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Franciscan Friary
St. Francis Str. 1

The Custody
is present in:
Israel / Palestine
Buenos Aires


in various
all around
the world

The Custos of the Holy Land

Giovanni Battistelli

Most Rev. Fr.

By decree of the Holy See Fr. Giovanni Battistelli ofm, has been nominated as the new Custos of the Custody of the Holy Land. He enters to take the place of the outgoing Custos Fr. Giuseppe Nazzaro ofm. According to the local tradition the new Custos will make a solemn entry into Jerusalem on Monday June 1st whence he enters the Holy Sepulchre.

Fr. Giovanni Battistelli ofm, was born of the late Salvatore and Attilia Cristofani at Spello (Perugia - Italy), in the diocese of Foligno on 28 December 1933.

After studying at the Seraphic College of the Umbria Province he entered into novitiate on 13th August 1951 (Amelio - Terni) and followed the Philosophy course at San Damiano - Assisi (1952-1956) while the theology course at the Porziuncola (Assisi - 1956-1959). He solemnly professed on the 8th of September 1955 at the Porziuncola while he was ordained deacon (1959) at the Latin Patriarchate Church in Jerusalem where he was ordained to the priesthood by the then Patriarch of Jerusalem Mons. Alberto Gori on 29th June 1960. He proceeded with his higher studies at the Ateneo Istituto Pontificio Orientale in Rome between 1960 and 1963 where he obtained his licentiate in Oriental Sciences.

In 1963 he was assigned to the Centre for Oriental Studies in Cairo (Mousky) while in 1965 he started also to teach at the school of Bulacco. From 1968 to 1973 he was assigned as superior, parish priest and spiritual assistant for OFS at Bulacco, Cairo. During this period he kept his teaching practice at the Italian Lyceum of Kars el Nil. Between 1973 and 1978 he was assigned to Alexandria (St. Catherine), Egypt, as Guardian, parish priest and spiritual assistant for OFS while teaching at the Italian school of Alexandria. Between 1978 and 1981 he was assigned to St. Saviour's in Jerusalem. During this time he fulfilled his duties as Member of the Council of the Custody of the Holy Land representing the italian-speaking friars, Secretary for formation and studies, promoter of vocations, Master of the theology students, Master of ceremonies and professor at the International theological Study centre of Jerusalem which roles he fulfilled too between 1981-1983. In 1981 he was nominated as member of the Catholic commission of the Latin Patriarchate of Jerusalem. Between 1983 and 1986, still at St. Saviour's in Jerusalem, besides being a member of the Council of the Custody he was also director of "Casa Nova", Secretary for formation and studies, Promoter of Vocations and Master of Ceremonies. Since 1986 he has been in Rome, at the Collegio Internazionale di Terra Santa, where he actually was superior and parish priest. Fr. Battistelli, besides speaking Italian, speaks also Arabic and French.

Read about the role of the Custos of the Holy Land

  Custody Main 


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Created / Updated Saturday, December 29, 2001 at 09:16:44 by John Abela ofm
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