Biography of Cardinal Pierbattista Pizzaballa

Biography of Cardinal Pierbattista Pizzaballa

  • Pierbattista Pizzaballa was born in Cologno al Serio (Bergamo) on 21 April 1965.
  • He received the Franciscan religious habit on September 5, 1984, in Ferrara (Santo Spirito) and spent the year of novitiate at the Franciscan Shrine of La Verna (Arezzo, Italy).
  • He made his Temporary Profession in La Verna, on September 7, 1985, and his Solemn Profession on October 10, 1989, in the Church of St. Anthony in Bologna.
  • On September 15, 1990, he was ordained priest in the cathedral church of Bologna, with the imposition of hands of Cardinal Giacomo Biffi.
  • On October 1990, he was transferred to the Holy Land, in Jerusalem.
  • From July 2, 1999, he formally entered in service to the Custody of the Holy Land.
  • He obtained a Licenciate Degree in Biblical Theology at the Studium Biblicum Franciscanum of Jerusalem.
  • Patriarch Pizzaballa speaks Italian, Modern Hebrew and English.

Offices of responsibility

  • In 1995 he was responsible for the publication of the Roman Missal in Hebrew, and translated various liturgical texts in Hebrew for the Catholic Communities in Israel.
  • He was also the Vicar General of the Latin Patriarch of Jerusalem for the pastoral care of Hebrew-speaking Catholics in Israel.
  • Since 2008 he has been a Consultor in the Commission for relations with Judaism of the Pontifical Council for the Promotion of Unity among Christians.
  • Mgr Pierbattista Pizzaballa was Custos of the Holy Land for twelve years (05/05/2004 – 20/05/2016).
  • He began his service as Custos of the Holy Land on June 2, 2004.
  • On May 2010 he was reappointed, by the Minister General of the Order of Friars Minor, for another three-year term and, on June 2013, for a further three years.
  • Nomination as Apostolic Administrator of the Latin Patriarchate of Jerusalem and then Patriarch
  • On June 24, 2016, His Holiness Pope Francis appointed the Very Reverend Pierbattista Pizzaballa as Apostolic Administrator sede vacante of the Latin Patriarchate of Jerusalem, until the appointment of a new Patriarch.
  • The Episcopal Ordination of Archbishop Pizzaballa took place in September 2016, in Bergamo, Italy.
  • On May 31, 2017, Archbishop Pizzaballa was appointed member of the Congregation for the Oriental Churches by the Holy Father Francis.
  • Appointment as Jerusalem Patriarch for the Latins
  • On October 24, 2020, Pope Francis has announced the appointment of Archbishop Pierbattista Pizzaballa as the Latin Patriarch in Jerusalem after his service as Apostolic Administrator for a period of four years.
  • On October 28, 2020, Pope Francis bestowed the pallium on H. B. Pierbattista Pizzaballa at Santa Marta Chapel.
  • On September 30, 2023, Pope Francis elevated Patriarch Pierbattista to the rank of cardinal.


  • “La presenza francescana in Terra Santa”. Franciscan Printing Press, 2005, ISBN 978-88-6-24000-91
  • “Terra Santa”, interview with Giorgio Acquaviva, Editrice La Scuola, Brescia, 2008, ISBN 978-88-35023-142
  • “Le comunità cristiane in Medio Oriente oggi. Dialogo fra le giovani generazioni come unica possibile futura via di distensione”, Pierbattista Pizzaballa-Euntes Docete-LXIV-3-201, Editrice Urbaniana University Press 978-88-401-4041-4
  • “Il Custode di Terra Santa – un colloquio con padre Pierbattista Pizzaballa”, Piergiorgio Pescali, ADDEditore, Torino, 2014, ISBN 978-88-67830756
  • “Il potere del cuore. Il Medio Oriente nel racconto del Custode di Terra Santa”, Pierbattista Pizzaballa, Edizioni Terra Santa, Milano, Year of Publication 2016 ISBN 978-88-6240-379-5

Honorific decorations

  • Conventual Chaplain Grand Cross ad honorem of the Sovereign Military Order of Malta. 21 February 2013
  • Commander of the Order of the Star of Italy (ex Stella della solidarietà italiana). 12 January 2007
  • Grand Official of the Order of the Star of Italy (ex Stella della solidarietà italiana). 25 May 2015
  • Grand Commander of the Orthodox Order of Cross-Bearers of the Holy Sepulchre. 30 May 2016


Biography of Cardinal Pierbattista Pizzaballa