Cardinal Loris Francesco Capovilla

Cardinal Loris Francesco Capovilla

Birth
Pontelongo, Provincia di Padova, Veneto, Italy
Death 26 May 2016 (aged 100)
Bergamo, Provincia di Bergamo, Lombardia, Italy
Burial Fontanella, Provincia di Bergamo, Lombardia, Italy
Memorial ID 163299001 · View Source
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Roman Catholic Cardinal. Pontelongo born Loris Francesco Capovilla was the son of a functionary of the Società Belga Zuccherifici. The latter's early death caused a difficult upbringing to young Loris and his sister Lia, with their mother forced to move from one place to another until settling in Mestre. Entering the Patriarchal Seminary of Venice, he was ordained priest by Cardinal Adeodato Giovanni Piazza OCD., on May 23, 1940. Assigned to both the parish of San Zaccaria and the patriarchal curia, where he was capitular master of ceremonies at the Basilica of San Marco, he also served as catechist in middle schools and chaplain of the Onarmo in Porto Marghera. Performing ministry as chaplain at minors' prison chaplain and the infectious hospital, during the Second World War he served in the military aviation, a service for which he would remain remembered in the years following for his humanitarian deeds, sparing as many airmen as possible from internment in Germany. Named Sunday preacher at Radio Venezia in 1945, a ministry that he performed until 1953, in 1949 he was named director of the diocesan weekly "La Voce di San Marco" and redactor of the Venetian page of "Avvenire d'Italia", the newspaper of the Italian bishops. Inscribed in the "Album of Journalists" in 1950, the then newly elected Patriarich of Venice, Cardinal Angelo Giuseppe Roncalli named him as his secretary, initiating thus what would become a long attachment which persevered on Roncalli's election to the Papacy as John XXIII and through the years that led to his eventual beatification and canonization. As Capovilla seemed always to be of frail health a skeptical adviser told Roncalli that he looked too sickly to bear the strain of his new job. "Then he'll die as my secretary," replied the future Pontiff. Outliving him for over half a century, Capovilla was named privy chamberlain supernumerary of His Holiness on December 11, 1955. Conclavist to the Patriarch in the conclave of 1958 in which he was elected Pope, after the election he continued as secretary until the Pontiff's death in 1963, having been confirmed in the post the same evening of the election, October 28, 1958. Named domestic prelate of His Holiness on December 12 of the same year, privy chamberlain participant of His Holiness on March 22, 1960 and canon of the chapter of the Patriarchal Vatican Basilica in 1960, Pope Paul VI named him prelato di anticamera and expert to the Second Vatican Council. Elected archbishop of Chieti by the same Pontiff on June 25, 1967, he received his episcopal consecration on July 15, 1967 at the Patriarchal Vatican Basilica from Pope Paul VI. Choosing like his mentor Roncalli 'Obedientia et Pax' as his motto, he was transferred to the titular archbishopric see of Messembria - again once held by Roncalli - and named prelate of Loreto and pontifical delegate to the Basilica della Santa Casa on September 25, 1971. Resigning the posts on December 10, 1988, he moved to Sotto il Monte Giovanni XXIII, Bergamo - the native town of Pope John XXIII - and there spent his remaining years as custodian of a small museum dedicated to the Pope, overseeing through the authoring of various studies, the conservation of the memory of one of the most consequential figures in modern Catholic history, drawn through his remarkable memory. As Pope Francis was to canonize his predecessors Popes John XXIII and John Paul II, in his first consistory on February 22, 2014, he created John XXIII's living legacy, cardinal priest with the title of Santa Maria in Trastevere. Receiving the red biretta and the cardinalitial ring on the following March 1 at the parish church of Sotto il Monte Giovanni XXIII from Cardinal Angelo Sodano, Dean of the Sacred College of Cardinals, as delegate of Pope Francis at 98 years old, sharp until the end, the Cardinal passed peacefully away a centenarian at the Palazzolo clinic in Bergamo, ten days after receiving a phone call from Pope Francis. Peter Hebblethwaite in his book "Pope John XXIII: Shepherd of the Modern World", wrote in regards of Capovilla's assistance to Roncalli that in him 'Roncalli got much more than a secretary: He got a spiritual son, a literary executor, a confidant and a Boswell'. In accordance with his wishes, the Cardinal was laid to rest in a poor pine coffin beside Padre David Maria Turoldo in the small cemetery adjacent to the Abbey of Fontanella.

Bio by: Eman Bonnici


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  • Created by: Eman Bonnici
  • Added: 26 May 2016
  • Find A Grave Memorial 163299001
  • Find A Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com : accessed ), memorial page for Cardinal Loris Francesco Capovilla (14 Oct 1915–26 May 2016), Find A Grave Memorial no. 163299001, citing Casa S. Egidio di Fontanella, Fontanella, Provincia di Bergamo, Lombardia, Italy ; Maintained by Eman Bonnici (contributor 46572312) .