Cardinal Gianfranco Ravasi, President emeritus of the Pontifical Council for Culture and President of the Pontifical Commission for Sacred Archeology, was born in Merate, Italy on 18 October 1942. He was ordained a priest of the archdiocese of Milan on 28 June 1966 and studied at the Pontifical Gregorian University and at the Pontifical Biblical Institute.
He taught the Old Testament at the theological faculty of northern Italy. From 1989 to 2007 he served as prefect of the Ambrosian Library in Milan.
He has written may books, articles for L’Osservatore Romano and L’Avvenire and hosts the television show Frontiers of the Spirit.
On 3 September 2007 he was appointed titular Archbishop of Villamagna di Proconsolare and president of the Pontifical Council for Culture and president of the Pontifical Commissions for the Cultural Heritage of the Church and for Sacred Archeology (in November 2012 the Pontifical Commission for the Cultural Heritage was absorbed into the Pontifical Council for Culture), He was consecrated on 29 September 2007.
Since March 2012 he is president of the cultural association Casa di Dante in Rome, dedicated to making the works of Dante known throughout Italy and abroad.
He participated in the conclave of March 2013, which elected Pope Francis.
On 5 June 2022, with the reform of the Roman Curia Praedicate evangelium, the Pontifical Council for Culture is suppressed and was merged with the Congregation for Catholic Education to create the new Dicastery for Culture and Education. He has become President emeritus of the Pontifical Council for Culture.
Created and proclaimed Cardinal by Benedict XVI in the consistory of 20 November 2010, of the Deaconry of San Giorgio in Velabro (Saint George in Velabro), Deaconry elevated pro hac vice to presbyteral title (3 May 2021).
- Dicasteries: for Culture and Education; for Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life; for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments; for Inter-religious Dialogue; for Evangelization.