Everyday History
Julio Cardinal Rosales
Daily History Filipino Cardinals Persons in History

Julio Cardinal Rosales was born: Sept. 18, 1906

On this day in 1906, Julio Cardinal Rosales, the former Archbishop of Cebu, was born in Calbayog, Samar.

In 1929, at the age of 22, Rosales became an ordained priest in his hometown after years of theological education inside a seminary. He initially served as a priest in Calbayog before he was appointed Bishop of Tagbilaran on June 22, 1946, a year after World War II.

Three years later, on Dec. 17, 1949, he was appointed Archbishop of Cebu, replacing Archbishop Gabriel Reyes who was appointed Archbishop of Manila. Pope Paul VI elevated him to Cardinal on April 28, 1969, thus becoming the first Waray and the first person from the Visayas to become Cardinal.

Being a Waray just like First Lady Imelda Marcos, Rosales held a conservative position during the regime of dictator and kleptocrat Ferdinand Marcos. He was among the few Roman Catholic officials who tolerated the Marcos regime because of his closeness to the late dictator’s family.

Likewise, Rosales enjoyed good relations with the Durano political clan of Cebu. Rep. Ramon Durano, who was representative of Cebu’s First District from 1949 to 1972, was said to be influential in Rosales’ assignment of priests within his constituency.

During his term as Archbishop of Cebu, he spearheaded at archdiocese’ construction and completion in 1954 of the Patria de Cebu, a hostel and recreational center for Filipino Catholics right across the street from the Metropolitan Cathedral of Cebu. He spearheaded the construction after forbidding the city’s Catholic youth from using the recreational facilities of the Young Men’s Christian Association (YMCA) in the city.

Rosales sat as cardinal elector during the papal conclaves in the Vatican City that selected Pope John Paul I in August 1978 and Pope John Paul II in October of the same year.

On Aug. 24, 1982, Rosales retired as Archbishop of Cebu and was succeeded by Ricardo Cardinal Vidal. He died on June 2, 1983 and was buried at a mausoleum at the Metropolitan Cathedral of Cebu.


Julio Cardinal Rosales y Ras. Catholic-Hierarchy.com

Libre, Mel. “Four cardinals and a dictator.” Sunstar Philippines. October 28, 2017.

Villamor-Ilano, Maritess. “Making and remaking Patria de Cebu.” Sunstar Philippines. November 19, 2018.

McCoy, Alfred. An Anarchy of Families: State and Family in the Philippines. University of Wisconsin Press, 2009. p. 195

Trivia question:

With his appointment as cardinal, Rosales was also appointed cardinal-priest of which Roman church?

Yesterday’s answer: Quae Mari Sinico

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