Lima, Peru, Jun 22, 2012 / 12:03 pm (CNA).- Archbishop Emeritus Alcides Mendoza Castro of Cusco, Peru, who at 34 was the youngest bishop to attend the Second Vatican Council, has died at the age of 84.
According to the Archdiocese of Lima, he passed away on June 20 after suffering “a painful bout with cancer with heroic strength.”
The wake and funeral Mass for Archbishop Mendoza were held at Sacred Heart Parish in Lima and his remains will be transported to the city of Cusco, where he wished to be buried.
The burial rites will take place at the Cathedral of Cusco.
Archbishop Mendoza was born in 1928 in La Mejorada, a small village in the Andes of Peru. At seven years of age he began learning the faith from the Redemptorist Missionaries and soon discovered his vocation to the priesthood.
He entered the Minor Seminary of Ayacucho at the age of 12 and was ordained a priest in 1951 at the age of 23. Pope Pius XII appointed him bishop of Abancay, Peru in 1958 at the age of 30, making him the youngest bishop in the world. From 1962 to 1965 he attended the Second Vatican Council.
In 1967 Pope Paul VI appointed him Vicar of the Military Diocese of Peru, a post he held until 1983, when Pope John Paul II appointed him Archbishop of Cusco. He served there for the next 20 years until he reached the age of retirement.
In 2008 he celebrated his 50th anniversary as a bishop and was given a special award by Peruvian President Alan Garcia for his service to the country.