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Jules-Géraud Saliège

Styles of
Jules-Géraud Saliège
Reference style His Eminence
Spoken style Your Eminence
Informal style Cardinal
See Toulouse

Jules-Géraud Saliège (February 24, 1870—November 5, 1956) was a French Cardinal of the Roman Catholic Church. He served as Archbishop of Toulouse from 1928 until his death, and was a significant figure in Catholic resistance to Nazism in France. He was elevated to the cardinalate in 1946 by Pope Pius XII. For his efforts to protect Jews during the Nazi Holocaust he was recognised as Righteous among the Nations by Yad Vashem.


Cardinal Jules-Géraud Saliège

Born in Saint-Flour, Jules-Géraud Saliège studied at the Seminary of Saint-Sulpice in Paris before being ordained to the priesthood on September 21, 1895. He then taught at the minor seminary in Pleaux until 1903, and at the seminary in Saint-Flour from 1903 to 1907, when he was named its rector. He was made an honorary canon of the cathedral chapter of Saint-Flour on September 14, 1905, before becoming an honorary vicar general on March 31, 1918. During World War I, he served as a military chaplain.

On October 29, 1925, Saliège was appointed Bishop of Gap by Pope Pius XI. He received his episcopal consecration on January 26, 1926, from Bishop Paul-Augustine Lecoeur, with Bishops Benjamin Roland-Gosselin and Hippolyte de La Celle serving as co-consecrators, in Saint-Flour Cathedral. Saliège was later named Archbishop of Toulouse on December 17, 1928.

Nazi period

During the Nazi occupation of France, he was outspoken in attacking the German treatment of Jews and conscription of Frenchmen.[1] For his criticism on the Nazi's and Vichy's anti-Jewish policies, he was praised by the Vatican Newspaper.[2]

With the free press silenced in Vichy France, Charles Lederman, a Jewish Communist approached Saliège, to alert public opinion to what was being done to the Jews. He told Saliège of the arrests, kidnappings and deportations. Saliège read his famous Pastoral letter the following Sunday.[3] Other bishops - Monseigneur Théas, Bishop of Montauban, Monseigneur Delay, Bishop of Marseilles, Cardinal Gerlier, Archbishop of Lyon, Monseigneur Vansteenberghe of Bayonne and Monseigneur Moussaron, Archbishop of Albi - also denounced the roundups from the pulpit and through parish distributions, in defiance of the Vichy regime.[4] The protest of the bishops is seen by various historians as a turning point in the formerly passive response of the Catholic Church in France.[5]

Saliège wrote to his parishioners: "The Jews are real men and women. Not everything is permitted against these men and women, against these fathers and mothers. They are part of the human species. They are our brothers like so many others. A Christian should not forget this". The words encouraged other clerics like the Capuchin monk Père Marie-Benoît.[6]


Pope Pius XII created him Cardinal Priest of S. Pudenziana in the consistory of February 18, 1946. In 1950, the Cardinal excommunicated a priest within his archdiocese for rejecting the dogma of the Assumption of Mary.[7] He also encouraged the Christianization of society.[8]

Saliège died in Toulouse, at age 86. He is buried in Saint-Étienne Cathedral, Toulouse.

He was posthumously awarded the title Righteous among the Nations by Yad Vashem.[9]


  1. ^ TIME Magazine. The Roads to Rome January 7, 1946
  2. ^ Rychlak, Ronald. Goldhagen v. Pius XII, "The French Bishops" subsection.
  3. ^ Jewish Rescue Operations in Belgium and France; by Lucien Steinberg; published by Yad Vashem
  4. ^
  5. ^ Martin Gilbert; The Righteous - The Unsung Heroes of the Holocaust; Doubleday; 2002; ISBN 0385 60100X; p.230
  6. ^ A litany of World War Two saints; Jerusalem Post; 11 April 2008.
  7. ^ TIME Magazine. Heretic January 31, 1955
  8. ^ TIME Magazine. The Vineyard March 1, 1948
  9. ^

External links

Preceded by
Gabriel-Roch de Llobet
Bishop of Gap
Succeeded by
Camille Pic
Preceded by
Jean-Augustin Germain
Archbishop of Toulouse
Succeeded by
Gabriel-Marie Garrone

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