Fr. Francesco Patton is the new Custos of the Holy Land, succeeding Fr. Pierbattista Pizzaballa, who has led the Custody for the last 12 years.
According to a statement today released by the Holy See Press Office, the priest was appointed by the General Council of the Order of Friars Minor and approved by the Holy See, in accordance with the Papal Statutes that regulate this entity of the Franciscan Order.
Francesco Patton was born in Vigo Meano in the diocese of Trent, Italy on Dec. 23, 1963. The priest, who is also fluent in English and Spanish, belongs to the Franciscan Province of St. Anthony in Italy.
He made his first religious profession on Sept. 7, 1983 and his solemn profession on Oct. 4, 1986; and was ordained a priest on May 26, 1989. In 1993, he obtained a licentiate in Communication Sciences from the Pontifical Salesian University in Rome.
He has served in various capacities in his province and also within the Order. He was twice Secretary General of the General Chapters, in 2003 and 2009; visitator general in 2003, minister provincial of St. Vigilium, Trent, from 2008 to 2016; and president of the Conference of Provincial Ministers of Italy and Albania (COMPI).
He has also served in many roles outside of the Order: as member of the diocesan presbyteral council and secretary of the diocesan pastoral council of the archdiocese of Trent; professor of social communications at the Studio Teologico Accademico Tridentino; and collaborator with the diocesan weekly, the diocesan radio and Telepace Trento. He registered with the journalists of Trentino-Alto Adige as publicist in 1991.