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Biographical notes

[Updated: 03.12.2010]


Notice: the biographical notes are only a working instrument for the press.


GIORDANO Card. Michele




Cardinal Michele Giordano, Archbishop emeritus of Naples, Italy, was born on 26 September 1930 in Sant'Arcangelo, in the province of Potenza, diocese of Tursi-Lagonegro. After elementary school he studied at the regional seminary of Potenza and then also at Salerno. In the interregional seminary of Posillipo he completed a licentiate in theology. On 5 July 1953 he was ordained a priest and immediately became the pastor of Scanzano.

After 6 years of pastoral experience he was asked to serve in the diocese more directly: in 1959 he was appointed Director of the Catechetics Centre and the Diocesan Centre of Social Studies. At the same time he was also the diocesan chaplain to Catholic Action.

In 1968, he was appointed vicar general of the diocese, until 23 December 1971, when he was elected to the titular Church of Lari Castello and appointed Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Matera and Apostolic Administrator of Irsina, Gravina and Altamura. He received episcopal ordination on 5 February 1972.

On 12 June 1974, he was promoted Archbishop of Matera and Irsina. One of his first, most important initiatives was to reopen the diocesan seminary, closed for sixty years. After having promoted several study congresses between 1978 and 1982, he visited his diocese to examine the degree to which the directives of the Council had been actuated. At Matera he also found a school of theology for the laity and a pastoral centre for the family.

On 9 May 1987 he was promoted to the Metropolitan Church of Naples, and took possession on 27 June 1987.One of his first acts of pastoral service was the visit to the inmates of Poggioreale to whom he personally brought a sense of hope.

In November 1987 he visited the Italian community in United States, meeting especially with the Neapolitan community, on the occasion of his visit to the exposition of the treasury of St. Gennaro at the Brooklyn Museum.

On Palm Sunday in 1988, he published his first Pastoral Letter, entitled "Sicut flumen pax tua", which besides being his first Neapolitan document, was also the motto of his coat of arms.

Created and proclaimed Cardinal by John Paul II in the consistory of 28 June 1988, of the Title of San Gioacchino ai Prati di Castello.

Archbishop emeritus of Naples, 20 May 2006.

Cardinal Michele Giordano died on 2 December 2010.

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