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|His Eminence Jean-Marie Villot|
|Secretary of State|
|Appointed||2 May 1969|
|Reign ended||9 March 1979|
|Predecessor||Amleto Giovanni Cicognani|
|Ordination||19 April 1930
by Alfred-Henri-Marie Baudrillart
|Consecration||12 October 1954
by Maurice Feltin
|Created Cardinal||22 February 1965|
|Born||)11 October 1905
Saint-Amant-Tallende, Puy-de-Dôme, France
|Died||9 March 1979) (aged 73)
|Motto||auxilium a domino|
|Coat of arms|
Jean-Marie Villot (11 October 1905 – 9 March 1979) was a French Cardinal of the Roman Catholic Church who served as Archbishop of Lyon from 1965 to 1967, Prefect of the Congregation for Council from 1967 to 1969, Vatican Secretary of State from 1969 to 1979, and Camerlengo from 1970 to 1979. He was elevated to the cardinalate in 1965.
He was born in Saint-Amant-Tallende, Puy-de-Dôme, to Joseph and Marie (née Laville) Villot; he was an only child. Before serving in the military until August 2, 1924, he studied for the priesthood in Riom, Clermont, and Lyon. He became a Marist novice on September 7, 1925, but left the order three months later in December. Villot went on to study at the Catholic Institute of Paris and the Pontifical Athenaeum Angelicum in Rome (where he earned a licentiate in canon law and a doctorate in theology).
He was ordained a priest on April 19, 1930, by Archbishop Alfred-Henri-Marie Baudrillart. Villot was then incardinated into the Archdiocese of Paris, and from 1931 to 1934 served as secretary to Pierre-Marie Gerlier, bishop of Tarbes-et-Lourdes. He taught at the Clermont seminary and the Catholic University of Lyon, becoming vice-rector of the latter in 1942 and holding the post for the next eight years.
Bishop and Cardinal
Working in the French Episcopal Conference in the early 1950s, Villot was appointed auxiliary bishop of Paris and titular bishop of Vinda on September 2, 1954. He received his episcopal consecration on the following October 12 from Cardinal Maurice Feltin, with Archbishop Emile Guerry of Cambrai and Bishop Pierre de la Chanonie of Clermont as co-consecrators.
On December 17, 1959, Villot was promoted to Coadjutor Archbishop of Lyon and titular archbishop of Bosporus. During the Second Vatican Council, he served as the Council's Undersecretary. He succeeded Cardinal Gerlier as Archbishop of Lyon on January 17, 1965, and in the next month, was created Cardinal-Priest of SS. Trinità al Monte Pincio by Pope Paul VI in the consistory of February 22. He was named Prefect of the Congregation for Council (later renamed the Congregation for the Clergy) in the Roman Curia on April 7, 1967, and he would henceforth play a very prominent role in the reign of Paul VI, being named Cardinal Secretary of State on May 2, 1969. Villot was named Chamberlain of the Roman Church, also known as the Camerlengo, on October 16, 1970, the first non-Italian to hold the office in nearly five hundred years. On July 15, 1971, he was appointed President of the newly formed Pontifical Council Cor Unum. It was a position he held until September 4, 1978, when he resigned from it during the pontificate of Pope John Paul I.
|Reference style||His Eminence|
|Spoken style||Your Eminence|
Elevated to Cardinal Bishop of Frascati on December 12, 1974, Villot remained Secretary of State for the remainder of Paul VI's reign, and was retained in that same capacity under both John Paul I and John Paul II.
As camerlengo, he destroyed the rings of pope Paul VI and John Paul I.
Villot participated as a cardinal elector in both the August and October conclaves of 1978, which selected John Paul I and John Paul II respectively. In his capacity of Camerlengo, he served as the interim administrator of the Vatican between Paul VI's death and John Paul I's election, and between John Paul I's death and John Paul II's election.
He died from bronchial pneumonia on March 9, 1979, in his Vatican City apartment, at age 73. John Paul II celebrated his funeral Mass in St. Peter's Basilica on the following March 13, and his remains were buried in the crypt of Ss. Trinità al Monte Pincio.
- Wenger, Antoine, Le cardinal Jean Villot 1905-1979: Secretaire d'état de trois papes, Desclée de Brouwere, Paris, 1989 ISBN 2-220-03063-6 [Amazon-US | Amazon-UK]
|Catholic Church titles|
|Archbishop of Lyon
17 January 1965 - 7 April 1967
|Prefect of the Congregation for the Clergy
7 April 1967 - 2 May 1969
John Joseph Wright
Benedetto Aloisi Masella
16 October 1970 - 9 March 1979
|President of the Pontifical Council Cor Unum
15 July 1971 - 4 September 1978
Amleto Giovanni Cicognani
|Cardinal Secretary of State
2 May 1969 - 9 March 1979