Cardinal Mauro Piacenza, Major Penitentiary, was born on 15 September 1944 in Genoa, Italy.
He was ordained a priest on 21 December 1969.
In 1976, he graduated summa cum laude in canon law from the Pontifical Lateran University.
He taught dogmatic theology at the Didascaleion, Institute of Theology for the Laity in Genoa, and canon law at the theological faculty of northern Italy.
He served in various positions in the archdiocese, including secretary of the archiepiscopal delegation in the University of Genoa. He also served as a judge for the ecclesiastical tribunals on the diocesan and regional levels, taught religion in various high schools and was responsible for the weekly religious programs transmitted on local stations.
In 1990, he was called to serve in the Congregation for the Clergy and in March 2000 was promoted to undersecretary.
On 13 October 2003 he was named president of the Pontifical Commission for the Cultural Heritage of the Church and consecrated a bishop on 15 November 2003.
On 28 August 2004 he was nominated president of the Pontifical Commission for Sacred Archeology.
On 7 May 2007 he was named secretary of the Congregation for the Clergy and was elevated to the dignity of archbishop.
On 7 October 2010 he was appointed Prefect of the Congregation for the Clergy.
The Pope Francis appointed him Major Penitentiary on 21 September 2013.
He participated in the conclave of March 2013, which elected Pope Francis.
Created and proclaimed Cardinal by Benedict XVI in the consistory of 20 November 2010, of the Deaconry of San Paolo alle Tre Fontane (Saint Paul at the Three Fountains).
- Congregations: for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments; for the Causes of Saints.