Cardinal Deacon of San Salvatore in Lauro
Born on 17 September 1943 in Sorano, he studied in Viterbo and Rome (at the Lateran and at the Pontifical Roman Seminary). He was ordained on 11 March 1967 in his parish church, and was assigned to pastoral and academic roles in the diocese of Sovana-Pitigliano. He then was sent to Rome and did pastoral work in Roman gaols and was spiritual director at the Pontifical Minor Roman Seminary. He then returned to his diocese to be a parish priest.
He was appointed bishop of Massa Marittima-Piombo on 25 July 1990 by Pope John Paul II, and consecrated on 12 September 1990 by Bernardin Cardinal Gantin. He resigned for health reasons in 1994. After recovering from his illness, he was named prelate of Loreto and pontifical delegate to the Shrine of the House of Loreto in 1996, with the dignity of Archbishop. He retired in 2005. He was then named coadjutor Archpriest of St Peter's Basilica in Rome, Vicar General of His Holiness for Vatican City and President of the Fabric of St Peter's. He succeeded to the full position on 31 October 2006 and was made a cardinal by Pope Benedict XVI on 24 November 2007.
He preached the Lenter retreat to Pope John Paul II and prepared the meditations for the Good Friday Stations of the Cross presided over by Pope Benedict XVI in 2005.
He considers himself a spiritual son of Mother Theresa of Calcutta.