Giovanni Canestri

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Giovanni Canestri
Cardinal, Archbishop emeritus of Genoa
Cardinale Giovanni Canestri.jpeg
Appointed6 July 1987
Term ended20 April 1995
PredecessorGiuseppe Siri
SuccessorDionigi Tettamanzi
Other postsCardinal-Priest of Sant’Andrea della Valle
Ordination12 April 1941
by Luigi Traglia
Consecration30 July 1961
by Luigi Traglia
Created cardinal28 June 1988
by Pope John Paul II
Personal details
Birth nameGiovanni Canestri
Born30 September 1918
Castelspina, Piedmont, Kingdom of Italy
Died29 April 2015 (aged 96)
Rome, Italy
DenominationRoman Catholic
Previous post
  • Archbishop of Cagliari (1984–1987)
  • Titular Archbishop of Forum Clodii (1975–1984)
  • Vicegerent of Rome (1975–1984)
  • Bishop of Tortona (1971–1975)
  • Titular Bishop of Tenedus (1961–1971)
  • Auxiliary Bishop of Rome (1961–1971)
MottoOpus Tuum Nos O Maria
Coat of armsGiovanni Canestri's coat of arms
Styles of
Giovanni Canestri
Coat of arms of Giovanni Canestri.svg
Reference styleHis Eminence
Spoken styleYour Eminence
Informal styleCardinal

Giovanni Canestri (30 September 1918 – 29 April 2015) was an Italian Catholic cardinal, who served as Archbishop of Cagliari from 1984 until 1987 and as Archbishop of Genoa from 1987 until 1995.


Born in Castelspina, province of Alessandria, he was ordained priest on 12 April 1941.

Canestri studied at the Minor Seminary of Alessandria from 1929 (secondary studies); then, at the Episcopal Seminary of Alessandria, where he obtained the maturità classica. In 1937, he went to Rome to study at the Pontifical Roman Seminary, Rome. Concurrently he studied at the Pontifical Lateran University, Rome, where he obtained a licentiate in theology; and later, a doctorate in utroque iure, both canon law and civil law; and at the Rome State University, where he earned a doctorate in letters. In August 1959 he was nominated spiritual director of the Pontifical Roman Seminary and was member of the commission for the first diocesan synod of Rome. He also served as Apostolic examiner of the clergy.

On 8 July 1961 he was named Titular Bishop of Tenedo, and auxiliary of the Cardinal vicar of Rome. He participated in the general congregations of Vatican II on the themes of ecumenism and religious liberty.

On 7 January 1971 he was transferred to the see of Tortona. On 8 February 1975 he was transferred to the titular see of Monterano, with personal title of archbishop, and appointed vicegerent of the Diocese of Rome. During this time he was dedicated to the growth and development of the community, defending the values of the human person, especially the value of life.

On 22 March 1984 he was named Archbishop of Cagliari. On 6 July 1987 he was transferred to the metropolitan see of Genoa.

Canestri was made a Cardinal-Priest of Sant'Andrea della Valle by Pope John Paul II in the consistory of 28 June 1988.

He became Archbishop Emeritus of Genoa on 20 April 1995.

His brother Carlo Canestri (1920–2004) was Vicar general of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Alessandria.

Cardinal Canestri died on 29 April 2015. His Funeral Mass was celebrated on Sunday, 2 May 2015, at 8:30 AM, by Angelo Cardinal Sodano, the incumbent Dean of the College of Cardinals, together with other prelates and other Cardinals; Pope Francis presided at the rites of Final Commendation and Valediction.[1][2] He is buried in the Cathedral of Genoa.

See also[edit]


Catholic Church titles
Preceded by
Giuseppe Siri
Archbishop of Genoa
6 July 1987 – 20 April 1995
Succeeded by
Dionigi Tettamanzi