Jean Verdier

His Eminence
Jean Verdier
Cardinal, Archbishop of Paris
Church Roman Catholic
Archdiocese Paris
Installed 1929
Term ended 9 April 1940
Predecessor Louis-Ernest Dubois
Successor Emmanuel Célestin Suhard
Other posts Cardinal-Priest of Santa Balbina
Ordination 9 April 1887
Consecration 29 December 1929
Created Cardinal 16 December 1929
by Pius XI
Rank Cardinal
Personal details
Born (1864-02-19)19 February 1864
Lacroix-Barrez France
Died 9 April 1940(1940-04-09) (aged 76)
Paris France
Buried Notre Dame de Paris
Nationality French
Coat of arms
Styles of
Jean Verdier
Reference style His Eminence
Spoken style Your Eminence
Informal style Cardinal
See Paris

Jean Verdier, PSS (19 February 1864 – 9 April 1940) was a French Cardinal of the Roman Catholic Church. He served as Archbishop of Paris from 1929 until his death, and was elevated to the cardinalate in 1929.


Jean Verdier was born to a modest family in Lacroix-Barrez, Aveyron, and studied at the seminary in Rodez before entering the Society of Saint-Sulpice in 1886. He was ordained to the priesthood on 9 April 1887 and then taught at the seminary of Périgueux until 1898, serving as its rector from 1898 to 1912. From 1912 to 1920, Verdier served as a professor and the superior of the Seminary "Des Carmes" in Paris. He became an honorary canon of the metropolitan cathedral of Paris in 1923, and served as Vice-Superior General (1926–1929) before being elected Superior General of his society on 16 July 1929. During that same year, he was made vicar general of Paris and a protonotary apostolic.

On 18 November 1929, Verdier was appointed Archbishop of Paris by Pope Pius XI. He received his episcopal consecration on the following 29 December from Pope Pius himself, with Archbishop Alfred-Henri-Marie Baudrillart, Orat, and Bishop Emmanuel-Anatole Chaptal serving as co-consecrators, in the Sistine Chapel. Early in his tenure as Archbishop, he ordered all French priests to conduct an "extensive survey" into any alcoholism existing in their parishes.[1]

Pius XI created him Cardinal Priest of Santa Balbina in the consistory of 16 December 1929; Verdier was the first Sulpician to be elevated to the College of Cardinals.[2] He served as Special Legate to several events between 1930 and 1939, and was one of the cardinals who participated in the 1939 papal conclave that elected Pope Pius XII.

An opponent of Fascism,[3] Verdier described World War II as "a crusade...We are struggling to preserve the freedom of people throughout the world, whether they be great or small peoples, and to preserve their possessions and their very lives. No other war has had aims that are more spiritual, moral, and, in sum, more Christian".[4] Besides his native French, he was fluent in German and Italian, but spoke little English, for which he required an interpreter on international visits.

The Cardinal died in Paris, at the age of 76. He is buried in Notre-Dame Cathedral.


  1. TIME Magazine. Cocktails, Confidence, Aberration 14 July 1930
  2. TIME Magazine. Verdier's Visit 22 August 1932
  3. TIME Magazine. Spanish Split July 4, 1938
  4. TIME Magazine. "Crusade" February 19, 1940

External links

Catholic Church titles
Preceded by
Louis-Ernest Dubois
Archbishop of Paris
18 November 1929–9 April 1940
Succeeded by
Emmanuel Célestin Suhard
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