Cardinal Fernando Filoni, Grand Master of the Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulchre of Jerusalem, signed on June 29, on the feast of Saints Peter and Paul the Apostles, a decree renewing the mandate as Governor General for another term of four years on Ambassador Leonardo Visconti di Modrone.
Born in Milan in 1947, and having served forty-five years in the Italian diplomatic service, Leonardo Visconti di Modrone was called to join the Grand Magisterium of the Order of the Holy Sepulchre in 2014 by Cardinal Edwin O'Brien and was appointed Governor General, succeeding Prof. Agostino Borromeo in June 2017, in a spirit of continuity with the efforts of the previous governorship. In October of that same year, he was conferred the rank of Knight of the Collar.
The Governor General of the Order is, according to the Constitution, the central administrator of the Order and the person responsible for its direction. He oversees the activities of the Grand Magisterium and moderates its meetings, analyzes and reports to the Grand Master on the needs in the Holy Land and issues directives to the Lieutenancies and Magistral Delegations. He is assisted by four Vice-Governors, the Chancellor and the Treasurer of the Order, who together make up the office of Presidency of the Grand Magisterium.
Leonardo Visconti di Modrone visited the Holy Land several times, which he knew from his previous visits both as a private citizen and as a diplomat. He made his first pilgrimage to the Holy Land in 1960, at the age of thirteen. As Governor General he visited many of the structures financed by the Order, such as parishes, kindergartens, schools, universities, homes for the elderly, hospitals, orphanages, refugee camps, etc., in continuous contact with the Latin Patriarchate of Jerusalem. For the second quadrennium of his mandate, he proposes to complete the visits begun to the various Lieutenancies in the world, in order to increase dialogue and commitment, also availing himself of the collaboration of the Vice-Governors, with the aim of strengthening the Order in all its components, at the service of the Church and the Holy Land.