Latin Patriarchate of Jerusalem

Posted by admin | Catholic Dioceses Holy Land,Latin Church | Monday 23 December 2019 8:00 am


Patriarchate of Jerusalem for Latins

(Latin Patriarchal Diocese of Jerusalem) 


The Church of Jerusalem was born on the day of Pentecost.  It was governed at first by the College of Apostles under the leadership of St. Peter. St. James was the first bishop of Jerusalem.  A long line of bishops has followed until this day.  The Church of Jerusalem was recognized as a patriarchate by the Council of Chalcedon in 451. 

     Over the centuries, the various Christian communities in Jerusalem shared a common history and, by and large, lived in harmony among themselves until 451 when, following the Council of Chalcedon, the Orthodox (Greek) separated themselves from the Orthodox Oriental Churches (Coptic, Armenian and Syrian).  A second major division came in 1054 when the Churches of the East and those of the West separated from each other. Today, Jerusalem has thirteen Churches with constituted dioceses, six Catholic (Latins, Greek Catholics, Maronites, Syrians, Armenians, and Chaldeans), five Orthodox (Greeks, Armenians, Copts, Syrians, and Ethiopians), and two Protestant (Anglicans and Lutherans).

     When the Crusaders arrived in 1099, the Greek Patriarch Simon fled to Cyprus, leaving the See of Jerusalem vacant. Consequently, the Crusaders installed one of their own, Arnulf, as the first Latin Patriarch.  The Latin Patriarchs succeeded themselves in Jerusalem from 1099 to 1187, at which time the city fell to Saladin, the Latin Patriarch moved to Acre, and the Greek Orthodox Patriarch returned to Jerusalem. 

In 1218, the Order of Friars Minor (Franciscans) opened its first monastery in St. John of Acre, thus becoming the oldest Roman Catholic institution in the Holy Land.  When Acre fell in 1291, the Latin Patriarchs moved to Cyprus, then, in 1374, to Rome where they succeeded themselves as Titular Patriarchs until 1847.  During their absence, the constant presence of the Franciscans in the Holy Land was a determining factor in the preservation, formation and growth of the local Catholic Church.

 On July 23, 1847, the Patriarchal See of Jerusalem was restored as a residential see by the Apostolic Letter of Pius IX, Nulla Celebrior. The first to occupy the post, Patriarch Giuseppe Valerga, arrived in Jerusalem on January 17, 1848 and took possession of his see by solemnly entering the Holy Sepulcher, the cathedral of the Patriarchs of Jerusalem.  


Latin Patriarchs since the restoration in 1847:
H.B. Patriarch Giuseppe Valerga 1847-1872
H.B. Patriarch Vincenzo Bracco 1873-1889
H.B. Patriarch Luigi Piavi, O.F.M. 1889-1905
H.B. Patriarch Filippo Camassei 1907-1919
H.B. Patriarch Luigi Barlassina 1920-1947
H.E. Gustavo TestaRegent 1948-1950
H.B. Patriarch Alberto Gori, O.F.M. 1949-1970
H.B. Patriarch Giacomo Beltritti 1970-1987
H.B. Patriarch Michel Sabbah 1987-2008
H.B. Patriarch Fouad Twal 2008-2016
H.E. Pierbattista Pizzaballa, OFM – Apostolical Administrator 2016 at present


PATRIARCH:   sede vacante

Apostolic Administrator Sede Vacante: Most Rev. Pierbattista Pizzaballa, O.F.M.


Latin Patriarchate of Jerusalem
P.O.B. 14152
9114101 Jerusalem
Tel: (02) 628 23 23
Fax: (02) 627  16  52
Email: See Patriarchal Curia


Patriarchal Curia 

Financial Administration

Ecclesiastical Court

Episcopal Council

College of Consultors

Presbyteral Councils

Patriarchal Chapter

Pastoral Office

Patriarchal Seminary

Directorate of Patriarchal Schools 

Diocesan Commissions

Latin Patriarchal Vicariate for Jerusalem and Palestine

Latin Patriarchal Vicariate for Israel

Latin Patriarchal Vicariate for Jordan

Latin Patriarchal Vicariate for Cyprus

The Saint James Vicariate for Hebrew Speaking Catholics in Israel 

Vicariate for Migrants and Asylum Seekers (VMAS) in Israel

Diocesan Priests

Permanent Deacons

Diocesan Hermit

Ordo Virginum & Consecrated Lay Women

Latin Patriarchate Printing Press