Gianfranco Cardinal Ravasi is an Italian prelate, a cardinal of the Roman Catholic Church. He currently serves in the Roman Curia as president of the Pontifical Council for Culture.
He attended the seminary of Milan and was ordained as a priest on June 28, 1966. He continued his studies in Rome at the Pontifical Gregorian University and the Pontifical Biblical Institute. He spent summers in Syria, Jordan, Iraq and Turkey working as an archaeologist with such figures as Kathleen Kenyon and Roland de Vaux. He later served as a professor of exegesis of the Old Testament at the Theological Faculty of Northern Italy in Milan. From 1989 to 2007, he was prefect of the Ambrosian Library.
In 2007, at the invitation of Pope Benedict XVI, he composed the Good Friday meditations for the public procession of Stations of the Cross led by the Pope at the Colosseum. On September 3, 2007, Cardinal Ravasi was appointed president of the Pontifical Council for Culture and titular archbishop of Villamagna in Proconsulari. He was also named president of the Pontifical Commission for the Cultural Heritage of the Church and of the Pontifical Commission for Sacred Archeology. He received his Episcopal consecration as an archbishop on the following September 29 from Benedict XVI.
On November 20, 2010, he was created cardinal by Pope Benedict XVI.