The Very Reverend Father Carlo Cecchitelli OFM

Vocations “come and follow me”

The Very Reverend Father Carlo Cecchitelli OFM

Custos of the Holy Land (24.04.1986-08.05.1992) of the Custody of the Holy Land (Start of his rule: 01.06.1986).

Rev. Father Carlo (in the world) Antonio Cecchitelli was born in Morlupo (Rome) on 24th February 1936 to Giuseppe and Antonazzi Cecilia. On 29th September 1947, he entered the "San Bernardino" Franciscan college in Orte (Viterbo) where he started middle school and in 1950 he moved to the "Santa Maria di Gesù" Franciscan college in Artena (Rome) for his secondary school studies. On 21st June 1953, he arrived in Jerusalem, where he donned the Franciscan habit and was to attend the philosophical seminary in Bethlehem for his lycée and philosophical studies. After his second year of philosophy, he was admitted to the Novitiate, still in Bethlehem and at the end, on 4.10.1956, he made his simple vows.

He stayed in Bethlehem for the third year of the lycée and Philosophy. In 1957, he went to the Theological Seminary of St. Saviour’s Convent in Jerusalem to start his theological studies. On 8th December 1959, he made his Solemn Profession in the church of St. Catherine in Bethlehem. For health reasons (amebiasis) he was sent to the Theology seminary of the Convent of Santa Maria delle Grazie in Benevento where he received the Diaconate. He completed the last year of Theology at the Pontifical University Antonianum in Rome, residing at the Convent of Aracoeli. On 18th March 1961, he was ordained a priest in the Basilica of Our Lady of the Sacred Heart (Piazza Navona) under the hands of His Eminence the Most Reverend Cardinal Angelo Felici.

From 1961 to 1965, he was sent to the “Santa Chiara” Higher Institute of Sciences and the Arts at the Santa Chiara Monastery in Naples, where he took a Doctorate in the Humanities. From 1965 to 1969, he taught the humanities at the Seminary of Philosophy in Bethlehem, was Deputy Master of Novices and Master of Postulants, the librarian of the convent and chronicler. From 1968 to 1971, he occupied the delicate position of Custodial Secretary. From 1971 to 1983 he was sent to Rome, to the International Terra Sancta college, where he was the Superior of the House, Rector of the Seminary, Promoter of Vocations, Master of Postulants and parish priest of the neighbouring parish church “St. Mary of Nazareth”. On 29th November 1982, Father Cecchitelli became an ACADEMIC MEMBER of the “Internationale BURCKHARDT Akademie”. From 1983 to 1986 he was recalled to Jerusalem as Secretary of the Custody. From 1986 to 1992 he held the important office of Custos of the Holy Land.

Father Cecchitelli speaks English, French, Spanish and Esperanto and, due to the positions he has held, he has visited all the countries of the Middle East and North Africa, almost every country in Europe, North America and several South American countries, as well as India.

After his term of office

From 1992 to 1998 he was the Guardian and Commissary of the General Commissariat of the Holy Land in Naples-Via Portacarrese a Montecalvario, 70. In October 1994 he was elected Chairman of the Commissaries of the Holy Land of Italy, Malta, Switzerland and Poland.

On 18th July 1994, Father Carlo Cecchitelli was appointed MIEMBRO DE HONOR of the Circulo de Estudios Donoso Cortes-Badajoz (Spain). In September 1998, he moved to Rome, to the International Terra Sancta College - Via Boccea - Casalotti as Guardian, parish priest of the parish of St. Mary of Nazareth, adjoining the College, Bursar, Chronicler, Bursar, Deputy Master of the Postulants and Vocational Animator for Italy. In September 1999, he was transferred to the Convent of St. John the Baptist in Ain Karim as Master of the Novices, Vicar of the Convent, Member of the Secretariat for Formation and Studies of the Custody and of the Board for Continuing Formation.


Events calendar


Dio. Jerusalem: Solemnity of the BVM, Queen of the Holy Land


Solemnity of All Saints


Commemoration of All the Faithful Departed (All Souls) St. Saviour: 9.00 Mass - Cemeteries Mount Zion: 10.00


Solemnity of Our Lord Jesus Christ, King of the Universe


Bethlehem: 11.30 Entrance (Custos) - 13.45 Vespers - 14.15 Procession - 15.30 Office & Procession

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