Latin Patriarch

Archbishop Pierbattista Pizzaballa

Cardinal Pierbattista Pizzaballa was appointed as Latin Patriarch of Jerusalem by Pope Francis in October 2020. He was made a cardinal on 30 September 2023.

Cardinal Pizzaballa was born in Cologno al Serio (Bergamo) on 21 April 1965, son of Pietro and Maria Maddalena Tadini.

He attended Secondary School at the Minor Seminary “Le Grazie” of Rimini and obtained his diploma in classical studies at the Archiepiscopal Seminary of Ferrara (June 1984).

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.

He made his Solemn Profession on October 10, 1989, in the Church of St. Anthony in Bologna.

On 15 September 1990 he was ordained priest in the cathedral church of Bologna, with the imposition of hands of Cardinal Giacomo Biffi.

After spending one year in Rome, he was transferred to the Holy Land, in Jerusalem, in October 1990.

From July 2, 1999, he formally entered in service to the Custody of the Holy Land.

After his philosophical-theological studies, he obtained:
A Licenciate Degree in Biblical Theology at the Studium Biblicum Franciscanum of Jerusalem.

Most Rev. 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 lectured Hebrew at the Studium Biblicum Franciscanum.

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 is a Consultor in the Commission for relations with Judaism of the Pontifical Council for the Promotion of Unity among Christians.

Father Pierbattista Pizzaballa had been Custos of the Holy Land for twelve years (05.05.2004 – 20.05.2016).

He made his solemn entry:
In Saint Saviour on 2 June 2004
In the Holy Sepulchre on 3 June 2004
In Bethlehem on 4 June 2004
In Nazareth on 9 June 2004.

Fr. Pierbattista Pizzaballa was nominated as Custos of the Holy Land for the first time in May 2004, for a period of six years.

In May 2010 he was reconfirmed by the Minister General of the Order of Friars Minor, for another mandate of three years, and in June 2013 for a further mandate of three years.

Nomination as Apostolic Administrator of the Latin Patriarchate of Jerusalem
On June 24, 2016, having accepted the resignation of His Beatitude Patriarch Fouad Twal who had reached the legal age, 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.

On July 15, 2016, during a meeting of the Latin Patriarchate Advisory Board, His Beatitude Patriarch Fouad Twal, Latin Patriarch Emeritus of Jerusalem, handed over his powers to Archbishop-designate Pierbattista Pizzaballa, new Apostolic Administrator, according to the decree of nomination issued by Pope Francis.

The Episcopal Ordination of Very Rev. Pizzaballa took place in September 2016, in Bergamo, Italia.


  • “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


Grand Magisterium – Vatican

Latin Patriarchate of Jerusalem

The Holy See

Custodia Terrae Sanctae

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