Cardinal Luigi de Magistris with Pope Francis at the consistory of February 2015 Cardinal Luigi de Magistris with Pope Francis at the consistory of February 2015 

Pope expresses condolences upon death of Cardinal Luigi de Magistris

Pope Francis sends a telegram conveying his condolences upon the death of Cardinal Luigi de Magistris, who died on Wednesday at the age of 95.

By Vatican News staff writer

Pope Francis has expressed his condolences upon learning of the death of Cardinal Luigi de Magistris, Major Pro-Penitentiary emeritus, who died on 16 February.

In a telegram sent to Archbishop Guiseppe Baturi of Cagliari, the Pope conveyed his closeness to the deceased Cardinal’s family, the presbytery, and to all the faithful for the “mourning that has struck the entire ecclesial community.”

Service with great dedication

The Holy Father recalled that Cardinal de Magistris was “animated by irreproachable priestly zeal” and “served the Lord and the Church with great dedication.”

The Pope gives thanks for Cardinal de Magistris’s generous commitment in the Holy See as “a diligent and wise collaborator” of previous Popes, as well as his love for the ministry of reconciliation which “he has always carried out with admirable assiduity, dedicated to the good of souls.”

Concluding his message with a blessing for all those mourning the Cardinal, the Pope prayed through the intercession of the Our Lady, that the Lord may “welcome this faithful servant into the heavenly Jerusalem.”


Cardinal Luigi De Magistris was born in Cagliari on 23 February 1926. Although his vocation to the priesthood began at a young age, before entering the seminary he earned a degree in liberal arts at the University of Cagliari. He moved to Rome to study at the Pontifical Roman Seminary and was ordained a priest on 12 April 1952.

He then returned to Cagliari and served in parish ministry and at the diocesan ecclesiastical tribunal. In 1957 he returned to Rome and undertook studies in philosophy and theology at the Pontifical Lateran University. On 1 October 1958, he entered the service of the Holy See as secretary of the Lateran Athenaeum.

From February 1959 he served in the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, first as a substitute notary, and subsequently as a summist. In February 1969 he was transferred as a minutante at the Council of Public Affairs of the Church. On 2 May 1979, he was appointed as regent of the Apostolic Penitentiary.

On 6 March 1996, he was assigned the titular see of Nova and received Episcopal consecration on 28 April 1996. On 22 November 2001 he was appointed as Major Pro-Penitentiary, a role he fulfilled until 7 October 2003. He served also as consultor of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments, the Congregation for the Causes of Saints, the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples, the Congregation for the Clergy, and the Pontifical Commission “Ecclesia Dei”.

He was created and proclaimed Cardinal by Pope Francis in the consistory of 14 February 2015, of the Deaconry of Santissimi Nomi di Gesù e Maria in Via Lata (Most Holy Names of Jesus and Mary on Via Lata).

16 February 2022, 15:05