Cardinal Mario Zenari, Apostolic Nuncio in Syria, was born in Villafranca (Verona, Italy) on January 5th, 1946. He was ordained a priest on July 5th, 1970 and incardinated in the Diocese of Verona. He holds a degree in Canon Law.
He entered the diplomatic service of the Holy See in 1980 and subsequently served in the Papal Representaitons in Senegal, Liberia, Colombia, Germany and Romania. On March 25th, 1993 he was appointed nunciature counsellor.
On February 7th, 1994 he was appointed Permanent Observer of the Holy See at the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), at the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), Permanent Observer of the Holy See to the United Nations Organization for Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) and at the United Nations Office in Vienna..
On July 12th, 1999 Pope John Paul II appointed him apostolic nuncio in Ivory Coast and Niger, at the same time elevating him to the titular see of Zuglio with dignity of archbishop. A few days later, on July 24th, he was appointed as nuncio also n Burkina Faso. He received episcopal consecration on September 25th of the same year.
On May 10th, 2004 he was appointed apostolic nuncio in Sri Lanka and on December 30th, 2008, Pope Benedict XVI appointed him as apostolic nuncio in Syria.
Created and proclaimed Cardinal by Pope Francis in the consistory of 19 November 2016, diaconate of Santa Maria delle Grazie alle Fornaci fuori Porta Cavalleggeri.
- Member of the Congregation for the Oriental Churches.