Cardinal Paulo Evaristo Arns, O.F.M, Archbishop Emeritus of São Paulo, Brazil, was born of humble parentage on September 14, 1921, in Forquilhinha, Municipal of Crisciuma, State of Santa Catarina, Diocese of Tubarão. After finishing the normal formation courses at the Franciscan Order in Brazil, he entered the Order of the Friars Minor. In 1946 he studied at the Sorbonne, where he earned a doctorate in classical languages with high honours.
He made his solemn profession on December 10, 1943, and was ordained to the priesthood on November 30, 1945, assuming varied teaching responsibilities in the houses of the province and elsewhere. On January 12, 1961 he was elected vice-provincial of the province of the Immaculate Conception of the Friars Minor. He was the director of the monthly review for religious Sponsa Christi and of the editorial centre of the Franciscans at Petropolis, Vozes, which is one of the most important Catholic publishing groups in Brazil.
He then studied at the faculty of philosophy at Curitiba. After finishing his theology studies at Petropolis, State of Rio, he earned a Doctor of Letters at the Sorbonne in Paris, writing a dissertation on: La technique du Livre d'après Saint Jérôme.
In Brazil, Cardinal Arns was a professor at the minor seminary of Agudos, State of São Paulo; on the faculty of Philosophy, Science and Letters of Bauru; at the Theological Institute of the Franciscans at Petropolis; and, at the Catholic University of the same city.
On May 2, 1966 he was nominated by Paul VI Auxiliary Bishop of São Paulo and received episcopal ordination on July 3, 1966. In the Archdiocese of São Paulo, as auxiliary bishop and episcopal vicar, he won the sympathy and admiration of all the clergy and faithful.
On October 22, 1970 he was promoted to Archbishop of São Paulo.
Archbishop emeritus of São Paulo, April 15, 1998.
Cardinal Arns is a journalist and writer. He is also the author of the following books: A quem iremos, Senhor? (To Whom Shall We Go, Lord?); A humanidade caminha para a fraternidade (Humanity on the Road toward Fraternity); Paul VI: voce é contra ou a favor? (Paul VI: Are you for or against?) Cartes de Santo Inhàcio: Introdução, Tradução e Notas (Letters of Saint Ignatius: Introduction, Translation, and Notes); Cartas de São Clemente Romano: Introdução, Tradução e Notas (Letters of St. Clement of Rome: Introduction, Translation, and Notes); A guerra acabrà se vocé quiser (Wars Will End If You Want); Communidade: união e acção (Community: Union and Action). In addition, he translated the works, "A Corresponsabilidade na Igreja de hoje" (The Coresponsibility of the Church today) by Cardinal Suenes and "Nova Historia da Igreia" (A New History of the Church) by Cardinal Danielou.
Created and proclaimed Cardinal by Paul VI in the consistory of March 5, 1973, of the Title of S. Antonio da Padova in Via Tuscolana (St. Anthony of Padua in Via Tuscolana).