Cardinal Serafim Fernandes de Araújo, Archbishop emeritus of Belo Horizonte, Brazil, was born on 13 August 1924 in Minas Novas, Brazil. He was ordained on 12 March 1949 for the Archdiocese of Diamantina and holds doctorates in theology and canon law from the Pontifical Gregorian University, Rome.
He served as a parish priest in Gouveia and taught canon law at the provincial seminary of Diamantina, in addition to heading the catechetical office and teaching religion at the local teachers’ college.
On 19 January 1959 he was appointed titular Bishop of Verinopolis and Auxiliary Bishop of Belo Horizonte. He received episcopal ordination on 7 May 1959.
On 22 November 1982 he was named Coadjutor of the same see and became its third Archbishop on 5 February 1986. His pastoral ministry has always concentrated on education and social communications, and in October 1992 he was chosen by the Holy Father to be one of three Co-Presidents of the Fourth General Conference of the Latin American Episcopate held in Santo Domingo.
Archbishop emeritus of Belo Horizonte, 28 January 2004.
Created and proclaimed cardinal by St. John Paul II in the consistory of 21 February 1998, of the Title of S. Luigi Maria Grignion de Monfort (St. Louis Marie Grignion de Montfort).