and, in preparation of the Second Vatican Council, President of the Pontifical Commission of the Sacred Liturgy.

Larraona was appointed Titular Archishop of Diocaesarea in Isauria on April 5, 1962, and received his episcopal consecration on the following April 19 from Pope John, with Cardinals Giuseppe Pizzardo and Benedetto Aloisi Masella serving as co-consecrators, in the Lateran Basilica. He resigned as Titular Archbishop shortly afterwards, on April 20 of that same year. Attending all four sessions of the Second Vatican Council, he served as a cardinal elector in the 1963 papal conclave that selected Pope Paul VI. Larraona, who had aquried the reputation of being sternly conservative,[2] was Cardinal Protodeacon, or the most senior Cardinal Deacon, from June 26, 1967 to April 28, 1969. He resigned as Prefect of Rites on January 9, 1968, and later exercised his right as a Cardinal Deacon of ten years' standing to become a Cardinal Priest (receiving the title of S. Cuore di Maria in the consistory of April 28, 1969).

The Cardinal died at 10:10 a.m. after a six-day bronchopulmonary infection in the Roman headquarters of the Claretians, at age 85. He is buried in the chapel of S. Giuseppe in the basilica of Sacro Cuore di Maria, according to his will.


  • He participated in the preparation of the 1917 Code of Canon Law.
  • While a priest, he also taught at the Pontifical Urbaniana University and the "Scuola Pratica" of the Sacred Congregation of Religious.
  • Larraona prepared the particular law of his congregation at its general chapter in 1922.
  • He collaborated in the preparation of the apostolic constitutions "Provida Mater Ecclesia" of February 2, 1947; "Sponsa Christi" of November 21, 1950; and "Sedes Sapientiæ of May 31, 1956.
  • Before dying he received a papal blessing.
  • During his body's exposition in the chapel of Collegio Claretianum on Via Aurelia, visitors included the Pope, numerous cardinals and Curial officials, diplomats to the Holy See, and many Spanish priests and religious.


  1. TIME Magazine. Eight New Hats November 30, 1959
  2. TIME Magazine. Changing the Old Guard January 19, 1968
  • O'Malley, John, What Happened at Vatican II, Cambridge, MA: The Belknap Press of Harvard University, 2008. ISBN 978-0-674-03169-2

External links

Preceded by
Nicola Canali
Major Penitentiary
Succeeded by
Fernando Cento
Preceded by
Gaetano Cicognani
Prefect of the Sacred Congregation of Rites
Succeeded by
Benno Gut, OSB

no:Arcadio María Larraona