Cardinal Loris Francesco Capovilla, former prelate of Loreto and pontifical delegate for the Shrine of Loreto (Italy), was born on 14 October, 1915 in Pontelongo in the province of Padua.
He was ordained a priest on 24 May 1940. He began serving as chapter master of ceremonies at St. Mark’s Cathedral in Venice, and as a catechesist and chaplain.
During World War II he served in the air force. On his return he was chosen to preach on the Sunday edition of Radio Venice and served as editor-in-chief of the diocesan weekly “The Voice of St. Mark”, as well as editor of the Venice section in Avvenire d’Italia.
In 1953 he began serving as personal secretary to Cardinal Angelo Giuseppe Roncalli, Patriarch of Venice. He served in this position until 1958 when Roncalli was elected Pope. After the election, Capovilla remained at the Pope’s side, especially during the convocation and beginning phases of the Second Vatican Council.
Following the death of John XXIII, Paul VI appointed him peritus at the Council. He was ordained a bishop on 16 July 1967, subsequent to his appointment as Archbishop of Chieti-Vasto.
On 25 September 1971 he was named Pontifical Delegate to the Shrine of Loreto, Italy, assigning him the titular archiepiscopal see of Mesembria, in memory of John XXIII.
He served as Pontifical Delegate until he retired on 10 December 1988. In his retirement he has dedicated himself to the memory of Pope John XXIII, editing and publishing many of his writings and promoting his legacy.
Created and proclaimed Cardinal by Pope Francis in the consistory of 22 February 2014, of the Title of Santa Maria in Trastevere (St. Mary in Trastevere).
For reasons of age, Cardinal Loris Capovilla was not present at the Consistory in the Vatican Basilica, and received the biretta and cardinal’s ring on Saturday, 1 March 2014 at his residence in Sotto il Monte from Pope Francis’ envoy Cardinal Angelo Sodano, Dean of the College of Cardinals.
Cardinal Capovilla died in Bergamo on 26 May 2016.