Born in 1942 at Merate (Lecco, Italy), he is an expert on the bible and biblical languages. Former Prefect of the Biblioteca-Pinacoteca Ambrosiana in Milan, he also taught Old Testament Exegesis at the Theological Faculty of Northern Italy.
An Archbishop since 2007, he was created cardinal by Benedict XVI in 2010. He is President of the Pontifical Council for Culture and of the Pontifical Commission of Sacred Archaeology.
To his name are some 150 volumes published mainly on biblical and literary topics, and in the sphere of dialogue with science. His most important publications include editions on the Psalms and the Book of Job, the Song of Songs and Ecclesiasticus.
Cardinal Ravasi collaborates with newspapers – including L’Osservatore Romano, Avvenire and Il Sole 24 Ore – and for 25 years had his own television programme Le frontiere dello Spirito on the Italian mainstream Canale 5.
He is a member of some 20 Italian and International Academies – including the National Academy of Santa Cecilia, and the Parsnassos Literary Academy of Athens – and has received many prizes from civil and literary bodies as well as some 20 honorary degrees from universities around the world.