Cardinal Agostino Cacciavillan passed away in the early hours of Saturday, March 5, at his residence in the Vatican, reported Vatican News. He was 95 years. The funeral will be celebrated by the Dean of Cardinals, Giovanni Battista Re on Monday, March 7, at the Altar of the Chair in St. Peter’s Basilica. At the end of the Mass, Pope Francis will deliver a farewell speech.
Cardinal Cacciavillan was born on August 14, 1926 in Novale di Valdagno, in the Diocese of Vicenza. He lived in a large family of 9 children.
Ordained a priest on June 26, 1949, he moved to Rome in 1952 to study at the Pontifical Gregorian University for a licentiate in social sciences, the state university for a law degree, and the Pontifical Lateran University for a degree in canon law. He combined his passion for studies with a pastoral commitment to university students and Catholic graduates.
From 1957 to 1959, he studied at the Pontifical Ecclesiastical Academy that trains priests for the Holy See’s diplomatic mission. After working at the Vatican Secretariat of State, he was sent to the Philippines as secretary at the Apostolic Nunciature in Manila.
From 1964 to 1968 he was secretary of the Nunciature in Madrid, Spain and for a few months was also in Lisbon, Portugal. From 1968 to 1976 he was back at the Secretariat of State.
On January 17, 1976, Pope Paul VI appointed him Apostolic Pro-Nuncio in Kenya and Apostolic Delegate in Seychelles, promoting him to titular Archbishop of Amiternum. He received episcopal ordination on February 28. Other posts included Apostolic Pro-Nuncio in India (1981) and Pro-Nuncio in Nepal (1985), Apostolic Nuncio in the United States of America, and Permanent Observer at the Organization of American States (1990).
On November 5, 1998, he was appointed president of the Administration of the Patrimony of the Apostolic See and the office he held until his retirement on October 1, 2002.
St. Pope John Paul II made him cardinal in the Consistory of February 21, 2001. In April 2005 he participated in the conclave which elected Pope Benedict XVI. He was a cardinal protodeacon from 1 March 2008 to 20 February 2011.
With his death, the number of cardinals worldwide stands at 212, of whom 119 are electors and 93 are non-electors.