The son of farmers of Izano, in the Italian province of Cremona, Marco Ce went to Rome as a student of the Lombard Seminary. He studied theology at the Gregorian University and the Pontifical Biblical Institute.
He was ordained a priest at 22 and was named vice rector of the Seminary of Crema, his native diocese.
Ordained a bishop at 44, he was auxiliary in Bologna from June 29, 1970. After six years, he was appointed ecclesiastical assistant general of Catholic Action by Pope Paul VI.
In 1979 Bishop Ce took possession of the See of Venice as patriarch. He was elevated to cardinal in June 1979. He retired as patriarch in January 2002.
With his 80th birthday, the number of electors in the College of Cardinals is now 114. Another 67 are non-electors.