Jules-Géraud Saliège

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Jules-Géraud Saliège
Archbishop of Toulouse
ChurchRoman Catholic Church
Appointed6 December 1928
Installed14 February 1929
Term ended5 November 1956
PredecessorJean-Augustin Germain
SuccessorGabriel-Marie Garrone
Other postsCardinal-Priest of Santa Pudenziana (1946-56)
Ordination21 September 1895
by Jean-Marie-François Lamouroux
Consecration6 January 1926
by Paul-Augustin Le Coeur
Created cardinal18 February 1946
by Pope Pius XII
Personal details
Birth nameJules-Géraud Saliège
Born(1870-02-24)24 February 1870
Saint-Flour, Cantal, France
Died5 November 1956(1956-11-05) (aged 86)
Toulouse, France
Previous postBishop of Gap (1925-28)
MottoSub umbra illius
Coat of armsJules-Géraud Saliège's coat of arms
Styles of
Jules-Géraud Saliège
External Ornaments of a Cardinal Bishop.svg
Reference styleHis Eminence
Spoken styleYour Eminence
Informal styleCardinal

Jules-Géraud Saliège (24 February 1870 – 5 November 1956) was a French Cardinal of the Roman Catholic Church. He served as Archbishop of Toulouse from 1928 until his death, and was a significant figure in Catholic resistance to Nazism in France. He was elevated to the cardinalate in 1946 by Pope Pius XII. For his efforts to protect Jews during the Nazi Holocaust he was recognised as Righteous among the Nations by Yad Vashem.


Born in Saint-Flour, Jules-Géraud Saliège studied at the Seminary of Saint-Sulpice in Paris before being ordained to the priesthood on 21 September 1895. He then taught at the minor seminary in Pleaux until 1903, and at the seminary in Saint-Flour from 1903 to 1907, when he was named its rector. He was made an honorary canon of the cathedral chapter of Saint-Flour on 14 September 1905, before becoming an honorary vicar general on 31 March 1918. During World War I, he served as a military chaplain.

On 29 October 1925, Saliège was appointed Bishop of Gap by Pope Pius XI. He received his episcopal consecration on 26 January 1926, from Bishop Paul-Augustine Lecoeur, with Bishops Benjamin Roland-Gosselin and Hippolyte de La Celle serving as co-consecrators, in Saint-Flour Cathedral. Saliège was later named Archbishop of Toulouse on 17 December 1928.

Nazi period

During the Nazi occupation of France, he was outspoken in attacking the German treatment of Jews and conscription of Frenchmen.[1] For his criticism of the Nazis' and Vichy's anti-Jewish policies, he was praised by the Vatican newspaper.[2]

With the free press silenced in Vichy France, Charles Lederman, a Jewish Communist approached Saliège, to alert public opinion to what was being done to the Jews. He told Saliège of the arrests, kidnappings and deportations. Saliège read his famous Pastoral letter the following Sunday.[3] Other bishops - Monseigneur Théas, Bishop of Montauban, Monseigneur Delay, Bishop of Marseilles, Cardinal Gerlier, Archbishop of Lyon, Monseigneur Vansteenberghe of Bayonne and Monseigneur Moussaron, Archbishop of Albi - also denounced the roundups from the pulpit and through parish distributions, in defiance of the Vichy regime.[4] The protest of the bishops is seen by various historians as a turning point in the formerly passive response of the Catholic Church in France.[5]

Saliège wrote to his parishioners: "The Jews are real men and women. Not everything is permitted against these men and women, against these fathers and mothers. They are part of the human species. They are our brothers like so many others. A Christian should not forget this". The words encouraged other clerics like the Capuchin monk Père Marie-Benoît.[6]


Pope Pius XII created him Cardinal Priest of S. Pudenziana in the consistory of 18 February 1946. In 1950, the Cardinal excommunicated a priest within his archdiocese for rejecting the dogma of the Assumption of Mary.[7] He also encouraged the Christianization of society.[8]

Saliège died in Toulouse, at age 86. He is buried in Saint-Étienne Cathedral, Toulouse.

He was posthumously awarded the title Righteous among the Nations by Yad Vashem.[9]


  1. ^ TIME Magazine. The Roads to Rome 7 January 1946
  2. ^ Rychlak, Ronald. Goldhagen v. Pius XII, "The French Bishops" subsection. Archived 15 October 2013 at the Wayback Machine
  3. ^ Jewish Rescue Operations in Belgium and France; by Lucien Steinberg; published by Yad Vashem
  4. ^ http://www.yadvashem.org/odot_pdf/Microsoft%20Word%20-%20686.pdf
  5. ^ Martin Gilbert; The Righteous - The Unsung Heroes of the Holocaust; Doubleday; 2002; ISBN 0385 60100X; p.230
  6. ^ A litany of World War Two saints; Jerusalem Post; 11 April 2008.
  7. ^ TIME Magazine. Heretic 31 January 1955
  8. ^ TIME Magazine. The Vineyard 1 March 1948
  9. ^ http://www.yadvashem.org/yv/pdf-drupal/france.pdf

External links[edit]

Preceded by
Gabriel-Roch de Llobet
Bishop of Gap
Succeeded by
Camille Pic
Preceded by
Jean-Augustin Germain
Archbishop of Toulouse
Succeeded by
Gabriel-Marie Garrone