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Spiritual Guide and Protector

His Eminence Cardinal Sergio Sebastiani coat of arms

His Eminence Cardinal Sergio Sebastiani,
Spiritual Guide and Protector
Sovereign Hospitaller Order of Saint John of Jerusalem, Knights of Malta

As the Order's Spiritual Guide and Protector, His Eminence Cardinal Sergio Sebastiani encourages the members to continue to embrace its ecumenical character.


His Eminence, Cardinal Sergio Sebastiani (born in 1931) is an Italian Cardinal of the Roman Catholic Church and the President Emeritus of Prefecture for the Economic Affairs of the Holy See.

Sebastiani was born in Montemonaco, Italy. He studied at the Episcopal Seminary of Ascoli Piceno and later at the Archiepiscopal Seminary of Fermo. He continued his studies at the Pontifical Gregorian University in Rome where he earned his licentiate in theology and at the Pontifical Lateran University where he was awarded a doctorate in canon law.

He was ordained in 1956. In 1976, he became Titular Archbishop of Caesarea in Mauretania, as well as Apostolic Pro-Nuncio to Madagascar and Mauritius. Sebastiani became Apostolic Nuncio (ambassador of the Holy See) to Turkey in 1985. In 1994, he was appointed General Secretary of the Central Committee for the Great Jubilee of the Year 2000.

In 1997, Sebastiani was made President of the Prefecture for the Economic Affairs of the Holy See, part of the Roman Curia, responsible for auditing the temporal possessions of the Holy See. He served in this position (with a legally required interruption during the 2005 sede vacante) until his resignation on 12th April 2008. Pope Benedict XVI named Velasio De Paolis as Sebastiani's successor.

Sebastiani was created and proclaimed Cardinal-Deacon of South Eustachio on 21st February 2001, and was one of the Cardinal Electors who participated in the 2005 papal conclave that selected Pope Benedict XVI. On 21st February 2011, he opted for the order of Cardinal Priest, with his former diaconal church elevated to the level of cardinalitial title.


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