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Rodolphe Saade, unexpected patron of the Pope’s trip to Marseilles

Rodolphe Saade, the Pope’s sponsor? In any case, she is the most generous of the fairies who watched François visit Marseilles. And without its funding, the Holy Father’s “ambulance” in his Popemobile on Saturday, September 23rd, in the midst of an expected crowd of about 100,000 people on the Prado, probably would not have happened.

The fortune of the chairman and CEO of the logistics group CMA CGM is no longer a secret. The shipowner made a record profit of 25 billion euros in 2022. In 2023, in a significantly less favorable context, it is more so. 3 billion in the first two quarters. Since taking over the company founded by his father, Jacques, 53-year-old Rodolphe Saade has also become an important figure in his town. A major partner of Olympique de Marseille, it is the largest private employer in the region; Of its 155,000 employees, 4,000 work at the old port.

The group also owns the shipping company La Méridionale, which provides connections to Corsica. No high-ranking politicians arrive in Marseilles to welcome him to his monumental tower. new owner Provence, After a confrontation with Xavier Niel (also an individual shareholder the world), it also increased its investment in media: the first issue La Tribune Sunday, Around Bruno Jude, earlier Paris match And the first journalist that Vincent Bollore got rid of, It is scheduled for October 8.

A story related to the Mediterranean Sea

What is less known is that he was originally from Syria and Lebanon, not from a Roman Catholic family, but from a Christian family of the Greek Orthodox Rite. When, at the end of 2022, the Diocese of Marseilles appeals to large companies in the region to help complete the budget of 2.5 million euros needed to organize the Mediterranean meetings, which will bring together 120 young people of all faiths and seventy. Catholic bishops from thirty countries around the Mediterranean and Pope Francis Rodolphe Saade are arriving.

His yes is an example. Donations from other sponsors, such as the McCourt Global group, owner of OM, or even Sodexo, the collective food giant, will follow. In total, private partners provide half of the event’s funding, and donations from individuals reach 100,000 euros on the day before the Pope’s arrival alone.

The Vatican’s choice to discuss the great challenges of the Mediterranean from Marseille and to pacify the various countries and communities bordering its shores can only please a group whose history is linked to this sea and whose well-being depends largely on political stability. he. Cardinal Aveline The archbishop of Marseille and the architect of Francois’ arrival – who had previously met Tania Saade, Rodolphe’s sister, deputy director general and president of the CMA CGM Foundation – resumed talks with the shipowner before the summer.

Source: Le Monde



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