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The last Portuguese bishop of Macau dies

MACAU (SE): The last Portuguese bishop of Macau, Bishop Arquimínio Rodrigues da Costa, died on September 12 in the Azorean island of Pico, Portugal.

In announcing the death of the 92-year-old bishop, Archbishop João Lavrador, from Azores, called it a “loss for the Church and for society.”

He paid homage to what he called an extraordinary figure, which, until the moment of death, rendered service to the Church with immense simplicity, the Macau publication, O Clarim, reported on September 15.

Igreja Açores reported that the funeral for Bishop Rodrigues da Costa was set for September 22 in the Sanctuary of Senhor Bom Jesus do Pico, in São Mateus, at 6:00pm, with a Mass presided at by Bishop Lavrador.

Bishop Rodrigues da Costa was born in São Mateus on 8 July 1924. In 1938, together with two others, he was brought to Macau by Bishop José Machado Lourenço.

The young Rodrigues da Costa entered the local Seminary of St. Joseph, completing his studies in theology in June of 1949, before being ordained a priest on October 6 of the same year.

The chapter of the Macau Cathedral elected him as capitular vicar of the diocese on 14 June 1973, then three years later, he was appointed bishop of Macau by Pope Paul VI, succeeding Bishop Paulo José Tavares, who also came from the Azores.

His was ordained a bishop at the Macau Cathedral on 25 March 1976.

On 6 October 1988, Pope John Paul II accepted his resignation and from January 1989, he has been living in his birthplace.

On 7 November 1988, he was awarded the Great Cross of Merit (Grã-Cruz da Ordem de Mérito) by Mário Soares, the then-president of the Portuguese Republic.

On September 19, a Mass for the repose of his soul was celebrated at Macau Cathedral. Later the same day, a memorial service was held at St. Paul’s School.

May he rest in peace.

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