Home > Archives > 06/07 - 2004 > A cardinal of Tuscan origins
from issue no. 06/07 - 2004

A cardinal of Tuscan origins

by Gianni Cardinale

Cardinal Justin Francis Rigali

Cardinal Justin Francis Rigali

Cardinal Justin Francis Rigali has been archbishop of Philadelphia since June of last year and was made cardinal in the consistory of 21 October. The 69 year old cardinal, a native of Los Angeles, has been a priest since 1961. From 1966 to 1970 he worked in the nunciature in Madagascar and from 1970 to 1985 he worked in the Secretariat of State in charge of the English language department of the First Section. In 1985 he was elevated to archiepiscopal dignity and appointed President of the Pontifical Ecclesiastical Academy. In 1989 he was nominated Secretary of the Congregation for Bishops, a position he held until 1994 when he was called to lead the metropolitan diocese of Saint Louis, Missouri.
Rigali is of Italo-American origins. «My paternal grandfather, Luigi Rigali,» the cardinal told 30Days, «the twelfth child of Santino Rigali and Carola Luchini, was born on 4 October 1851 in Fornaci di Barga, in the province of Lucca (archdiocese of Pisa). He was baptized the following day in the parish church of Lopia. He emigrated to the United States in 1869. Afterwards he returned temporarily to Italy. Then, later, he married Charlotte Sweney, of Irish origins, in the United States».

Italiano Español Français Deutsch Português