Metropolitan Patriarchate of Lisbon

Patriarchatus Metropolitae Olisiponensis

Patriarcado Metropolitana de Lisboa
Coat of arms of the Metropolitan Patriarchate of Lisbon
Country Portugal
Area3,735 km2 (1,442 sq mi)
- Total
- Catholics
(as of 2015)
1,648,885 (86%)
RiteRoman Rite
Established4th century
CathedralLisbon Cathedral
Current leadership
Metropolitan PatriarchRui
Portalegre-Castelo Branco
Auxiliary Bishops
Bishops emeritusManuel III
The Archdiocese of Lisbon shown in a darker red.
The Archdiocese of Lisbon shown in a darker red.

The Metropolitan Patriarchate of Lisbon (Latin: Patriarchatus Metropolitae Olisiponensis) is a Latin Church ecclesiastical territory or patriarchal archdiocese of the Catholic Church in Lisbon, the capital of Portugal.

Its archiepiscopal see is the Patriarchal Cathedral of St. Mary Major, in Lisbon. The patriarchate also has three minor basilicas: the Basilica of Our Lady of the Martyrs and Basilica of the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus in Estrela, both in Lisbon; the Basilica of Our Lady and St. Anthony in Mafra; and two World Heritage Site monasteries: the Monastery of the Hieronymites, in Lisbon, and the Monastery of Saint Mary of Alcobaça, in Alcobaça

Patriarchate today

The patriarchate pastorally served, as per 2014, 1,648,885 Catholics (86% of 1,924,650 total) on 3,735 km² in 285 parishes and 604 missions, with 543 priests (291 diocesan, 252 religious), 84 deacons, 1,505 lay religious (401 brothers, 1,104 sisters) and 54 seminarians.[citation needed]


The diocese of Lisbon was created in the 4th century, but it lay vacant after 716 when the city was captured by the Moors, notwithstanding that there are references to Mozarabic bishops of the Mozarabic Rite in that period. The diocese was restored during the Second Crusade in 1147 when the city was captured by King Afonso I of Portugal after the siege of Lisbon. A crusader's account of that event refers to the local "elderly Bishop of the city" being slain "against all right and justice", by marauding Flemish and German crusaders, in direct defiance of the terms of the city's rendition.[1]

As Portugal grew in political importance and colonial possessions the jurisdiction of the Metropolitan of Lisbon expanded; Stadel says in his Compendium geographiae ecclesiasticae universalis (1712) that Coimbra, Leiria, Portalegre, Elvas, Funchal, Angra, Congo, St. James of Cape Verde, São Tomé, and Baia of All Saints were suffragans of Lisbon.[2] As a reward for its assistance against the Turks, Pope Clement XI in 1708 raised the Chapel of the Royal Palace to Collegiate rank and associated with it three parishes in the dioceses of Bragança and Lamego. Later, yielding to the request of King John V, he issued the Bull In Supremo Apostolatus Solio (22 October 1716) – known as the Golden Bull because the seal or bulla was affixed with gold instead of lead – giving the collegiate chapel cathedral rank, with metropolitical rights, and conferring on its titular the rank of patriarch.

The city of Lisbon was ecclesiastically divided into Eastern and Western Lisbon. The former archbishop of Lisbon retained jurisdiction over Eastern Lisbon, and had as suffragan dioceses those of Guarda, Portalegre, St. James of Cape Verde, São Tomé, and São Salvador in Congo. Western Lisbon and metropolitan rights over Leiria, Lamego, Funchal and Angra, together with elaborate privileges and honours, were granted to the new patriarch and his successors. It was further agreed between pope and king that the patriarch of Lisbon should be made a cardinal at the first consistory following his appointment (Inter praecipuas apostolici ministerii, 1737).

The first patriarch of Lisbon was Tomás de Almeida (1670–1754), formerly bishop of Porto; he was raised to the cardinalate on 20 December 1737 by Pope Clement XII. There thus existed side by side in the city of Lisbon two metropolitical churches. To obviate the inconvenience of this arrangement Pope Benedict XIV (13 December 1740) united East and West Lisbon into one single archdiocese under Patriarch Almeida, who ruled the see until his death in 1754. The double chapter however remained until 1843, when the old cathedral chapter was dissolved by Pope Gregory XVI. It was during the patriarchate of Cardinal Almeida (1746) that the famous Chapel of Saint John the Baptist was built in Rome (1742–1747) at the expense of King John V and consecrated by Pope Benedict XIV, and then transported to and reconstructed in the Church of St. Roch in Lisbon. Patriarch Almeida is buried in the chancel of that church.

At what date the patriarchs of Lisbon began to quarter the tiara with three crowns, though without the keys, on their coat of arms is uncertain and there are no documents referring to the grant of such a privilege. By apostolic letters dated 30 September 1881 the metropolitan of Lisbon claims as suffragans the dioceses of Angola, St. James of Cape Verde, São Tomé, Egitan, Portalegre, Angra, and Funchal.

Privileges of the patriarchate

Throughout history, many privileges have been granted to the patriarchate of Lisbon and its patriarch by the Holy See.[3][4]

Cardinal-Patriarch Manuel Gonçalves Cerejeira using the pontifical fanon, falda, and flabella, as well as the three-tiered patriarchal mitre (reminiscent of the papal tiara), in 1965

These privileges were granted by Popes Clement XI, Innocent XIII, Benedict XIII and Clement XII. However, some have fallen into disuse over the centuries.


Mantius of Évora
Archbishop Martinho da Costa
Henry I of Portugal was Archbishop Henry I of Lisbon before becoming King.
Patriarch Tomás I of Lisbon
Patriarch Guilherme I of Lisbon
Patriarch José III of Lisbon

Lisbon, being one of the oldest cities in Iberia, has had a rich ecclesiastical history, in which the ordinaries of Lisbon have held different titles, partially depending on the country/city's rulers and their political/colonial power.

Suffragan bishops of Olisipo

  1. Saint Mantius (36) legendary
  2. Filipe Filoteu (92) legendary
  3. Pedro (I) (166) legendary
  4. Pedro (II) (213) legendary
  5. Jorge (260) legendary
  6. Pedro (III) (297) legendary
  7. Saint Gens of Lisbon (?) legendary
  8. Januário (300), legendary
  9. São Potâmio (c. 356)
  10. António (373)
  11. Neobrídio (430)
  12. Júlio (461)
  13. Azulano (?)
  14. João (500)
  15. Éolo (536)
  16. Nestoriano (578)
  17. Paulo (589)
  18. Goma or Gomarelo (610, 614)
  19. Viarico, Ubalico or Dialico (633, 636, 638)
  20. Nefrígio, Nefredo or Neofrídio (646)
  21. Cesário or César (656)
  22. Teodorico (666)
  23. Ara (683)
  24. Landerico (688, 693)
  25. Ildefonso (?)

After the Muslim invasion of Lisbon in 716, the see was vacant. The diocese was revitalized with the Siege of Lisbon in 1147, when the city was once again in Christian hands.

Suffragan bishops of Lisbon

  1. Gilbert of Hastings (1147-1166)
  2. Álvaro (bishop) (1166-1185)
  3. Soeiro (I) Anes [pt] (1185-1210)
  4. Soeiro (II) Viegas (1210-1232)
  5. Vicente (1232)
  6. Paio Pais (1232-1233)
  7. João (I) Falberto (1233)
  8. Estêvão (I) Gomes (1234-1237)
  9. João (II) (1239-1241)
  10. Ricardo Guilherme (1241)
  11. Aires Vasques (1241-1258)
  12. Mateus (1259-1282)
  13. Estêvão (II) Anes de Vasconcelos (1284-1289)
  14. Domingos Anes Jardo (1289-1293)
  15. João (III) Martins de Soalhães (1294-1312)
  16. Frei Estêvão (III), O.F.M. (1312-1322)
  17. Gonçalo Pereira (1322-1326)
  18. João (IV) Afonso de Brito (1326-1341)
  19. Vasco (I) Martins (1342-1344)
  20. Estêvão (IV) de la Garde (1344-1348)
  21. Teobaldo de Castillon (1348-1356)
  22. Reginaldo de Maubernard (1356-1358)
  23. Lourenço Rodrigues (1359-1364)
  24. Pedro Gomes Barroso, o Jovem (1364-1369)
  25. Fernando Álvares (1369-1371)
  26. Vasco (II) Fernandes de Toledo (1371)
  27. Agapito Colona (1371-1380), 1378 Cardinal
  28. João (V) de Agoult (1380-1381) - named bishop of Lisbon by pope Urban VI (pope in Rome)
  29. Martinho de Zamora (1380-1383) - named bishop of Lisbon (and Cardinal in 1383) by Antipope Clement VII (pope in Avignon)
  30. João (VI) Guterres (1381-1382) - named bishop of Lisbon by pope Urban VI (pope in Rome)
  31. João (VII) Anes (c. 1383-1394)

Metropolitan archbishops of Lisbon

  1. João (I) Anes (1394-1402)
  2. João (II) Afonso Esteves da Azambuja (1402-1415)
  3. Diogo Álvares de Brito (1415-1422)
  4. Pedro de Noronha (1424-1452)
  5. Luís Coutinho (1452-1453)
  6. Cardeal D. Jaime de Portugal (1453-1459)
  7. Afonso (I) Nogueira (1459-1464)
  8. Cardeal D. Jorge da Costa (1464-1500)
  9. Martinho da Costa (1500-1521)
  10. Cardinal-Infante D. Afonso (II) de Portugal (1523-1540)
  11. Fernando de Meneses Coutinho e Vasconcelos (1540-1564)
  12. Cardinal Infante D. Henrique de Portugal (1564-1570)
  13. Jorge de Almeida (1570-1585)
  14. Miguel de Castro (1586-1625)
  15. Afonso (III) Furtado de Mendonça (1626-1630)
  16. João (III) Manuel de Ataíde (1633)
  17. Rodrigo da Cunha (1635-1643)
  18. António de Mendonça (1670-1675)
  19. Cardinal D. Luís de Sousa (1675-1702)
  20. João (IV) de Sousa (1703-1710)

Latin patriarchs of Lisbon

  1. Cardinal Tomás de Almeida (1716–1754)
  2. Cardinal José (I) Manoel da Câmara (1754–1758)
  3. Cardinal Francisco (I) de Saldanha da Gama (1758–1776)
  4. Cardinal Fernando de Sousa da Silva (1779–1786)
  5. Cardinal José (II) Francisco Miguel António de Mendonça (1786–1818)
  6. Cardinal Carlos da Cunha e Menezes (1819–1825)
  7. Cardinal Patrício da Silva (1826–1840)
  8. Cardinal Francisco (II) de São Luís (Francisco Justiniano) Saraiva (1840–1845)
  9. Cardinal Guilherme Henriques de Carvalho (1845–1857)
  10. Cardinal Manuel (I) Bento Rodrigues da Silva (1858–1869)
  11. Cardinal Inácio do Nascimento de Morais Cardoso (1871–1883)
  12. Cardinal José (III) Sebastião de Almeida Neto (1883–1907)
  13. Cardinal António (I) Mendes Belo (1907–1929)
  14. Cardinal Manuel (II) Gonçalves Cerejeira (1929–1971)
  15. Cardinal António (II) Ribeiro (1971–1998)
  16. Cardinal José (IV) da Cruz Policarpo (1998–2013)
  17. Cardinal Manuel (III) José Macário do Nascimento Clemente (2013–2023)
  18. Rui (I) Manuel Sousa Valério (2023–present)[5]

Ecclesiastical province

The suffragan sees of the archdiocese are:

See also


  1. ^ Osbernus. "Osbernus: De expugnatione Lyxbonensi, 1147 [The Capture of Lisbon]". Internet Medieval Sourcebook. Fordham University. Archived from the original on August 14, 2014.
  2. ^ Johann Karl : Von Stadel (1712). Compendium geographiae ecclesiasticae universalis, in quo patriarchatuum, archi-&-episcopatuum, per totum orbem diffusorum modernus status exponitur, cum rebus notabilioribus provinciarum. Compositum ab abbate Joanne Carolo a Stadel . sumptibus auctoris. pp. 175–176.
  3. ^ Clemente, D. Manuel; Moreira Azevedo, D. Carlos (2009). Os Patriarcas de Lisboa. Alêtheia Editores. ISBN 9789896221652.
  4. ^ "Sé Patriarcal de Lisboa - Arquivo Nacional da Torre do Tombo - DigitArq". Retrieved 2020-02-01.
  5. ^ "Resignations and Appointments, 10.08.2023" (Press release). Holy See Press Office. 10 August 2023. Retrieved 12 August 2023.

Sources and external links

38°42′53″N 9°7′39″W / 38.71472°N 9.12750°W / 38.71472; -9.12750