Cardinal Beniamino Stella, Prefect of the Congregation for the Clergy, was born in Pieve di Soligo in the province of Treviso, Italy, on 18 August 1941, one of twelve siblings.
He was ordained a priest on 19 March 1966 following classical studies at the Vittorio Veneto Seminary and subsequently at the Pontifical Roman Seminary for philosophy and theology. He was incardinated in the diocese of Vittorio Veneto.
He received a degree in canon law from the Pontifical Lateran University and a doctorate in international law from the Pontifical Ecclesiastical Academy.
In 1970 he was sent to the apostolic nunciature of Santo Domingo and then three years later to the pontifical representation to Zaire (now known as the Democratic Republic of Congo).
In 1976 he was transferred to Rome where he worked at the Council for the Public Affairs of the Church of the Secretary of State (today the Section for Relations with States). Subsequently, in 1978, he was sent as charge d’affaires at the apostolic nunciature in Malta. In 1983 he returned to the Council for the Public Affairs of the Church, concentrating on Latin America.
On 21 August 1987 he was appointed titular archbishop of Midila and apostolic nuncio to the Central-African Republic, Congo Brazzaville and Chad. He received his episcopal ordination on 5 September 1987.
On 15 December 1992 he was appointed apostolic nuncio to Cuba.
On 11 February 1999 he was transferred to the papal representation in Colombia.
On 13 October 2007 he was called to Rome by Pope Benedict XVI to serve as president of the Pontifical Ecclesiastical Academy.
On 21 September 2013, Pope Francis appointed him prefect of the Congregation for the Clergy.
Created and proclaimed Cardinal by Pope Francis in the consistory of 22 February 2014, of the Deaconry of Santi Cosma e Damiano (Sts. Cosmas and Damian).
- Congregations: for the Causes of Saints, for Bishops, for Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life, for Catholic Education; for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments; for the Doctrine of Faith; for the Evangelization of Peoples;
- Pontifical Committee for International Eucharistic Congresses;
- Pontifical Commission for Vatican City State;
- Dicastery for Communication.