Imagem card

Cardinal Arcoverde

Date Born.:


Science and Letters, Philosophy, Theology

Cardinal Arcoverde

Article available in: PT-BR ESP

Last update: 05/02/2013

By: Maria do Carmo Gomes de Andrade - Librarian of the Fundação Joaquim Nabuco

JoaquimArcoverdede Albuquerque Cavalcanti, Cardinal Arcoverde, son of Antonio Francisco de Albuquerque Cavalcantiand MarcelinaDorotéia de Albuquerque Cavalcanti, was born in Cimbres, Pesqueira, Pernambuco, on 17 January 1850. At thirteen years of age, he entered the minor seminary in Cajazeiras, Paraíba, and at 16 went to Rome, where he studied Science and Literature, Philosophy and Theology, having completed his studies at the South American College in Rome.

He was ordained as a priest in April 1874 at theBasilica of St John Lateran, and then spent two years studying in Paris. Back in Brazil, he was a French teacher and principal of Recife’s GinásioPernambucano, and a philosophy teacher and rector at the Olinda Seminary. He was also parish priest in some neighbourhoods in Recife and in Cimbres, his hometown,from 1878 to 1879. In 1888, he was appointed by Dom Pedro II as Auxiliary Bishop of Bahia, but declined the office.

On 26 June 26 1890, then 40 years old, Arcoverde was appointed Bishop of Goiás by Pope Leo XIII, resigningjust one day after his consecration, which took place in Rome on October 26. Returning to Brazil, he went to live in Itu, in the state of São Paulo, where he taught at the Jesuit College of São Luis (St Louis). He only resigned from this post after his election as titular bishop of Argos, when he was asked to personally go to Europe to recruit religious congregationstocome to Brazil for missionary and educational activities. He was also appointed Auxiliary Bishop toBpLino Deodato Rodrigues de Carvalho, Archbishop of Sao Paulo, when he was sick.

With the death of Lino in 1894, he became Bishop of the Diocese of São Paulo from 1894 to 1897. Despite exercising the episcopate in São Paulo for a short time, Archbishop Arcoverde played an important role trying to overcome the friction with the new republican regime, especially as it related to the elimination of religious education in public schools. He founded the Federation of Catholic Associations,and during his administration began the construction of several churches in São Paulo, such as Bom Jesus, in the neighbourhood of Brás. He founded the traditional parish of St Cecilia and appointed its first priest, Father Duarte Leopoldo e Silva – the future first bishop of São Paulo. In the Diocese of São Paulo, he also founded the Parish Shrine of the Assumption of Our Lady of Aparecida, inAparecida de São Manuel. In 1897, Arcoverde was promoted to Metropolitan Archbishop of Rio de Janeiro.

In the Consistory (Assembly of Cardinals) on 11 December 1905, held in St Peter’s Basilica in the Vatican, Pope Pius X gave the Brazilian prelate the dignity of a Cardinal. From this, the first Cardinal from Latin America appeared. Joaquim was called to Rome to assume the new post. He was elevated to Cardinal on 11 December, and ordained (consecrated) on 14 December 1905.

In April 1906, he returned to Rio de Janeiro and was received with large gatherings and tributes, remaining as Cardinal Archbishop of Rio de Janeiro from 1897 until his death on 18 April 1930.

He published several pastoral letters and wrote Síntese de Filosofia(Synthesis of Philosophy), in 1886, and Federação Católica(Catholic Federation) in 1896. Cardinal Arcoverde was primarily responsible for the consecration of the following bishops: LuísRaimundo da Silva Brito, Francisco de Paula Silva, Antonio Augusto de Assis, Agostinho Francisco Benassi, LúcioAntunes de Sousa, João de Almeida Ferrão, SebastiãoLeme da SilveiraCintra, Antonio dos Santos Cabral andBenedito Paulo Alves de Sousa.





Recife, 29 may 2009.

(Updated 9 september 2009)

Translated by Peter Leamy, February 2012.



sources consulted

DATAS & vultos da Pátria: pesquisas escolares. Rio de Janeiro: Renova Livros Culturais, [197?]. (Estante, Biografias)

JOAQUIM Arcoverde de Albuquerque Cavalcanti. Disponível em:. Acesso em: 14 maio 2009.

JOAQUIM Arcoverde de Albuquerque Cavalcanti. Disponível em: . Acesso em:  14 maio 2009.


how to quote this text

Source: ANDRADE, Maria do Carmo. Cardeal Arcoverde. Pesquisa Escolar Online, Joaquim Nabuco Foudation, Recife. Available at:  <>. Accessed: day month year. Exemple: 6 Aug. 2009