After ten years at the head of the Vatican’s Publishing House, the Libreria Editrice Vaticana (LEV), Salesian Father Giuseppe Costa, 71, will finish his mission on Friday, June 30, 2017, as he announced in a letter to journalists, dated June 26.
“On June 30, my mandate will end as Director of the Vatican’s Publishing House, which began on July 1, 2007,” wrote Father Costa to journalists, who are grateful to him for his dedication. “As you are witnesses of LEV’s publishing activities, I would like to express my most fraternal and sincere gratitude for your professional contribution to the growth of the publication and the diffusion of the books.”
“If today LEV is a publishing entity whose name benefits from great international attention, part of the success is also due to your care and professionalism,” added Father Costa.
Under Father Costa’s direction, who is also a professor at the Pontifical Salesian University, papal and Vatican texts have been promoted on the international scene and in different book fairs, including the Frankfurt Book Fair and the Turin Book Fair.
The Holy See’s publishing work is linked to the creation of the Vatican press on April 27, 1587, under Pope Sixtus V. LEV’s creation was part of an effort to modernize the Vatican’s structure during the pontificate of Pius XI (1857-1939).
LEV is the Holy See’s official publishing house with its own statute approved in 1991 by the Secretary of State. It has had considerable success with the publication of texts of Pope John Paul II as well as with encyclicals of Popes Benedict XVI and Francis.
In an interview with the Italian Salesian Information Agency ANS, Father Costa explained in July of 2016, that LEV “was included in the organisms that are part of the Secretariat for Communication, whereas it previously depended directly on the Secretariat of State.”
As regards the characteristics of its publishing production, “they are dictated by its statute, which in fact is an organism whose objective is to serve and diffuse the word and teaching of the Pope.” “It is also our responsibility to protect the Pope’s rights of authorship and, by their diffusion, with thousands of contracts with publishers of the whole world, LEV makes an irreplaceable contribution to the evangelization and mission of the Church.”