PRIESTLY ORDINATION: Ozigbo Celebrates Francis Cardinal Arinze As He Marks 55 Years Anniversary

Valentine Ozigbo, the immediate past President and Group CEO of Transcorp Plc, has joined millions of Christians around the world in celebrating The Most Reverend Eminence Francis Cardinal Arinze as the revered cleric marked the 55th anniversary of his Episcopal Ordination.

In a statement made available to the press signed by Ephraim Adiele, his media aide on Saturday, August 29, 2020, Mr. Ozigbo appreciated Francis Cardinal Arinze for his many years of selfless service in God’s vineyard and prayed for an outpouring of grace, wisdom, and blessings on the life of the Cardinal.

Mr. Ozigbo, a devoted Catholic described the 87-year-old Cardinal as a global icon, adding that the celebration was even more special for him and other indigenes of Anambra State.

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“This is even more special for the people of Anambra as Francis Cardinal Arinze is a beloved son of the soil,” the business leader said in the statement. “Thank you for all you do in the Vineyard of the Lord, Your Eminence. Happy Anniversary and God bless you abundantly.”

Cardinal Arinze, who serves as the Cardinal-Bishop of Velletri Segni was born in Eziowelle, a town in Idemili North Local Government Area of Anambra state. He was baptized in 1941 by Cyprian Michael Iwene Tansi, who was beatified by Pope John Paul II.

At age 15, Cardinal Arinze gained admission at the All Hallows Seminary of Onitsha from which he graduated and earned a philosophy degree in 1950.

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On 23 November 1958, at the chapel of the university, Arinze was ordained to the priesthood by Gregorio Pietro Agagianian. After ordination, Father Arinze remained in Rome, earning a Master’s degree in theology in 1959 and a doctorate degree in 1960.

Cardinal Arinze became the youngest Roman Catholic bishop in the world when he was consecrated on 29 August 1965, at the age of 32. He became the Archbishop of Onitsha on 26 June 1967, the first native African to assume this position.

When Pope John Paul II died in 2005, Cardinal Arinze was a candidate for election to the papacy, at the papal conclave that followed, in which he was a cardinal elector.

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Later that year, Pope Benedict XVI named him Cardinal Bishop of Velletri-Segni.

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