Cardinal Priest of S Andrea della Valle
Born in Castelspina in the Piedmont (northern Italy) on September 30, 1918, Canestri entered the seminary of Alessandria at age 11. Ordained on April 12, 1941, he began his pastoral work as assistant parish priest on the outskirts of Rome, at Garbatella and Pietralata, then in the Appia-Latino area. In August 1959, he was named Spiritual Director of the Major Roman Pontifical Seminary. On July 8, 1961, John XXIII appointed him Bishop of Tortona, nominating him at the same time Auxiliary of the Vicar Cardinal of Rome. On January 7, 1971, Canestri was transferred to the bishopric of Tortona. Paul VI called him back to Rome on February 8, 1975, promoting him as Titular Archbishop of Monterano. On March 22, 1984, Pope John II made Canestri Archbishop of Cagliari, and then transferred him to the Archdiocese of Genoa on July 6, 1987. He was made a cardinal during the Consistory of June 28, 1988, and retired from his position as head of the Archdiocese on April 20, 1995.