Prosper Grech

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His Eminence
Prospero Grech
Cardinal-Deacon of Santa Maria Goretti
Cardinal Grech 2014.jpg
Cardinal Grech in 2014
See Santa Maria Goretti
Appointed 18 February 2012
Installed 21 April 2012
Predecessor None
Ordination 25 March 1950
Consecration 8 February 2012
by Paul Cremona
Created cardinal 18 February 2012
by Benedict XVI
Rank Cardinal-Deacon
Personal details
Birth name Stanley Grech
Born (1925-12-24) 24 December 1925 (age 92)
Vittoriosa (Birgu), Malta
Nationality  Maltese
Denomination Roman Catholic
Motto in te Domine speravi
Coat of arms Prospero Grech's coat of arms
Styles of
Prosper Grech
Coat of arms of Prospero Grech.svg
Reference style His Eminence
Spoken style Your Eminence
Informal style Cardinal

Prospero Grech (born 24 December 1925) is a Maltese Augustinian friar, who co-founded the Patristic Institute Augustinianum in Rome and was created a cardinal on 18 February 2012.

Formation and studies[edit]

Born Stanley Grech at Vittoriosa, Malta, on 23 December 1925, he studied at the Lyceum.[1]

Joining the Augustinian Order in 1943, he was ordained to the priesthood at the Basilica of Saint John Lateran in Rome in 1950. Prior to being ordained to the priesthood in 1950, while Malta was under siege during the Second World War, Grech served as a gunner in the Royal Malta Artillery.[2] Grech studied philosophy at St. Mark's Priory, Rabat, Malta, and theology in St. Monica's College, Rome. He graduated Doctor of Theology from the Gregorian University, Rome (1953), obtained a Licentiate in Sacred Scripture from the Pontifical Biblical Institute, Rome (1954), and a Diploma in Educational Psychology from Fribourg, Switzerland (1951). Fr. Grech conducted research in Semitic languages at the universities of Oxford (1957–58) and Cambridge (1958–59).[3]


In 1959, Father Grech was appointed lecturer at the Augustinian Theological College, Rabat. He also served as secretary at the Vatican Vicariate and professor at the Augustine Institute, Rome.[1] During his time in Rome one of his duties included dressing Pope John XXIII and Paul VI for liturgical functions. In addition, during the 1963 Papal conclave, he was personally asked to hear Giovanni Battista Montini's confession a couple of hours prior to his election as Pope Paul VI.[2] In 1970, together with Fr. Agostino Trapè, Grech founded the Institutum Patristicum Augustinianum attached to the Lateran University in Rome[1] and served as its president between 1971 and 1979. He is a member of the Studiorum Novi Testamenti Societas (SNTS), and member of the Pontifical Biblical Commission.

Grech lectured for over thirty years at the Pontifical Biblical Institute in Rome on hermeneutics. He was professor of Biblical Theology at the Lateran University in Rome, Counsellor to the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith and Secretary of the Maltese Augustinian province. He was also appointed Apostolic Visitor for seminaries in India.

Grech has authored various articles and publications and has presented lectures on the Bible, hermeneutics and patristics. He organised or took part in various meetings both locally and internationally on the same subjects.

He has lectured at the Accademia dei Lincei in Rome and at the Consiglio Nazionale delle Ricerche and collaborated with the Enciclopedia Italiana Treccani. On 13 December 2011, he was appointed a Companion of the National Order of Merit of the Republic of Malta.


Pope Benedict XVI announced on 6 January 2012, that he would create Father Grech a cardinal, together with 21 others, on 18 February 2012. He was the first Augustinian made a cardinal in 111 years.[4]

As canon law requires cardinals to be bishops unless they receive special dispensation, Grech was consecrated a bishop on 8 February 2012 by Archbishop Paul Cremona, OP, Archbishop of Malta, and was assisted by Archbishop Giuseppe Versaldi, President of the Prefecture of the Economic Affairs of the Holy See (another cardinal designate), and Mario Grech, Bishop of Gozo. Present at the ceremony were President George Abela of Malta; the prime minister, Lawrence Gonzi; the leader of the opposition, Joseph Muscat; and a large congregation which included Augustinian priests led by their Superior General Father Robert F. Prevost, O.S.A. He took the episcopal motto In te Domine speravi.

On 10 February he was created cardinal in the consistory of 18 February 2012 and was created Cardinal-Deacon of Santa Maria Goretti.

He delivered the opening meditation at the 2013 conclave, but was never an elector because he became cardinal after reaching age 80.


  • Rafael Lazcano, Episcopologio agustiniano. Agustiniana, Guadarrama (Madrid), 2014, vol. I, p. 364-386.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c "Pope to appoint Maltese Cardinal". Times of Malta. 6 January 2012. Retrieved 12 April 2012. 
  2. ^ a b Scarisbrick, Veronica (16 February 2012). "Cardinal Prosper Grech:'in te Domini speravi'". Vatican Radio. Retrieved 12 April 2012. 
  3. ^ Vella, Matthew (6 January 2012). "Maltese theologian to be appointed Cardinal –". Malta Today. Retrieved 12 April 2012. 
  4. ^ "Il Cardinale Grech, primo agostiniano nel Sacro Collegio dopo 111anni". Retrieved 28 October 2015. 

External links[edit]