Loris Francesco Capovilla

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His Eminence
Loris Francesco Capovilla
Cardinal-Priest of Santa Maria in Trastevere
Church Roman Catholic Church
In office 2014 - current
Predecessor Józef Glemp
Successor Incumbent
Ordination 23 May 1940
by Adeodato Giovanni Piazza
Consecration 16 July 1967
by Pope Paul VI
Created Cardinal 22 February 2014
by Pope Francis
Rank Cardinal-Priest
Personal details
Born (1915-10-14) 14 October 1915 (age 99)
Pontelongo, Veneto, Kingdom of Italy
Previous post
Motto Oboedientia et Pax (Obedience and Peace)
Coat of arms {{{coat_of_arms_alt}}}

Loris Francesco Capovilla (born 14 October 1915) is an Italian Roman Catholic prelate. At the age of 99, he is one of the oldest Roman Catholic bishops and, since his elevation in February 2014, the oldest member of the College of Cardinals.


Capovilla was born in Pontelongo and was ordained a priest of the Archdiocese of Venice on 23 May 1940 by Cardinal Piazza, Patriarch of Venice.[1] He formed a close friendship with Cardinal Roncalli (later Pope John XXIII) when the cardinal was the Patriarch of Venice. He claims, however, to have never called himself Roncalli's friend, but considered him his bishop, his father, and his patriarch. He remained at Roncalli's side as papal secretary after Roncalli's election to the papacy in 1958 until his death in 1963.[1]

Capovilla was appointed bishop of the Archdiocese of Chieti-Vasto on 26 June 1967 and consecrated on 16 July 1967 by Pope Paul VI.[1] He chose as his motto the one used by Pope John XXIII. On 23 September 1971 he was appointed prelate to the Loreto Prelature and the Titular archbishop of Mesembria. His resignation from his position in Loreto was accepted on 10 December 1988.[1]

On 12 January 2014 Pope Francis announced that Capovilla would be elevated to the College of Cardinals on 22 February 2014. Capovilla said it was a "sign of attention to all those thousands of priests around the world who have spent their lives in silence, in poverty, in obedience, happy to serve God and our humble people, who need, as Pope Francis continually says, tenderness, friendship, respect and love."[2]

Capovilla received a dispensation and did not attend the consistory where he was named cardinal. He said: "I'm not strong enough and I feel uncomfortable at the thought of meeting so many people." He was named Cardinal-Priest of Santa Maria in Trastevere.[1] Cardinal Angelo Sodano, the Dean of the College of Cardinals, bestowed the biretta and cardinal's ring upon Capovilla on 1 March.[3]

In 1964, he published a memoir, The Heart and Mind of John XXIII: His Secretary's Intimate Recollection (published by Hawthorn Books). As of 2013, he lives in Sotto il Monte Giovanni XXIII, about 25 miles northeast of Milan.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d e "Profile: CAPOVILLA, Loris Francesco". Cardinals of the Holy Roman Church. Retrieved 22 February 2014. 
  2. ^ Rocca, Francis X. (5 February 2014). "At 98, Blessed John XXIII's secretary to be oldest living cardinal". National Catholic Reporter. Retrieved 5 February 2014. 
  3. ^ "Beretta Cardinalizia per Capovilla". Avvenire. 1 March 2014. Retrieved 6 March 2014. 

External links[edit]

Catholic Church titles
Preceded by
Robert Leiber
Personal Papal Secretary
Succeeded by
Pasquale Macchi
Honorary titles
Preceded by
Fiorenzo Angelini
Oldest living cardinal
22 February 2014 –
Succeeded by