Cardinal Carlo Maria Martini, Archbishop emeritus of Milan, (Italy) was born on 15 February 1927 in Turin. He entered the Society of Jesus on 25 September 1944 at the age of 17. He completed his studies in philosophy at the Jesuits House of Studies in Gallarate, in the province of Milan, and theology at the faculty of theology in Chieri, where he was ordained a priest on 13 July 1952 at only 25 years of age.
In 1958, he received his doctorate in theology from the Pontifical Gregorian University, with a thesis entitled Il problema storico della Risurrezione. After some years of teaching at the faculty of Chieri he returned to Rome and earned a doctorate in Scripture at the Pontifical Biblical Institute, always summa cum laude, with a thesis on Il problema della recensionalità del codice B all luce del papiro Bodmer XIV. Dean of the Faculty of Scripture at the Biblical Institute, he became rector in 1969 to 1978 when he was nominated chancellor of the Pontifical Gregorian University, succeeding Father Carrier.
His became active in the scientific field by publishing various books and articles. One must remember that he was the only Catholic member of the ecumenical committee that prepared the new Greek edition of the New Testament. His books on spiritual exercises are very much appreciated for originality and style, adding new light to the traditional Ignatian model. Among these, Gli esercizi ignaziani alla luce di San Giovanni; L’itinerario spirituale dei Dodici nel Vangelo di San Marco; Gli esercizi ignaziani alla luce di San Matteo; Gli esercizi spirituali alla luce di San Luca; Vita di Mosé, vita di Gesù, esistenza pasquale. In 1978 Paul VI invited him to preach the annual retreat in the Vatican, where one of his predecessors in this exceptional ministry was Cardinal Karol Wojtyła, who became Pope John Paul II and elected him Archbishop of Milan on 29 December 1979 and personally consecrated him on 6 January 1980. (...)