Johannes de Jong bigraphy, stories - Catholic cardinal

Johannes de Jong : biography

10 September 1885 - 8 September 1955

Johannes de Jong (September 10, 1885 – September 8, 1955) was a Dutch Cardinal of the Roman Catholic Church. He served as Archbishop of Utrecht from 1936 until his death, and was elevated to the cardinalate in 1946 by Pope Pius XII.


De Jong was created Cardinal Priest of S. Clemente by Pope Pius XII in the consistory of February 18, 1946, but could not travel to Rome for the ceremony as he was recovering from a car accident.TIME Magazine. February 18, 1946 However, on October 12 of that year, the Dutch prelate went to Castel Gandolfo to receive his red hat from Pope Pius. In 1951, de Jong, who was the first resident Dutch cardinal since the Protestant Reformation, had to leave the administration of the archdiocese to his coadjutor, Bernardus Johannes Alfrink. Meanwhile, de Jong retired to the same house where he had lived during his early priestly ministry in Amersfoort.


De Jong died in his sleep after a long illness in Amersfoort, at age 70.TIME Magazine. September 19, 1955 He is buried at St. Barbara cemetery in the court of St. Catherine's Cathedral.

Bishop and Archbishop

On August 3, 1935, de Jong was appointed Coadjutor Archbishop of Utrecht and Titular Archbishop of Rhusium. He received his episcopal consecration on the following September 12 from Bishop Pieter Hopmans, with Bishops Arnold Diepen and Johannes Smit serving as co-consecrators, in St. Catherine's Cathedral. De Jong succeeded Johannes Henricus Gerardus Jansen as Archbishop of Utrecht and thus Primate of the Netherlands. He was also the first archbishop in the Netherlands with a university degree since the restoration of the Dutch Catholic hierarchy in the middle of the 19th century.

When the Germans invaded Holland the Archbishop did not roll out the "red carpet" as Cardinal Theodor Innitzer had previously done in Vienna, an act that had infuriated Pope Pius XI. He said he didn't want to be another Innitzer and ordered his priests to refuse the sacraments to Nazi Dutchmen."Pius XII: The Holocaust and the Cold War", Michael Phayer, p. 59, Indiana University Press, 2008, ISBN 978-0-253-34930-9 During the Second World War, he was one of the major leaders against the Nazi occupation of Netherlands. On July 26, 1942 Dutch bishops, including Archbishop Johannes de Jong, issued a decree that openly condemned Nazi deportations of Dutch workers and Jews. The Nazis retaliated by seizing over 40,000 Catholics of Jewish descent, including Edith Stein. Phayer, The Catholic Church and the Holocaust, p.54 The Vatican used Holland's experience to explain its silence during the years of the Holocaust. Phayer, p.55After the German retaliation, Sister Pasqualina Lehnert, Pius XII's housekeeper and confidante, said the Pope was convinced that while the Bishop’s protest cost forty thousand lives, a protest by him would mean at least two hundred thousand innocent lives that he was not ready to sacrifice. While politicians,generals, and dictators might gamble with the lives of people, a Pope could not.NEVER AGAIN AN EXAMINATION OF CATHOLIC-JEWISH RELATIONS IN LIGHT OF THE HOLOCAUST (Trevor Fleck JUPS Senior Thesis Georgetown University April 1, 2006 ). Accessed: 30 November 2012.

Early life and ordination

Johannes de Jong was born in Nes, a village on the island of Ameland, as the eldest of seven children of Jan de Jong, a baker, and his wife Trijntje Mosterman. After attending the minor seminary in Culemborg from 1898 to 1904, de Jong then studied at the Seminary of Rijsenburg for four years.

He was ordained to the priesthood on August 15, 1908, and further studied at the Pontifical Gregorian University and the Angelicum in Rome, obtaining his doctorates in philosophy and theology.


De Jong did pastoral work in Amersfoort, including work with the Sisters of Mercy, until 1914, when he was made a professor at the Rijsenburg seminary on November 6. Becoming the seminary's rector on August 14, 1931, he was named a canon of the cathedral of Utrecht in 1933.

Living octopus

Living octopus

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