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Emmanuel Célestin Suhard †
Church positions
See Paris
Title Cardinal Archbishop of Paris
Period in office May 11, 1940 – May 30, 1949
Successor Maurice Cardinal Feltin
Previous post Archbishop of Reims
Created cardinal December 16, 1935
Date of birth April 5, 1874
Place of birth Brains-sur-les-Marches, France
Date of death May 30, 1949
Place of death Paris, France
Styles of
Emmanuel Suhard
CardinalCoA PioM.svg
Reference style His Eminence
Spoken style Your Eminence
Informal style Cardinal
See Paris

Emmanuel Célestin Suhard (April 5, 1874 – May 30, 1949) was a French Cardinal of the Roman Catholic Church. He served as Archbishop of Paris from 1940 until his death, and was elevated to the cardinalate in 1935.


Emmanuel Suhard was born in Brains-sur-les-Marches, Mayenne, to Emmanuel Suhard (d. May 1874) and his wife Jeanne Marsollier. Baptized by Abbé Lambert on the very day of his birth, he received his first Communion on June 1, 1884, and was confirmed in 1885. Although Suhard's pastor did not think he would be a suitable priest, Suhard entered the minor (October 1888) and major seminaries (October 6, 1892) in Laval. He then went to Rome to study at the Pontifical French Seminary and the Pontifical Gregorian University, where he received a gold medal for his grades. From the Gregorian he also obtained doctorates in philosophy and theology, and a licentiate in canon law. He was ordained to the priesthood on December 18, 1897 in the private chapel of Cardinal Vicar Lucido Parocchi, and then finished his studies in 1899.

Returning from Rome in June 1899, Suhard was made Professor of Philosophy at the Grand Seminary of Laval on the following September 30. He began teaching theology in 1912, and was made the seminary's vice-rector in 1917; Suhard was hindered from being named rector because of Bishop Eugène-Jacques Grellier, who was close to Action Française, of which the former had disapproved. In 1919, he became a titular canon of Laval's cathedral chapter.

On July 6, 1928, Suhard was appointed Bishop of Bayeux-Lisieux by Pope Pius XI. He received his episcopal consecration on the following October 3 from Bishop Grellier, with Bishops Florent de La Villerabel and Constantin Chauvin serving as co-consecrators.

Pius XI later advanced Suhard to Archbishop of Reims on December 23, 1930, and created him Cardinal Priest of S. Onofrio in the consistory of December 16, 1935. Suhard was one of the cardinal electors who participated in the 1939 papal conclave that selected Pope Pius XII, who named him Archbishop of Paris on May 11, 1940. During World War II, the Cardinal was detained in his archiepiscopal residence by Nazi forces on June 26, 1940, and addressed a dispatch to Hitler on October 26, 1941, to save the hostages of Nantes and Châteaubriant. From 1945 to 1948, he was President of the Assembly of Cardinals and Archbishops of France and thus the spokesman of the Church in France. He then served as the Assembly's Vice-President, under Cardinal Achille Liénart, until 1949.

Suhard died at 2:20 a.m. in Paris, at age 75. He was buried in the crypt of the archbishops in Notre-Dame Cathedral on June 8, 1949.


Like most of the French clergy during that time, Suhard initially supported Marshal Pétain's Vichy government, but in July 1942 he wrote a Public Protest against the deportation of the Jews of Paris and he condemned Vichy collaboration in this racial policy. He was subsequently confined to his palace for some time by Nazi German troops, although his deportation to the Dachau concentration camp could be prevented.

The Cardinal was influential in establishing the Territorial Prelature of Mission de France[1] and the Worker-Priest movement[2].


  1. TIME Magazine. Priest to the People February 27, 1950
  2. TIME Magazine. Not Cassocks But Coveralls November 5, 1965

External links

Catholic Church titles
Preceded by
Thomas-Paul-Henri Lemonnier
Bishop of Bayeux-Lisieux
Succeeded by
François-Marie Picaud
Preceded by
Louis Luçon
Archbishop of Reims
Succeeded by
Louis-Augustin Marmottin
Preceded by
Jean Verdier, PSS
Archbishop of Paris
Succeeded by
Maurice Feltin
Preceded by
President of the Assembly of Cardinals and Archbishops of France
Succeeded by
Achille Liénart

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