Cardinal Raniero Cantalamessa, O.F.M. Cap., Preacher of the Papal Household, was born in Colli del Tronto (AP) on 22 July 1934. He was ordained a priest in 1958, and graduated with degrees in theology from the University of Fribourg in Switzerland and in classical letters from the Catholic University of Milan. A former professor of the history of Christian origins and director of the Department of Religious Sciences at the University of the Sacred Heart of Milan, he was a member of the International Theological Commission from 1975 to 1981 and, for twelve years, a member of the Catholic delegation for dialogue with Pentecostal Churches. In 1979 he left teaching in order to devote himself full time to the ministry of the word. He was appointed Preacher of the Papal Household in 1980 by Saint John Paul II, and subsequently confirmed in that office by Pope Benedict XVI in 2005 and by Pope Francis in 2013. In this capacity, every week in Advent and Lent he offers a meditation in the presence of the Pope, Cardinals, Bishops, Prelates and General Superiors of religious orders. He is invited to speak in many countries of the world, often also by members of other Christian denominations. He holds honorary degrees in law from the University of Notre Dame in South Bend, Indiana; in communication sciences from the University of Macerata and in theology from the Franciscan University of Steubenville, Ohio.
In addition to works on the Christology of the Fathers, Easter in the early Church and other themes written from the perspective of a historian of Christian origins, he has published a number of books on spirituality that are the fruit of his preaching in the Papal Household and that have been translated into approximately twenty languages.
Created and proclaimed Cardinal by Pope Francis in the consistory of 28 November 2020, of the Deaconry of Sant’Apollinare alle Terme Neroniane-Alessandrine.