Mario Zenari

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Mario Zenari
Cardinal, Apostolic Nuncio to Syria
ChurchRoman Catholic Church
Appointed30 December 2008
PredecessorGiovanni Battista Morandini
Other postsCardinal-Deacon of Santa Maria delle Grazie alle Fornaci fuori Porta Cavalleggeri
Ordination5 July 1970
by Giuseppe Carraro
Consecration25 September 1999
by Angelo Sodano
Created cardinal19 November 2016
by Pope Francis
RankCardinal Deacon
Personal details
Birth nameMario Zenari
Born (1946-01-05) 5 January 1946 (age 73)
Villafranca di Verona, Verona, Italy
Previous post
  • Permanent Observer to the Office of the U.N. and Specialized Institutions in Vienna (1994-99)
  • Permanent Observer to the U.N. Industrial Development Organization (1994-99)
  • Permanent Representative to the International Atomic Energy Agency (1994-99)
  • Permanent Representative to the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (1994-99)
  • Apostolic Nuncio to Cote d'Ivoire (1999-2004)
  • Apostolic Nuncio to Niger (1999-2004)
  • Apostolic Nuncio to Burkina Faso (1999-2004)
  • Apostolic Nuncio to Sri Lanka (2004-08)
  • Titular Archbishop of Iulium Carnicum (1999-2016)
Motto"Levate Oculos Vestros"
(Lift up your eyes)
Coat of armsMario Zenari's coat of arms
Ordination history of
Mario Zenari
Priestly ordination
Date5 July 1970
Episcopal consecration
Principal consecratorAngelo Sodano
Co-consecratorsFlavio Roberto Carraro, OFM Cap.
Marcello Zago, OMI
Date25 September 1999
Elevated byPope Francis
Date19 November 2016
Styles of
Mario Zenari
Coat of arms of Mario Zenari.svg
Reference styleHis Eminence
Spoken styleYour Eminence
Informal styleCardinal

Mario Zenari (born 5 January 1946) is an Italian prelate of the Catholic Church who has been a cardinal since 2016. He has served his entire ecclesiastical career in the diplomatic service of the Holy See, holding senior positions beginning in 1999. He has been Apostolic Nuncio to Syria since 30 December 2008. He was nuncio to Sri Lanka from 2004 to 2008.


Mario Zenari was born in 1946 in Verona. He received his ordination to the priesthood on 5 July 1970 in Verona from the Venerable Giuseppe Carraro while later being appointed to several diplomatic positions to non-governmental organizations by Pope John Paul II in 1994. He was later named as the Titular Archbishop of Iulium Carnicum on 12 July 1999, while simultaneously being named as the apostolic nuncio to two African nations (Niger and Cote d'Ivoire); he was later named a week later on 24 July as the nuncio to Burkina Faso.

He received his episcopal consecration on 25 September 1999 from Cardinal Angelo Sodano and served as the nuncio to those three nations until 10 May 2004 when he was removed from those positions in favor of being named as the nuncio to Sri Lanka. Zenari remained there until 30 December 2008 when Pope Benedict XVI appointed him as the nuncio to Syria where he was stationed during the onslaught of the Syrian Civil War that broke out in 2011.

Pope Francis on 9 October 2016 announced that he would create Archbishop Zenari a cardinal on 19 November 2016 in the papal consistory, citing his work for the "beloved and martyred Syria".[1] He was made a Cardinal Deacon on that day and assigned to the church of Santa Maria delle Grazie alle Fornaci fuori Porta Cavalleggeri.[2] Francis made him a member of the Congregation for the Oriental Churches on 23 December 2017.[3]


  1. ^ "Annuncio di Concistoro il 19 novembre per la creazione di nuovi Cardianali". Holy See. 9 October 2016. Retrieved 10 October 2016.
  2. ^ "Titular churches and diaconates of the new cardinals, 19.11.2016" (Press release). Holy See Press Office. 19 November 2016. Retrieved 19 November 2016.
  3. ^ "Resignations and Appointments, 23.12.2017" (Press release). Holy See Press Office. 23 December 2017. Retrieved 25 December 2017.

External links[edit]

Catholic Church titles
Preceded by
Alfred Kipkoech Arap Rotich
Titular Archbishop of Iulium Carnicum
Succeeded by
Pedro Sergio de Jesús Mena Díaz
Preceded by
Duraisamy Simon Lourdusamy
Cardinal Deacon of Santa Maria delle Grazie alle Fornaci fuori Porta Cavalleggeri
Diplomatic posts
Preceded by
Luigi Ventura
Apostolic Nuncio to the Ivory Coast, Niger and Burkina Faso
Succeeded by
Mario Roberto Cassari
Preceded by
Thomas Yeh Sheng-nan
Apostolic Nuncio to Sri Lanka
Succeeded by
Joseph Spiteri
Preceded by
Giovanni Battista Morandini
Apostolic Nuncio to Syria