Jean Daniélou

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Jean-Guenolé-Marie Daniélou
Cardinal-Deacon of San Saba
Giorgio La Pira and Jean Danielou.jpg
Giorgio La Pira and Daniélou in Florence, 1953
Church Roman Catholic Church
In office30 April 1969 - 20 May 1974
Predecessor Augustin Bea
Successor Joseph Schröffer
Ordination20 August 1938
Consecration19 April 1969
by  François Marty
Created cardinal28 April 1969
by Pope Paul VI
Personal details
Birth nameJean-Guenolé-Marie Daniélou
Born(1905-05-14)14 May 1905
Neuilly-sur-Seine, France
Died20 May 1974(1974-05-20) (aged 69)
Paris, France
Previous post Titular Archbishop of Taormina (1969)
MottoFluvium aquæ vitæ ("River of life")

Jean-Guenolé-Marie Daniélou, S.J. (French:  [danjelu] ; 14 May 1905 – 20 May 1974) was a French member of the Jesuit order and a Roman Catholic cardinal. He was also a theologian and historian and a member of the Académie française.

Society of Jesus male religious congregation of the Catholic Church

The Society of Jesus is a religious order of the Catholic Church headquartered in Rome. It was founded by Ignatius of Loyola with the approval of Pope Paul III in 1540. The members are called Jesuits. The society is engaged in evangelization and apostolic ministry in 112 nations. Jesuits work in education, research, and cultural pursuits. Jesuits also give retreats, minister in hospitals and parishes, sponsor direct social ministries, and promote ecumenical dialogue.

Académie française Pre-eminent council for the French language

The Académie française is the pre-eminent French council for matters pertaining to the French language. The Académie was officially established in 1635 by Cardinal Richelieu, the chief minister to King Louis XIII. Suppressed in 1793 during the French Revolution, it was restored as a division of the Institut de France in 1803 by Napoleon Bonaparte. It is the oldest of the five académies of the institute.



Early life and studies

Jean-Guenolé-Marie Daniélou was born on 14 May 1905 in Neuilly-sur-Seine. He was the son of Charles Daniélou and Madeleine Clamorgan. His father was an anticlerical politician who served in the French government several times as a minister, while his mother was an educator and the founder of institutions for women's education. His brother Alain (19071994) was a noted Indologist and a renowned historian.

Neuilly-sur-Seine Commune in Île-de-France, France

Neuilly-sur-Seine is a French commune just west of Paris, in the department of Hauts-de-Seine. A suburb of Paris, Neuilly is immediately adjacent to the city and directly extends it. The area is composed of mostly wealthy, select residential neighbourhoods, and many corporate headquarters are located there. It is the wealthiest and most expensive suburb of Paris.

Charles Daniélou French politician and poet

Charles Léon Claude Daniélou was a French politician who was Minister of the Merchant Marine in 1930–1931 and Minister of Health in 1932–1933).

Alain Daniélou French historian, musicologist, Indologist and expert on Shaivite Hinduism

Alain Daniélou was a French historian, intellectual, musicologist, Indologist, and a noted Western convert to and expert on Shaivite Hinduism.

Daniélou studied at La Sorbonne and passed his agrégation in grammar in 1927. He joined the Society of Jesus in 1929 and during his regency taught at a boys' school in Poitiers, from 1934 to 1936. He then studied theology at Fourvière in Lyon under Henri de Lubac, who introduced him to patristics and the Fathers of the Church. He was ordained a priest on 20 August 1938. [1]

University of Paris former university in Paris, France from 1896 to 1968

The University of Paris, metonymically known as the Sorbonne, was a university in Paris, France, active 1150–1793, and 1806–1970.

In France, the agrégation is a competitive examination for civil service in the French public education system. Candidates for the examination, or agrégatifs, become agrégés once they are admitted to the position of professeur agrégé. In France, professeurs agrégés are distinguished from professeurs certifiés recruited through the CAPES training. The agrégés are usually expected to teach at high schools (lycées) and universities, while the certifiés usually teach in junior high schools (collèges), although there is a significant overlap.

The regency is a period lasting two to three years during the formation of a candidate to the Society of Jesus following his initial admission to the Society during the two years of novitiate. During this time, the men are expected to be fully involved in the apostolic work and community life of the Society.

Priesthood, episcopate and cardinalate


During World War II, Daniélou served with the Air Force in 19391940. With the fall of France to Nazi Germany he was returned to civilian life and entered doctoral studies, completing in 1942 his thesis on the spiritual doctrine of St. Gregory of Nyssa. He was then appointed chaplain to the female section of the École Normale Supérieure, at Sèvres. He spent most of his time on research in patristics, and became one of the founders of the Sources Chrétiennes collection. In 1944 he was named Professor of Early Christian History at the Institut Catholique de Paris, later becoming dean there. Beginning in the 1950s he produced several historical studies which included The Bible and the Liturgy, The Lord of History, and From Shadows to Reality that furnished background for the development of Covenantal Theology. [2]

World War II 1939–1945, between Axis and Allies

World War II, also known as the Second World War, was a global war that lasted from 1939 to 1945. The vast majority of the world's countries—including all the great powers—eventually formed two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis. A state of total war emerged, directly involving more than 100 million people from more than 30 countries. The major participants threw their entire economic, industrial, and scientific capabilities behind the war effort, blurring the distinction between civilian and military resources. World War II was the deadliest conflict in human history, marked by 70 to 85 million fatalities, most of whom were civilians in the Soviet Union and China. It included massacres, the genocide of the Holocaust, strategic bombing, premeditated death from starvation and disease, and the only use of nuclear weapons in war.

Nazi Germany The German state from 1933 to 1945, under the dictatorship of Adolf Hitler

Nazi Germany is the common English name for Germany between 1933 and 1945, when Adolf Hitler and his Nazi Party (NSDAP) controlled the country through a dictatorship. Under Hitler's rule, Germany was transformed into a totalitarian state where nearly all aspects of life were controlled by the government. The official name of the state was Deutsches Reich until 1943 and Großdeutsches Reich from 1943 to 1945. Nazi Germany is also known as the Third Reich, meaning "Third Realm" or "Third Empire", the first two being the Holy Roman Empire (800–1806) and the German Empire (1871–1918). The Nazi regime ended after the Allies defeated Germany in May 1945, ending World War II in Europe.

Gregory of Nyssa 4th-century bishop of Nyssa, Asia Minor

Gregory of Nyssa, also known as Gregory Nyssen, was bishop of Nyssa from 372 to 376 and from 378 until his death. He is venerated as a saint in Roman Catholicism, Eastern Orthodoxy, Oriental Orthodoxy, and Anglicanism. Gregory, his elder brother Basil of Caesarea, and their friend Gregory of Nazianzus are collectively known as the Cappadocian Fathers.

Thoroughly grounded in the Fathers of the church, who worked from Scripture, Daniélou generally avoided the neo-Thomistic terminology and approach and used a more relational vocabulary, emphasizing our self-gift in response to God's gift in Jesus Christ, with the gradual unveiling of the Trinitarian life in history. [3]

Pope John XXIII appointed Daniélou a peritus for the Second Vatican Council. [4] In 1969 Pope Paul VI made him a cardinal, with the episcopal titular see of Taormina, and Cardinal-Deacon of San Saba. [5] Similar to his theology professor Henri de Lubac he twice refused the cardinalate but accepted on the insistence of Paul VI. [1] He was elected to the Académie française on 9 November 1972, to succeed Cardinal Eugène Tisserant. [4]

Pope John XXIII 261st Pope of the Catholic Church

Pope John XXIII was head of the Catholic Church and sovereign of the Vatican City State from 28 October 1958 to his death in 1963; he was canonized on 27 April 2014. Angelo Giuseppe Roncalli was one of thirteen children born to a family of sharecroppers who lived in a village in Lombardy. He was ordained to the priesthood on 10 August 1904 and served in a number of posts, as nuncio in France and a delegate to Bulgaria, Greece and Turkey. In a consistory on 12 January 1953 Pope Pius XII made Roncalli a cardinal as the Cardinal-Priest of Santa Prisca in addition to naming him as the Patriarch of Venice.


Peritus is the title given to Roman Catholic theologians attending an ecumenical council to give advice. At the Second Vatican Council, some periti accompanied individual bishops or groups of bishops from various countries. Others were formally appointed as advisers to the whole council.

Pope Paul VI Pope of the Roman Catholic Church from 1963 to 1978

Pope Paul VI was head of the Catholic Church and sovereign of the Vatican City State from 21 June 1963 to his death in 1978. Succeeding John XXIII, he continued the Second Vatican Council which he closed in 1965, implementing its numerous reforms, and fostered improved ecumenical relations with Eastern Orthodox and Protestant churches, which resulted in many historic meetings and agreements. Montini served in the Holy See's Secretariat of State from 1922 to 1954. While in the Secretariat of State, Montini and Domenico Tardini were considered as the closest and most influential advisors of Pius XII, who in 1954 named him Archbishop of Milan, the largest Italian diocese. Montini later became the Secretary of the Italian Bishops' Conference. John XXIII elevated him to the College of Cardinals in 1958, and after the death of John XXIII, Montini was considered one of his most likely successors.

Death and legacy

He died unexpectedly in 1974 in the home of a woman who was alleged to be a prostitute. The Society of Jesus, after an investigation, determined that Daniélou was bringing money to pay for the bail of the woman's husband. His brother defended him strongly, pointing out that he had always gone out of his way to serve those in most need. [6]


A number of his works on the early Church abridged for a popular audience remain in print.

French works, with English translations

Other works

Other English translations

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  1. 1 2 "Jean Guénolé Louis Marie Cardinal Daniélou, S.J." . David M. Cheney. Retrieved 23 January 2015.
  2. "Jean Daniélou". Retrieved 15 December 2017.
  3. "Jean Daniélou and the "Master-Key to Christian Theology" | Carl E. Olson | August 21, 2007". Retrieved 15 December 2017.
  4. 1 2 "Academie-francaise bio" . Retrieved 15 December 2017.
  5. Salvador Miranda. "Daniélou, S.J., Jean". The Cardinals of the Holy Roman Church. Retrieved 23 January 2011.
  6. "Jean had always dedicated himself to disregarded people. For a certain period he had celebrated a Mass for homosexuals. He tried to help prisoners, criminals, troubled young people, prostitutes."Alain Daniélou.