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Mario Zenari

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Mario Zenari
Apostolic Nuncio to Syria
Zenari in 2022.
ChurchRoman Catholic Church
Appointed30 December 2008
PredecessorGiovanni Battista Morandini
Other post(s)Cardinal-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
Mario Zenari

(1946-01-05) 5 January 1946 (age 78)
Previous post(s)
  • Apostolic Nuncio to Sri Lanka (2004–08)
  • Apostolic Nuncio to Cote d'Ivoire, Niger and Burkina Faso (1999–2004)
  • 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)
  • Titular Archbishop of Iulium Carnicum (1999–2016)
MottoLevate 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
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 Rosegaferro. He received his ordination to the priesthood on 5 July 1970 in Verona from Bishop Giuseppe Carraro.

To prepare for a diplomatic career he entered the Pontifical Ecclesiastical Academy in 1976.[1]

Diplomatic career[edit]

On 7 February 1994, Pope John Paul II appointed him to several diplomatic positions as papal representative to non-governmental organizations in Vienna.[2] And on 15 June he was given the title monsignor as a Prelate of Honour of His Holiness.[3]

He was named Titular Archbishop of Iulium Carnicum and apostolic nuncio to Burkina Faso, Niger, and Cote d'Ivoire on 12 July 1999.[4] He received his episcopal consecration on 25 September 1999 from Cardinal Angelo Sodano.[5]

On 10 May 2004, he was named the nuncio to Sri Lanka.[6] On 30 December 2008, Pope Benedict XVI appointed him nuncio to Syria[7] where he was stationed during the Syrian Civil War that began in 2011.

Pope Francis on 9 October 2016 announced that he would make Zenari a cardinal in a papal consistory scheduled for 19 November 2016, citing his work for the "beloved and martyred Syria".[8] He was made a Cardinal Deacon on that day and assigned to the church of Santa Maria delle Grazie alle Fornaci fuori Porta Cavalleggeri.[9] Francis made him a member of the Congregation for the Oriental Churches on 23 December 2017.[10]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Pontificia Accademia Ecclesiastica, Ex-alunni 1950 – 1999" (in Italian). Pontifical Ecclesiastical Academy. Retrieved 2 February 2020.
  2. ^ Acta Apostolicae Sedis (PDF) (in Italian). Vol. LXXXVI. 1994. p. 452. Rappresentante Permanente della Santa Sede presso l'Agenzia Internazionale dell'Energia Atomica, Osservatore Permanente della Santa Sede presso l'Organizzazione delle Nazioni Unite per lo Sviluppo Industriale e presso l'Ufficio delle Nazioni Unite e Capo della Delegazione della Santa Sede presso le Istituzioni della Conferenza sulla Sicurezza e Cooperazione in Europa a Vienna
  3. ^ Acta Apostolicae Sedis (PDF). Vol. LXXXVI. 1994. p. 1014.
  4. ^ Acta Apostolicae Sedis (PDF). Vol. LXXXXI. 1999. p. 920.
  5. ^ "Mario Cardinal Zenari [Catholic-Hierarchy]". www.catholic-hierarchy.org. Retrieved 2020-05-30.
  6. ^ "Rinunce e Nomine, 10.05.2004" (Press release) (in Italian). Holy See Press Office. 10 May 2004. Retrieved 6 July 2019.
  7. ^ "Rinunce e Nomine, 30.12.2008" (Press release) (in Italian). Holy See Press Office. 30 December 2008. Retrieved 6 July 2019.
  8. ^ "Annuncio di Concistoro il 19 novembre per la creazione di nuovi Cardianali" (Press release). Holy See Press Office. 9 October 2016. Retrieved 10 October 2016.
  9. ^ "Titular churches and diaconates of the new cardinals, 19.11.2016" (Press release). Holy See Press Office. 19 November 2016. Retrieved 19 November 2016.
  10. ^ "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 Titular Archbishop of Iulium Carnicum
Succeeded by
Pedro Sergio de Jesús Mena Díaz
Preceded by Cardinal Deacon of Santa Maria delle Grazie alle Fornaci fuori Porta Cavalleggeri
Diplomatic posts
Preceded by Apostolic Nuncio to the Ivory Coast, Niger and Burkina Faso
Succeeded by
Preceded by Apostolic Nuncio to Sri Lanka
Succeeded by
Preceded by Apostolic Nuncio to Syria