DAILY CATHOLIC    FRI-SAT-SUN     July 23, 1999     vol. 10, no. 137


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      Every Monday, Wednesday and Friday we spotlight each member of the Conclave in alphabetical order. We find this necessary as our dear Sovereign Pontiff Pope John Paul II grows older, clinging to hope, as we join him, of seeing the light of the Triumph of the Immaculate Heart with the dawn of the new millennium - the Jubilee Year 2000. How much longer this 264th successor of Peter has left on this earth only God knows for sure, but His Divine Mercy is evident in allowing him to be with us this long for he truly is a saint for our times, truly Christ's Vicar on earth in these waning days before the glorious Reign of the Sacred Heart, the Time of Peace, the Era of the Eucharistic Presence, the New Pentecost, the Second Advent, the Age of the Holy Spirit. What 1999 will bring we have no idea, nor does anyone else, but with John Paul II at the helm, we feel much more secure in knowing God's Will will be done. Nevertheless, we want to preview the future Pope whether that be soon or much, much later, for no one lives forever and eventually one of those prelates will be selected as the 265th successor of Peter. This will give the reader a better insight into the man whom the Holy Spirit will move the conclave to choose. Thus we bring the reader vignettes on each cardinal in alphabetical order gleaned from the Catholic Almanac, The Official Catholic Directory, Inside the Vatican and other sources.

78.   Cardinal Jean Margeot

          A native of the island of Mauritius, Cardinal Jean Margeot was born in Quatre-Bornes on February 3, 1916 in the Diocese of Port-Louis, the same see he would eventually head. As a young man he migrated to Rome where he received a degree in Philosophy and Theology from the Gregorian University there and was ordained on December 17, 1938 in the eternal city. He returned to his island homeland and was assigned various pastoral duties there. Eighteen years after becoming a priest he was appointed Vicar General of the Diocese where he remained for thirteen years in that post until February 6, 1969 when Pope Paul VI decreed he be ordained bishop and tthree months later he was installed as Bishop of Port-Louis on May 4, 1969.

          In his nineteenth year as shepherd of the island diocese, he was elected President of the newly-formed Indian Ocean Episcopal Conference. His Holiness Pope John Paul II honored him by elevating him to the cardinalate in the Pope's fourth Consistory of June 28, 1988. Cardinal Margeot received the titular church of St. Gabriel the Archangel all'Acqua Traversa. Five years later, because of his age, he retired as active Bishop of Port-Louis on February 15, 1993 when he had reached 77. Now 83 he remains Bishop emeritus of Port-Louis and resides in retirement at Eveche, rue 13 Msgr. Gonin, Port-Louis on the isle of Mauritius.

          Mauritius' Catholic population of 288,000 comprises a quarter of the population whose primary language is English. It is an island republic in the Indian Ocean roughly 500 miles east of Madagascar. The faith was brought there by the Vincentian missionaries in 1722 and the capital city of Port-Louis was created a vicariate in 1819 and in 1847 during the early pontificate of Pope Pius IX. Port-Louis has long been a "jumping-off point" for missionaries heading to Madagascar, South Africa and Australia and so the faith has always been fairly strong there nurturing a home-grown prelate in Cardinal Margeot who is no longer eligible for participation in the Conclave membership because of his age.

July 19, 1999       volume 10, no. 133


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