Biography of Patriarch Pierbattista Pizzaballa

Published: March 25 Sat, 2017

Biography of Patriarch Pierbattista Pizzaballa Available in the following languages:

His Beatitude Patriarch Pierbattista Pizzaballa was born in Cologno al Serio (Bergamo) on 21 April 1965, son of Pietro and Maria Maddalena Tadini.

He attended Secondary School at the Minor Seminary “Le Grazie” of Rimini and obtained his diploma in classical studies at the Archiepiscopal Seminary of Ferrara on June 1984. He received the Franciscan religious habit on September 5, 1984, in Ferrara (Santo Spirito) and spent the year of novitiate at the Franciscan Shrine of La Verna (Arezzo, Italy).

He made his Temporary Profession in La Verna, on September 7, 1985, and his Solemn Profession on October 10, 1989, in the Church of St. Anthony in Bologna.

On September 15, 1990, he was ordained priest in the cathedral church of Bologna, with the imposition of hands of Cardinal Giacomo Biffi.

After spending one year in Rome, he was transferred to the Holy Land, in Jerusalem, in October 1990.

From July 2, 1999, he formally entered in service to the Custody of the Holy Land.

After his philosophical-theological studies, he obtained a Licenciate Degree in Biblical Theology at the Studium Biblicum Franciscanum of Jerusalem.

Patriarch Pizzaballa speaks Italian, Modern Hebrew and English.

Offices of responsibility:

In 1995 he was responsible for the publication of the Roman Missal in Hebrew, and translated various liturgical texts in Hebrew for the Catholic Communities in Israel. He also lectured Hebrew at the Studium Biblicum Franciscanum.

He was also the Vicar General of the Latin Patriarch of Jerusalem for the pastoral care of Hebrew-speaking Catholics in Israel.

Since 2008 he has been a Consultor in the Commission for relations with Judaism of the Pontifical Council for the Promotion of Unity among Christians.

Mgr Pierbattista Pizzaballa was Custos of the Holy Land for twelve years (05/05/2004 – 20/05/2016).

Nomination as Apostolic Administrator of the Latin Patriarchate of Jerusalem

On June 24, 2016, having accepted the resignation of His Beatitude Patriarch Fouad Twal who had reached the legal age, His Holiness Pope Francis appointed the Very Reverend Pierbattista Pizzaballa as Apostolic Administrator sede vacante of the Latin Patriarchate of Jerusalem, until the appointment of a new Patriarch.

On July 15, 2016, during a meeting of the Latin Patriarchate Advisory Board, His Beatitude Patriarch Fouad Twal, Latin Patriarch Emeritus of Jerusalem, handed over his powers to Archbishop-designate Pierbattista Pizzaballa, new Apostolic Administrator, according to the decree of nomination issued by Pope Francis.

The Episcopal Ordination of Archbishop Pizzaballa took place in September 2016, in Bergamo, Italy.

On May 31, 2017, Archbishop Pizzaballa was appointed member of the Congregation for the Oriental Churches by the Holy Father Francis.

Appointment as Jerusalem Patriarch for the Latins

On October 24, 2020, Pope Francis has announced the appointment of Archbishop Pierbattista Pizzaballa as the Latin Patriarch in Jerusalem after his service as Apostolic Administrator for a period of four years.

On October 28, 2020, Pope Francis bestowed the pallium on H. B. Pierbattista Pizzaballa at Santa Marta Chapel.


-“La presenza francescana in Terra Santa”. Franciscan Printing Press, 2005, ISBN 978-88-6-24000-91

-“Terra Santa”, interview with Giorgio Acquaviva, Editrice La Scuola, Brescia, 2008, ISBN 978-88-35023-142

-“Le comunità cristiane in Medio Oriente oggi. Dialogo fra le giovani generazioni come unica possibile futura via di distensione”, Pierbattista Pizzaballa-Euntes Docete-LXIV-3-201, Editrice Urbaniana University Press 978-88-401-4041-4

-“Il Custode di Terra Santa – un colloquio con padre Pierbattista Pizzaballa”, Piergiorgio Pescali, ADDEditore, Torino, 2014, ISBN 978-88-67830756

-“Il potere del cuore. Il Medio Oriente nel racconto del Custode di Terra Santa”, Pierbattista Pizzaballa, Edizioni Terra Santa, Milano, Year of Publication 2016 ISBN 978-88-6240-379-5

Honorific decorations:

-Conventual Chaplain Grand Cross ad honorem of the Sovereign Military Order of Malta. 21 February 2013

-Commander of the Order of the Star of Italy (ex Stella della solidarietà italiana). 12 January 2007

-Grand Official of the Order of the Star of Italy (ex Stella della solidarietà italiana). 25 May 2015

-Grand Commander of the Orthodox Order of Cross-Bearers of the Holy Sepulchre. 30 May 2016