Cardinal Luigi De Magistris, Major Pro-Penitentiary emeritus, was born in Cagliari on 23 February, 1926.
Although his vocation to the priesthood began at a young age, before entering the seminary he earned a degree in liberal arts at the University of Cagliari.
He moved to Rome to study at the Pontifical Roman Seminary and was ordained a priest on 12 April 1952. He returned to Cagliari and served in parish ministry and at the diocesan ecclesiastical tribunal.
In 1957 he returned to Rome and undertook studies in philosophy and theology at the Pontifical Lateran University.
On 1 October 1958, he entered the service of the Holy See as secretary of the Lateran Athenaeum.
From February 1959 he served in the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, first as a substitute notary, and subsequently as a summist.
In February 1969 he was transferred as a minutant at the Council of Public Affairs of the Church.
On 2 May 1979 he was appointed as regent of the Apostolic Penitentiary.
On 6 March 1996 he was assigned the titular see of Nova and received Episcopal consecration on 28 April 1996.
On 22 November 2001 he was appointed as Major Pro-Penitentiary, a role he fulfilled until 7 October 2003.
He served also as consultor of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments, the Congregation for the Causes of Saints, the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples, the Congregation for the Clergy and the Pontifical Commission “Ecclesia Dei”.
Created and proclaimed Cardinal by Pope Francis in the consistory of 14 February 2015, of the Deaconry of Santissimi Nomi di Gesù e Maria in Via Lata (Most Holy Names of Jesus and Mary on Via Lata).