Welcoming the Holy Father's appointment to the College of Cardinals of Monsignor Fortunato Frezza, Master of Ceremonies and Spiritual Assistant of the Order of the Holy Sepulchre of Jerusalem, the Grand Master of the Order, Cardinal Fernando Filoni, the Lieutenant General, Professor Agostino Borromeo, and the Governor General Ambassador Leonardo Visconti di Modrone express their warmest congratulations and joy for the new cardinal on behalf of all the members of the Grand Magisterium.
A testimony of friendship from Ambassador Leonardo Visconti di Modrone, Governor General of the Order:
"Many will rejoice at the nomination of Monsignor Fortunato Frezza to the College of Cardinals. Few more than I. When I was offered the position of Governor General of the Order, I was very hesitant to accept, aware of my inadequacy. It was he who encouraged me, with that good-natured smile of a good country parish priest, which immediately endeared him to me also on a more profound level. Over these years, he accompanied me to visit Lieutenancies in need of spiritual assistance, he agreed to go with me to the Holy Land on my first pilgrimage as Governor. He has always been close to me with his advice, not only in the Order, but also outside it. Because he is a simple man of great poise and shrewd wit, as well as immense culture.
Once, as a passionate Roma fan, he even dragged me to the Olympic Stadium to watch a football match. He also enjoys good food, and I am certain that he will not disdain to honour, even as a cardinal, my country house, as he has done many times in recent years, welcomed by my family with joy because he knows how to transmit serenity and sympathy”.
Biography of the future Cardinal
Monsignor Fortunato Frezza was born in Rome on 6 February 1942. In 1966, after studying in the minor seminary of Bagnoregio and the major seminary of Viterbo, he was ordained a priest.
In 1967 he received a Licentiate in Theology from the Pontifical Gregorian University and in 1977 he obtained a degree in Sacred Scripture from the Pontifical Biblical Institute in Rome with a philological thesis on the book of the prophet Micah.
During his priestly ministry he held the following positions and ministries: from 1971 to 1984 he was Parish Priest of Spicciano and at the same time lecturer in Sacred Scripture at various theological institutes: Pontifical Gregorian University (as Assistant), La Quercia Viterbo Regional Seminary, various Institutes of Religious Sciences (Albano, Civita Castellana, Viterbo), International Theological Studentate of the Giuseppini del Murialdo in Viterbo and the Salesians in the Holy Land.
In 1983 he was employed in the General Secretariat of the Synod of Bishops and from 1997 to 2014 he was its Under-Secretary.
In 1999 he was appointed Prelate of Honour of His Holiness.
In 2013 he was appointed Canon of the Papal Basilica of St Peter's in the Vatican, then Commander and Master of Ceremonies of the Order of the Holy Sepulchre of Jerusalem in 2015, and in 2022 became Chamberlain of the Chapter of St Peter's in the Vatican.
He has also held the position of Spiritual Assistant to Personnel in the Directorate of Health and Hygiene at the Vatican; spiritual assistance to several monasteries of nuns; chaplain of the A.S. Roma football team.
His bibliographical publications currently number 123 titles, particularly in the biblical field.