Birth. May 12, 1921, Poggiole di Vernio, diocese of Pistoia, Italy. Youngest of the five surviving children of Luigi Benelli and Maria Simoni; his uncle Guido Benelli entered the Order of the Friars Minor (Franciscans) and died with fame of holiness. He was baptized the day after his birth in the church of S. Leonardo in S. Quirico di Vernio.
Education. Studied at the Seminary of Pistoia (entered on October 18, 1931); while in Rome, he resided at the Pontifical French Seminary, studying at the Pontifical Gregorian University from 1943 until 1947; and later, at the Pontifical Ecclesiastical Academy, Rome (diplomacy). Received the ecclesiastical tonsure, December 23, 1939, from Giuseppe Debernardi, bishop of Pistoia; the subdiaconate, June 29, 1942, at the cathedral of Pistoia, from the same bishop; and the diaconate, June 12, 1943, at the cathedral of Pistoia, also from the same bishop.
Priesthood. Ordained, October 31, 1943, parish church of Poggiole di Vernio, by Giuseppe Debernardi, bishop of Pistoia; with dispensation for not having reached yet the canonical age. Pastoral ministry in the diocese of Rome, 1943-1950. Further studies, Rome, 1943-1947. Attached to the Secretariat of State; private secretary to Giovanni Battista Montini, substitute of the Secretariat of State, August 1, 1947. Privy chamberlain supernumerary, July 16, 1950. Secretary of the nunciature in Ireland, 1950-1953. Secretary of the nunciature in France, 1953-1960. Auditor of the nunciature in Brazil, 1960-1962. Domestic prelate of His Holiness, August 1, 1961. Counselor of the nunciature in Spain, 1962-1965. Permanent observer of the Holy See before UNESCO, Paris, May 11, 1965 to June 11, 1966.
Episcopate. Elected titular archbishop of Tusuro and appointed pro-nuncio in Senegal and apostolic delegate in Western Africa, June 11, 1966. Consecrated, September 11, 1966, Rome, by Cardinal Amleto Giovanni Cicognani, bishop of the title of the suburbicarian see of Frascati, secretary of State, assisted by Pietro Sigismondi. titular archbishop of Neapoli di Pisidia, secretary of the S.C. for the Propagation of the Faith, and by Mario Longo Dorni, bishop of Pistoia. His episcopal motto was Virtus ex alto. Substitute of the Secretariat of State and secretary of the cipher, June 29, 1967. Transferred to the metropolitan see of Florence, June 3, 1977.
Cardinalate. Created cardinal priest in the consistory of June 27, 1977; received the red biretta and the title of S. Prisca, June 27, 1977. Attended the Fourth Ordinary Assembly of the Synod of Bishops, Vatican City, September 30 to October 29, 1977. Participated in the conclave of August 25 to 26,1978, which elected Pope John Paul I. Participated in the conclave of October 14 to 16,1978, which elected Pope John Paul II. Attended the First Plenary Assembly of the Sacred College of Cardinals, Vatican City, November 5 to 9, 1979; the Fifth Ordinary Assembly of the Synod of Bishops, Vatican City, September 26 to October 25, 1980.
Death. October 26, 1982, suddenly, of a heart attack, in his office at the archiepiscopal palace of Florence. The funeral, presided by Cardinal Agostino Casaroli, secretary of State, took place on October 29, 1982, at the metropolitan cathedral basilica of S. Maria del Fiore, Florence. His remains were buried in the crypt underneath the chapel of the Most Blessed Sacrament of that cathedral; a simple marble stone marks his final resting place (1).
Bibliography. Il Cardinale Giovanni Benelli. Giovanni Battista Re, et al. Roma : Edizioni Studium, 1992. (Coscienza studi, 22); In memoriam di S.Em. Il Cardinale Giovanni Benelli, arcivescovo di Firenze. Florence: Curia Arcivescovile, 1982; Lovascio, Antonio. Giovanni Benelli. Un pastore coraggioso e innovatore. Prefazione di Giuseppe Betori. Firenze : Società Editrice Fiorentina, 2012.
Webgraphy. Biography by Bruna Bocchini Camaiani, Andrea Riccardi, Dizionario Biografico degli Italiani - Volume 34 (1988), Treccani; his arms, Araldica Vaticana.
(1) This is the inscription in his vault, kindly provided by Mr. Eman Bonnici, from Malta:
Birth. May 8, 1922, Toffo, archdiocese of Cotonou, Bénin (then Dahomey). Son of Henri Gantin, chief of the local railroad station, and Anne Tonondji, great-granddaughter of King Glèlè. He was baptized shortly after his birth by Father Gaymard. His last name means iron tree (Gan=tree and tin=iron) and this is reflected in his coat of arms.
Education. He studied at the regional school of Abomey from 1929 to 1935; in 1934, he was prepared for his first communion by Father Le Port; studied at the School of Petits Clercs, Ouidah from May to October 1935; counseled by Father Gautier, he entered the Seminary of Ouidah on October 28, 1935; in 1953, he was sent to Rome to study at the Pontifical Urbanian Athaenaeum and at the Pontifical Lateran Athenaeum (licentiate in dogmatic theology, 1954); licentiate in canon law, 1955; preparation for the doctorate, 1956; subject of his thesis: "Les bénédictions et consécrations en comparaison avec quelques coutumes et rites religieux du paganisme africain spécialement au Dahomey"; it was at this time that he was surprised by the promotion to the episcopate by Pope Pius XII.
Priesthood. Ordained, January 14, 1951, cathedral of Ouidah, by Louis Parisot, S.M.A. (Society of African Missions), vicar apostolic of Ouidah (later archdiocese of Cotonou). Professor of languages at the Seminary of Ouidah; and pastoral ministry in apostolic vicariate of Ouidah, 1951-1953. Further studies, 1953-1956, Rome.
Episcopate. Elected titular bishop of Tipasa di Mauritania and appointed auxiliary of Dahomey (later Cotonou), December 11, 1956. Consecrated, February 3, 1957, chapel of Collegio de Propagande Fide, Rome, by Cardinal Eugène Tisserant, bishop of the suburbicarian sees of Ostia and Porto e Santa Rufina, dean of Sacred College of Cardinals, prefect of S.C. Ceremonial and librarian and archivist of the Holy Roman Church, assisted by Pietro Sigismondi, titular archbishop of Neapolis di Pisidia, secretary of the S.C. of Propaganda Fide, and by André Pierre Duirat, S.M.A., bishop of Bouaké. His episcopal motto was In tuo sancto servitio. Promoted to the metropolitan see of Cotonou, January 5, 1960; he was the first African metropolitan archbishop. Attended the Second Vatican Council, 1962-1965. Attended the First Ordinary Assembly of the Synod of Bishops, Vatican City, September 29 to October 29, 1967; the First Extraordinary Assembly of the Synod of Bishops, Vatican City, October 11 to 28, 1969. Secretary adjunct of the S.C. for the Evangelization of Peoples, March 5, 1971. Resigned the pastoral government of the archdiocese, June 28, 1971. Secretary of the S.C. for the Evangelization of Peoples, February 26, 1973. Vice-president of the Pontifical Commission Iustitia et Pax, December 19, 1975; pro-president, December 16, 1976.
Cardinalate. Created cardinal deacon in the consistory of June 27, 1977; received the red biretta and the deaconry of Sacro Cuore di Cristo Re, June 27, 1977. President of the Pontifical Commission Iustitia et Pax, June 29, 1977; he was the first African cardinal heading a dicastery of the Roman Curia; resigned the post, April 8, 1984. Attended the Fourth Ordinary Assembly of the Synod of Bishops, Vatican City, September 30 to October 29, 1977. President of the Pontifical Council Cor Unum, September 4, 1978; resigned the post, April 8, 1984. Participated in the conclave of August 25 to 26,1978, which elected Pope John Paul I. Participated in the conclave of October 14 to 16,1978, which elected Pope John Paul II. Attended the First Plenary Assembly of the Sacred College of Cardinals, Vatican City, November 5 to 9, 1979. Special papal envoy to the 4th centennial celebrations of St. Peter Claver's birth, Cartagena, Colombia, June 24, 1980. Attended the Fifth Ordinary Assembly of the Synod of Bishops, Vatican City, September 26 to October 25, 1980; president delegate. Papal legate to the 42nd International Eucharistic Congress, July 16 to 23, 1981, Lourdes, France. Attended the Sixth Ordinary Assembly of the Synod of Bishops, Vatican City, September 29 to October 28, 1983. Prefect of the S.C. for Bishops and president of the Pontifical Commission for Latin America, April 8, 1984; resigned both posts, June 25, 1998. Opted for the order of cardinal priests and his deaconry was elevated pro illa vice to title, June 25, 1984. Special papal envoy to the celebrations of 150th anniversary of the beginning of the evangelization in the archdiocese of Papetee, Tahiti, French Polynesia, August 10, 1984. In 1985, he was named member of the Royal Academy of Morocco by King Hassan II. Attended the Third Plenary Assembly of the College of Cardinals, November 21 to 23, 1985; the Second Extraordinary Assembly of the Synod of Bishops, Vatican City, November 24 to December 8, 1985. Cardinal bishop of the title of the suburbicarian see of Palestrina, September 29, 1986. Special papal envoy to the celebration of the first centennial of the evangelization, Port-Vila, Republic of Vanuatu, September 8, 1987. Attended the Seventh Ordinary Assembly of the Synod of Bishops, Vatican City, October 1 to 30, 1987; the Eighth Ordinary Assembly of the Synod of Bishops, Vatican City, September 30 to October 28, 1990; the Special Assembly of the Synod of Bishops for Europe, Vatican City, November 28 to December 14, 1991; the Fourth General Conference of the Latin American Episcopate, Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, October 12 to 28, 1992. Dean of the College of Cardinals and bishop of the title of the suburbicarian see of Ostia, retaining the title of the suburbicarian see of Palestrina, June 5, 1993. Special papal envoy to the inauguration of the shrine of Our Lady of Guadalupe, Campinas, Brazil, December 12, 1993. Attended the Special Assembly of the Synod of Bishops for Africa, Vatican City, April 10 to May 8, 1994; the Ninth Ordinary Assembly of the Synod of Bishops, Vatican City, October 2 to 29, 1994. Special papal envoy to the funeral of Pierre Lucien Claverie, bishop of Oran, Algeria, killed in a bomb explosion, Oran, Algeria, August 5, 1996. Attended the Special Assembly for America of the Synod of Bishops, Vatican City, November 16 to December 12, 1997; the Special Assembly for Asia of the Synod of Bishops, Vatican City, April 29 to May 14, 1998. Attended the Special Assembly for Oceania of the Synod of Bishops, Vatican City, November 22 to December 12, 1998. Papal representative to the funeral of King Hassan II of Morocco, Rabat, July 25, 1999. Attended the Second Special Assembly for Europe of the Synod of Bishops, Vatican City, October 1 to 23, 1999. Special papal envoy to the National Eucharistic Congress of Haiti, Port-au-Prince, December 1 to 3, 2000. Special papal envoy to the conclusive celebrations of the Evangelization of Burkina Faso, Ouagadougou, January 21, 2001. Attended the Tenth Ordinary Assembly of the Synod of Bishops, Vatican City, September 30 to October 27, 2001. Lost the right to participate in the conclave when turned 80 years old, May 8, 2002. Resigned the deanship of the College of Cardinals and the title of the suburbicarian see of Ostia, and became dean emeritus, November 30, 2002. Returned to live in Bénin, December 4, 2002. In 2003, he received the Légion d'Honneur from Jacques Chirac, president of the Republic of France. He was the first, and so far, only cardinal from the Popular Republic of Bénin; and the first African to be both head of a Vatican dicastery and dean of the College of Cardinals since this office was established by Blessed Pope Eugenius III in 1150.
Death. May 13, 2008, at 4:45 p.m., from severe complications of dehydration, in the Hospital Georges Pompidou, Paris, France, after a long illness. On May 7, 2008, the President of the Republic, Chief of State and Chief of the Government, learning of the deterioration of the state of health of the cardinal, visited him and ordered his translation to the hospital in Paris. The transfer took place on May 8, the day of his 86th birthday. On the day of the cardinal's death, the Council of Ministers held an extraordinary session and issued a communique expressing the sorrow of the Government of the Republic of Bénin to the entire Nation, to the Catholic Church, to His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI, to the Catholic community of Bénin and to the cardinal's family for the loss of the cardinal. A delegation headed by the Minister of Health went to Paris to arrange the return of the body of the late cardinal to Bénin. A period of three days of national mourning was observed in memory of the cardinal from Wednesday May 14. During this period, the flags flew at half mast in all the national territory. Monsignor Anatole Dédégbé, vicar general of the archdiocese of Cotonou, expressed the sorrow of the Catholic Church in Bénin for the death of Cardinal Gantin. Upon learning the news of the death of Cardinal Gantin, Pope Benedict XVI prayed for the eternal repose of his soul and sent a telegram of condolence to Archbishop Marcel Honorat Léon Agboton of Cotonou. On May 15, 2008, the newspaper Le Matinal, of Cotonou, Republic of Bénin, reported that the late cardinal would be buried, according to his own wishes, beside the vault of Bishop Louis Parisot, S.M.A., on May 24, near the altar of the chapel of the Grand Seminary of Saint Gall, Ouidah. His mortal remains reposed in the chapel of the house of the Sœurs Petites Servantes des Pauvres, sixth district, 49 Rue Notre Dame des Champs, Paris; after two days, they were driven in the Funérarium of the Cimetière des Batignolles, in Paris (17º); and arrived in Bénin on May 21. On May 15, a large governmental delegation accompanied by René Marie Ehuzu, C.I.M., bishop of Porto Novo, and by Eugène Cyrille Houndékon, bishop of Abomey, arrived in Paris to organize the repatriation of the body to Bénin. On Tuesday May 20, a mass in memory of the late cardinal was celebrated by Cardinal André Vingt-Trois, archbishop of Paris, at 6:15, in Notre-Dame cathedral; Archbishop Agboton of Cotonou, pronounced the homily. Cardinal Giovanni Battista Re, papal representative, presided the mass in the Stadium "Amitié" in Cotonou of May 22; with him concelebrated Cardinals Francis Arinze, prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments; Polycarp Pengo, archbishop of Dar-es-Salaam, Tanzania; Théodore-Adrien Sarr, archbishop of Dakar, Sénégal; Bernard Agré, archbishop emeritus of Abidjan, Ivory Coast; and Anthony Olubunmi Okogie, archbishop of Lagos, Nigeria, as well as forty archbishops and bishops; Cardinal Re delivered the homily. On Friday May 23, 2008, at 11 a.m., in the Altar of the Chair of the papal Vatican basilica, was celebrated a Holy Mass of suffrage for the late cardinal. The Holy Mass was celebrated by Cardinal Angelo Sodano, dean of the College of Cardinals, with the other cardinals present. At the end of the celebration, Pope Benedict XVI delivered the homily and imparted the apostolic blessing. The International Airport of Cadjèhoun, in Cotonou, has been renamed "Aéroport international Bernardin Cardinal Gantin".
Bibliography. Missionario africano a Roma. Missionario romano in Africa. Curato da Giulio Cerchietti, Gianfranco Grieco e Luigi Lalloni. Città del Vaticano, Libreria Editrice Vaticana, 2010.
Webgraphy. His photograph and biography, in Italian, Sala Stampa della Santa Sede; his photograph and biography, in English, Holy See Press Office; his arms, Araldica Vaticana.
Birth. April 16, 1927, Holy Saturday, at 4:15 a.m., Marktl, diocese of Passau, Germany. Son of Joseph Ratzinger, who was a member of the rural police, and Maria Peintner; before marrying she worked as a cook in several hotels. His grand uncle Georg Ratzinger was a priest and member of the Reichstag, as the German Parliament was called then. He was baptized with the name Joseph Alois on that same day at 8: 30 a.m., in the parish of Saint Oswald in Marktl, by Fr. Josef Stangl (1), vicar of Marktl. He received first communion in March 1936 and the sacrament of confirmation on June 9, 1937 in Traunstein from Cardinal Michael von Faulhaber, archbishop of München und Freising. He speaks eight languages among them his native German, English, French, Italian, Portuguese and Spanish. He is an accomplished pianist. He has a brother, Georg, who is a priest; and a sister, Maria, who died in 1991. His middle name is also listed as Aloysius.
Education. Studied at the Superior School of Philosophy, Freising; at the University of München, where he obtained a doctorate in theology with the thesis: "People and house of God in the doctrine on the church of St. Augustin" under the direction of Gottlieb Söhngen, professor of fundamental theology; habilitation for teaching thesis: "Offenbarungsverständnis und Geschichtstheologie Bonaventuras". Received the subdiaconate, Saturday October 28, 1950, Freising, from Johannes Baptist Neuhäusler, titular bishop of Calidone, auxiliary of München und Freising; and the diaconate the following day in the same place and from the same bishop.
Priesthood. Ordained, June 29, 1951, cathedral of Sts. Mary and Corbinian, Freising, by Cardinal Michael von Faulhaber, archbishop of München und Freising; his brother Georg and 42 other priests were ordained in the same ceremony. Further studies, 1951-1952. Faculty member at the Superior School of Philosophy and Theology, Freising, 1952-1959. Faculty member at the University of Bonn, 1959-1963. Participated in the Second Vatican Council, 1962-1965, as an expert. Faculty member at the University of Münster, 1963-1969. Faculty member at the University of Tübingen, 1966-1969. Faculty member at the University of Ratisbon, 1969-1977; its vice-president, 1969-1977. Member of the International Theological Commission, Vatican City, 1969-1977.
Episcopate. Elected archbishop of München und Freising, March 24, 1977. Consecrated, May 28, 1977, cathedral of München, by Josef Stangl, bishop of Würzburg, assisted by Rudolf Graber, bishop of Regensburg, and by Ernst Tewes, C.O., titular bishop of Villamagna in Proconsulari, auxiliary of München und Freising. His episcopal motto was Cooperatores veritatis.
Cardinalate. Created cardinal priest in the consistory of June 27, 1977; received the red biretta and the title of S. Maria Consolatrice al Tiburtino, June 27, 1977. Attended the Fourth Ordinary Assembly of the Synod of Bishops, Vatican City, September 30 to October 29, 1977. Participated in the conclave of August 25-26, 1978, which elected Pope John Paul I. Special papal envoy to the 3rd National Marian Congress, Guayaquil, Ecuador, September 16 to 24, 1978. Participated in the conclave of October 14 to 16, 1978, which elected Pope John Paul II. Attended the First Plenary Meeting of the Sacred College of Cardinals, Vatican City, November 5 to 9, 1979; the Fifth Ordinary Assembly of the Synod of Bishops, Vatican City, September 26 to October 25, 1980; its relator general; member of its general secretariat, 1980-1983. Prefect of the S.C. for the Doctrine of the Faith, president of the Pontifical Biblical Commission, and president of the International Theological Commission, November 25, 1981 to April 2, 2005. Resigned the pastoral government of the archdiocese, February 15, 1982. Attended the Sixth Ordinary Assembly of the Synod of Bishops, Vatican City, September 29 to October 28, 1983; its president delegate; member of its general secretariat, 1983-1986. Attended the Second Extraordinary Assembly of the Synod of Bishops, Vatican City, November 24 to December 8, 1985; member of its general secretariat until 1987. Attended the Seventh Ordinary Assembly of the Synod of Bishops, Vatican City, October 1 to 30, 1987; member of its general secretariat, 1987-1990. Attended the Eighth Ordinary Assembly of the Synod of Bishops, Vatican City, September 30 to October 28, 1990; member of its general secretariat, 1990-1994. Attended the Special Assembly of the Synod of Bishops for Europe, Vatican City, November 28 to December 14, 1991. Elected associé étranger of the Académie des sciences morales et politiques, a part of the Institut de France, January 13, 1992. Named bishop of title of suburbicarian see of Velletri-Segni, April 5, 1993. Attended the Special Assembly of the Synod of Bishops for Africa, Vatican City, April 10 to May 8, 1994; the Ninth Ordinary Assembly of the Synod of Bishops, Vatican City, October 2 to 29, 1994. In 1997, the city of Marktl am Inn, place of his birth, granted him the title of "Illustrious Citizen", on his 70th birthday; he unveiled a commemorative plaque in the facade of the house where he was born; he visited the city as pope on September 11, 2006, during his apostolic trip to Germany. Attended the Special Assembly for America of the Synod of Bishops, Vatican City, November 16 to December 12, 1997; the Special Assembly for Asia of the Synod of Bishops, Vatican City, April 29 to May 14, 1998. Vice-dean of College of Cardinals, November 9, 1998. Attended the Special Assembly for Oceania of the Synod of Bishops, Vatican City, November 22 to December 12, 1998. Special papal envoy to the 12th centenary celebrations of the creation of the diocese of Paderborn, Germany, January 3, 1999. Attended the Second Special Assembly for Europe of the Synod of Bishops, Vatican City, October 1 to 23, 1999; the Tenth Ordinary Assembly of the Synod of Bishops, Vatican City, September 30 to October 27, 2001. Special papal envoy to the jubilar celebrations in the diocese of Regensburg, Germany, October 6, 2002. Dean of the College of Cardinals and bishop of the title of the suburbicarian see of Ostia, proper of the dean, retaining the title of the suburbicarian see of Velletri-Segni, November 30, 2002. Papal legate to the celebrations of the 750th anniversary of the canonization of St. Stanislaus, bishop and martyr, Kraków, Poland, May 11, 2003. Papal representative to the funeral of Cardinal Franz König March 27, 2004, Vienna, Austria. Participated in the conclave of April 18 to 19, 2005 and was elected pope.
Papacy. Elected pope on April 19, 2005; took the name Benedict XVI. The ceremony to mark the beginning of his pontificate took place on April 24, 2005, at 10 a.m. Cardinal Jorge Arturo Medina Estévez, protodeacon of S. Saba, bestowed the pallium; and Cardinal Angelo Sodano, bishop of the title of the suburbicarian see of Albano, subdean of the College of Cardinals, the ring of the fisherman. Celebrated mass and took possession of the patriarchal Lateran basilica on May 7, 2005. He celebrated five consistories for the creation of ninety cardinals. He issued three encyclical letters: Deus Caritas Est, December 25, 2005; Spe Salvi, November 30, 2007; and Caritas in Veritate, June 29, 2009. Resigned the papacy on February 28, 2013 at 8 p.m., Roman time. He became Pope emeritus. On July 4, 2015, in Castel Gandolfo, he received an honorary doctorate from the John Paul II Pontifical University of Kraków and another one from the Academy of Music of that city.
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Webgraphy. His arms and biography, in English, Libreria Editrice Vaticana; photographs and biography by Michael Frassetto, in English, Ecyclopaedia Britannica; photograph and biography, in Italian, Enciclopedia on line, Treccani; photographs and biography, in English, Wikipedia; his arms, as cardinal, Araldica Vaticana; his episcopal lineage by Charles N. Bransom, Jr., in English, Apostolic Succession & Episcopal Lineages in the Roman Catholic Church; Wiedersehen mit Wegbegleitern. Ratzinger-Schülerkreis zieht Ökumene-Bilanz, domradio.de, 22.8.2012; Ratzinger, Vatican II and the summer of 1962 by Gianni Valente, Vatican Insider, 02/24/2012; Benedictus XVI Joseph Ratzinger 19.IV.2005 - 28.II.2013, vatican.va; Benedict XVI’s resignation is a first for Canon Law, Vatican Insider, pubblicato il 11/02/2013; ultima modifica il 11/02/2013 alle ore 18:21; Lombardi: “Ratzinger slept well and will spend today praying”, Vatican Insider, pubblicato il 01/03/2013, ultima modifica il 01/03/2013 alle ore 15:18; Ratzinger returns home to the Vatican and receives a warm welcome from Francis, Vatican Insider, pubblicato il 02/05/2013, ultima modifica il 02/05/2013 alle ore 19:14; The secret report Benedict wrote for Francis, Vatican Insider, pubblicato il 22/03/2013, ultima modifica il 22/03/2013 alle ore 18:14; A resignation that changed the course of history, Vatican Insider, pubblicato il 10/02/2014, ultima modifica il 10/02/2014 alle ore 16:25; From Pope to “pilgrim”: Benedict XVI’s final days as Pope, Vatican Insider, pubblicato il 10/02/2014, ultima modifica il 10/02/2014 alle ore 18:28; El joven Ratzinger, el matriomnio y el «regalo envenenado» del estocismo al cristianismo by Gianni Valente, Vatican Insider, 10/16/2014; Ratzinger-Daniélou sul filo della storia by Filippo Rizzi, Avvenire, 11 febbraio 2015; When Father Joseph Ratzinger Predicted the Future of the Church by Tod Worner, Aleteia, Jun 13, 2016; Benedetto XVI: "San Bonaventura attuale anche oggi" by Marco Mancini, ACI Stampa, Città del Vaticano, 16 novembre, 2017 / 6:00 PM; Benedicto XVI escribe un mensaje a los participantes del Congreso “Deus Summe Congnoscibilis” by Mireia Bonilla, Ecclesia Digital, 16 de noviembre 2017; El Papa recuerda la riqueza de las enseñanzas de Benedicto XVI en los Premios Ratzinger by Álvaro de Juana, ACI, Vaticano, 18 Nov. 17 / 07:36 am; Benedicto XVI recibe a teólogos premiados por su contribución al diálogo fe-razón, ACI, Vaticano, 18 Nov. 17 / 08:01 am; Pope Francis calls Benedict's teaching 'precious heritage' by Cindy Wooden, The Boston Pilot, CNS, Vatican City, 11/20/2017; Pint-ifex Maximus: A Brand-New Beer to Honor Benedict XVI by Daniel Blackman, National Catholic Register, Dec. 5, 2017; Cinco años de @Pontifex, Ecclesia Digital, 12 de diciembre de 2017; Francisco visita a Benedicto XVI ante la Navidad, Ecclesia Digital, 25 de diciembre de 2017; El Papa Francisco visita al Papa emérito Benedicto XVI by Anita Bourdin, Zenit, 26 diciembre 2017; Benedetto XVI: card. Müller ha difeso la tradizione nello spirito di Papa Francesco by Bernd Hagenkord, vaticannews.va, Città del Vaticano, 27 dicembre 2017, 13:27; Conservative Catholic dissidents attack Popes Francis and Benedict by Thomas Reese, National Catholic Reporter, Jan 3, 2018; Joseph Ratzinger teologo. Non "modernista" ma moderno by Antonio Caragliu, Settimo Cielo, 04 gen 2018; Why Ratzinger Is Not a Heretic. The Defense Speaks by Francesco Arzillo, Settimo Cielo, 10 gen 2018; Cardinal Ratzinger’s Far-Sighted Address on Current Challenges in the Church by Edward Pentin, Natiocanl Catholic Register, Feb 6, 2018; Pilgrim pope: Benedict says he's journeying toward God by Cindy Wooden, The Boston Pilot, CNS, Vatican City, 2/7/2018; Benedict XVI: ‘I Am on a Pilgrimage Towards Home’ by Edward Petin, National Catholic Register, Feb 7, 2018; Autoridad vaticana explica cuál es el estado de salud de Benedicto XVI by Walter Sánches Silva, ACI Prensa, 8 de febrero de 2018 10:46 am; La renuncia de Benedicto XVI “fue un gesto grandioso” de amor a la Iglesia, ACI Prensa, 9 de febrero de 2018 8:45 am; Il y a cinq ans, Benoît XVI renonçait au pontificat, vaticannews.va, 10 février 2018, 16:48, with video and audio; “Benedetto XVI un rivoluzionario incompreso”, Vatican Insider, Torino, pubblicato il 10/02/2018, ultima modifica il 10/02/2018 alle ore 15:31; Benedict XVI’s Abdication, Five Years Later by Father Raymond J. de Souza, National Catholic Register, Feb. 11, 2018; „Benedikt XVI. setzt sein theologisches Nachdenken fort“ by Stefan von Kempis, vaticannews.va, Vatikanstadt, 11 Februar 2018, 10:40, with audio; Benoît XVI serait atteint d’une maladie nerveuse paralysante, Aleteia, 14 février 2018; Benedict’s aides: No, pope emeritus does not have neurological disease, Aleteia, Feb 14, 2018; Benedicto XVI: La Santa Sede desmiente los rumores de una enfermedad degenerativa by Anne Kurian, Zenit, 14 febrero 2018; Vatican denies report Pope Benedict has degenerative disease by Junno Arocho Esteves, The Boston Pilot, CNS, Vatican City, 2/15/2018; We might still have surprises from Benedict XVI, says Cardinal Ouellet, Aleteia, Feb 16, 2018; Análisis: Tu sigues siendo Pedro by Pablo D´Elias, diócesis Maldonado–Rocha de Uruguay, Zenit, 19 febrero 2018; Benedicto XVI reaparece en una fotografía muy reciente, Ecclesia Digital, 20 de febrero de 2018; Un día como hoy hace 5 años Benedicto XVI se despidió como Sumo Pontífice, ACI Prensa, 28 de febrero de 2018 1:34 am; Benedicto XVI alaba la “continuidad interior entre los dos pontificados” by Rosa Die Alcolea, Zenit, 12 marzo 2018; Benedetto XVI: continuità con il pontificato di Papa Francesco, vaticannews.va, 12 marzo 2018, 18:00, with video; Benedict XVI underscores continuity of Pope Francis’ pontificate, AsiNews.it, 03/13/2018, 09.38; Retired pope says criticism against Pope Francis is 'foolish prejudice' by Junno Arocha Esteves, The Boston Piltot, Vatican City, CNS, 3/12/2018; The Double "Foolish Prejudice." The Complete Text of the Letter by Benedict XVI by Sandro Magister, Settimo Cielo, 13 mar 2018; Vatican Reveals Full Text of Benedict XVI’s Letter to Msgr. Viganò by Edward pentin, National Catholic Register, Mar. 17, 2018; Vaticano publica carta completa de Benedicto XVI sobre "La teología de Francisco", ACI Prensa, 17 de marzo de 2018 3:52 pm | última actualización 17 de marzo de 2018 9:09 pm; Letter from Benedict brings down Vatican media czar by Thomas Reese, National Catholic Reporter, Vatican City, Mar 21, 2018; Analysis: Benedict XVI's letter - what the reaction revealed by Andrea Gagliarducci, The Pilot, CNA, Thursday, Vatican City, March 22, 2018; Benoît XVI célèbrera Pâques en privé au Vatican, vaticannews.va, 31 mars 2018, 14:55; Leyendo la Biblia con el Papa Benedicto XVI, Ecclesia Digital, Madrid, 2 de abril de 2018; Un documentaire pour les 91 ans de Benoît XVI by Manuella Affejee (with Vatican Insider), vaticannews.va, Cité du Vatican, 13 avril 2018, 17:53; 10 datos curiosos sobre la vida del Papa Emérito Benedicto XVI, Ecclesia Digital, 15 de abril de 2018; Benoît XVI fête ses 91 ans en famille by Isabelle Cousturié, Aleteia, 16 avril 2018; Benedetto XVI: mons. Ganswein a Tv2000, “ha cantato e fatto piccola passeggiata”, Servizio Informazione Reliogiosa, 16 aprile 2018 @ 20:05; Recalling Pope Benedict XVI’s Human-Rights Appeal by Lucia Silecchia, National Catholic Register, Apr. 18, 2018; Revisiting the Dictatorship of Relativism by Aaron Pidel, S.J., America, the Jesuit Review, Vol.218 / No.11, May 14, 2018; Fundador da Editora Molokai encontra Bento XVI, vaticannews.va, Cidade do Vaticano, 05 julho 2018, 10:36, with audio; Dialogo ebraico-cattolico, un saggio di Benedetto XVI by Alessandro De Carolis, vaticannews.va, Città del Vaticano, 06 luglio 2018, 16:32; Des nouvelles de Benoît XVI by Vianney de Villaret, Aleteia, 26 juillet 2018; Benedicto XVI escribió un especial saludo al párroco de su ciudad natal, Ecclesia Digital, 24 de agosto de 2018; Benedict's secretary: Reports ex-pope confirmed Vigano's letter 'fake news' by Joshua J. McElwee, National Catholic Reporter, Aug 28, 2018; Secretario de Benedicto XVI: Papa Emérito no ha confirmado testimonio de ex nuncio, ACI Prensa, 29 de agosto de 2018 12:14 pm; Pope Benedict, in retired seclusion, looms in the opposition to Pope Francis by Chico Harlan and Stefano Pitrelli, The Washington Post, September 2 at 12:39 PM; Este es el programa que Benedicto XVI dejó para afrontar los abusos en la Iglesia, ACI Prensa, 16 de septiembre de 2018 10:27 am; Benedict XVI Discusses His Resignation in Newly Published Letters by Edward Pentin, National Catholic Register, Sep. 19, 2018; In Private Letters, Benedict Rebukes Critics of Pope Francis by Jason Horowitz, The New York Times, Rome, Sept. 20, 2018; Quand Montserrat Caballé éblouissait Benoît XVI en chantant le Notre Père by Caroline Becker, Aleteia, 08 octobre 2018, with videos; „Nicht so agil": Heiligsprechung am Sonntag ohne Papst Benedikt, vaticannews.va, 12 Oktober 2018, 15:53; Francisco visita al Papa Emérito en la víspera de la canonización de Pablo VI by Rosa Die Alcolea, Zenit, octubre 12, 2018; 10 Jahre Institut Papst Benedikt XVI. in Regensburg, vaticannews.va, 02 November 2018, 12:04; A Visit to Benedict’s Bavaria by Filip Mazurczak, National Catholic Register, Nov. 4, 2018; Benedicto XVI: “Los Derechos, una cuestión fundamental para la convivencia humana” by Renato Martinez, vaticannews.va, Ciudad del Vaticano, 15 noviembre 2018, 10:35; Interview: „Ratzingers Theologie ist für alle gedacht“, interview by Hendrik Schmiemann, vaticannews.va, Vatikanstadt, 16 November 2018, 14:16; Benedetto XVI: con gli ebrei non si tratta di “missione”, ma di “dialogo”, Servizio Informazione Religiosa, 26 novembre 2018 @ 17:35; Benedikt XVI.: „Das Heil kommt nun einmal von den Juden“, vaticannews.va, 26 November 2018, 10:09, with audio; Retired pope corrects 'false insinuation' by German theologian by Juno Arocho Esteves, The Boston Pilot, CNS, Vatican City, 11/28/2018; Deutschland: Kardinal würdigt Benedikt XVI. als „Kirchenvater“, vaticannews.va, 03 Dezember 2018, 11:20; 70 Jahre Menschenrechte: Wie denkt der emeritierte Papst darüber?, vaticannews.va, 07 Dezember 2018, 08:00, with 2 audios; Vatikan: Die Ratzingers feiern gemeinsam... nach Weihnachten, vaticannews.va, 21 Dezember 2018, 11:22; Francisco visita al Papa emérito para felicitarle la Navidad, Zenit, diciembre 21, 2018 20:28; Ratzinger kann sich keine Frau als Domspatzen-Chefin vorstellen, vaticannews.va, 14 Januar 2019, 13:34.
(1) He was not the bishop who consecrated him in 1977, only his namesake.
Birth. October 6, 1909, Florence, Italy. Son of Luigi Ciappi and Teresa Anichini. He spent his infancy in Borgo San Lorenzo, Mugello.
Education. In November 1919, he entered the Dominican school in Lucca; he could not attend school in Florence because of the earthquake that had affected the region; he distinguished himself in the ginnasiali and liceali studies. Joined Order of Preachers (Dominicans); on October 4, 1925, he received the religious habit and the name Luigi from Father Ludovico Fanfani, O.P., provincial prior; started the novitiate in the convent of Santa Maria della Quercia, Viterbo, see of a national novitiate for Italy; he made his first religious profession on October 8, 1926; sent to the convent of San Domenico, Pistoia, where he studied philosophy and theology from 1927 to 1929; from 1929, he studied theology at the Pontifical Angelicum Athenaeum, Rome (it became the Pontifical University of S. Tommaso d'Aquino in 1963); on October 31, 1930, he made his solemn profession before Father Ludovico Fanfani, O.P., in the convent of S. Maria sopra Minerva; obtained a doctorate in theology; thesis: De divina misericordia ut prima causa operum Dei), 1934; University of Louvain, Louvain, Belgium; University of Fribourg, Fribourg, Switzerland.
Priesthood. Ordained, March 26, 1932, Holy Saturday, patriarchal Lateran basilica, Rome, by Cardinal Francesco Marchetti Selvaggiani, vicar of Rome. Further studies, 1932-1935. Faculty member and dean of the Theological Faculty of the Pontifical Angelicum Athenaeum, Rome, 1935-1955; of the Institute Beato Angelico, Rome. Master of the Sacred Palace, May 5, 1955; title changed to theologian of the Pontifical Household by the motu proprio Pontificalis domus, March 28, 1968. Attended the First Ordinary Assembly of the Synod of Bishops, Vatican City, September 29 to October 29, 1967.
Episcopate. Elected titular bishop of Miseno, June 10, 1977. Consecrated, June 18, 1977, basilica of S. Maria sopra Minerva, Rome, by Cardinal Dino Staffa, prefect of the Supreme Tribunal of Apostolic Signature, assisted by Jean Jérôme Hamer, O.P., titular archbishop of Lorio, secretary of the S.C. for the Doctrine of the Faith, and by Angelo Raimondo Verardo, O.P., bishop of Ventimiglia-San Remo. His episcopal motto was Verbum Spirans Amorem.
Cardinalate. Created cardinal deacon in the consistory of June 27, 1977; received the red biretta and the deaconry of Nostra Signora del S. Cuore, June 27, 1977. Pro-theologian of the Pontifical Household, 1977-1989. Participated in the conclave of August 25 to 26, 1978, which elected Pope John Paul I. Participated in the conclave of October 14 to 16, 1978, which elected Pope John Paul II. Attended the First Plenary Assembly of the Sacred College of Cardinals, November 5 to 9, 1979. Opted for order of cardinal priests and the title of Sacro Cuore di Gesù aggonizante a Vitinia, June 22, 1987. Lost the right to participate in the conclave when turned eighty years of age on October 6, 1989.
Death. April 23, 1996, Rome. Buried in the chapel of the Order of Preachers, Campo Verano cemetery, Rome (1).
Bibliography. Oliva, Adriano. "Il Cardinale Mario Luigi Ciappi: un teolgo al servizio di cinque papai", in Firenze e suoi cardinali (Firenze : Pagnini Editore, 2005), p. 141-145.
Webgraphy. His photograph, arms and biography, in Italian, Wikipedia; photographs, portrait and arms, Araldica Vaticana.
(1) This is the text of the inscription on his tomb, kindly provided by Mr. Eman Bonnici, from Malta:
©1998-2018 Salvador Miranda.