Cardinal Priest of S Marco in Agro Laurentino
Cardinal Alexandre do Nascimento, Archbishop emeritus of Luanda (Angola) was born in Malanje on 1 March 1925. After studying at the seminaries of Banglas, Malanje, and Luanda, he came to Rome in 1948 to the Pontifical Gregorian University, took his baccalaureate in philosophy and his licentiate in theology. He was ordained in Rome on 20 December 1952 by the then vice regent Mons. Luigi Traglia.
He then returned to his country and from 1953 to 1961 was professor of dogmatic theology at the major seminary of Luanda, editor of the local Catholic newspaper "O Apostolate", and adjunct-director of the Catholic Radio, chaplain to family groups and port workers, and responsible for the homilies at the cathedral of Luanda. Having to leave Angola in 1961, he spent ten years of pastoral ministry in parishes in Lisbon, also attending courses given by the faculty of civil law. He returned to his country in 1971, became secretary general of "Caritas nazionale", president of the church tribunal of Luanda, a member of the presbyterial council and of the diocesan commission for the Holy Year 1975, as well as a teacher of moral theology at the Pius XII Institute of Social Service and at the Center for Catholic Culture.
On 10 August 1975, Paul VI appointed him Bishop of Malanje. He received episcopal ordination on 31 August in the Cathedral of Luanda. Less than two years later, on 3 February 1977, after the Holy See having reorganized the dioceses of Angola with the constitution of two new ecclesiastical provinces, Mons. do Nascimento was promoted to the metropolitan see of Lubango. He was then made Apostolic Administrator "ad nutum Sanctae Sedis" of the diocese of Onjiva. He was also a member of the Permanent Committee of the Episcopal Conference and President of the Episcopal Commission for Social Assistance and the Missions. He was written about in newspapers around the world when, on 15 October 1982, during a pastoral visit, he was kidnapped by armed guerillas and was freed on 16 November of that year. John Paul II launched an appeal for his freedom during the Angelus message of 31 October 1982.
Created and proclaimed Cardinal by John Paul II in the consistory of 2 February 1983. Titular church, St. Mark in Agro Laurentino.
During Lent of 1984 he preached the spiritual exercises in the Vatican for the Roman Curia, in which the Holy Father also participated.
From 16 February 1986 to 8 February 2001 he served as Archbishop of Luanda.