Styles of
Cesare Cardinal Zerba
CardinalCoA PioM
Reference style His Eminence
Spoken style Your Eminence
Informal style Cardinal
See none

Cesare Cardinal Zerba (April 15, 1892—July 11, 1973) was an Italian prelate of the Roman Catholic Church. He served as Secretary of the Sacred Congregation for the Discipline of the Sacraments in the Roman Curia from 1958 to 1965, and was elevated to the cardinalate in 1965.


Cesare Zerba was born in Castelnuovo Scrivia, and studied at the seminaries in Stazzano and Tortona, the Pontifical Roman Athenaeum S. Apollinare in Rome, and the University of Pavia. Ordained to the priesthood on July 4, 1915, he then served as a military chaplain during World War I. Zerba began pastoral work in Rome from 1919, also working as an official of Sacred Congregation for the Discipline of the Sacraments in the Roman Curia from 1924 to 1939.

He was raised to the rank of Privy Chamberlain of His Holiness on June 30, 1932, and later a Domestic Prelate of His Holiness and prelate of the Apostolic Signatura on April 23, 1939. Within the Congregation for the Discipline of the Sacraments, Zerba was made Undersecretary (May 5, 1939) and Secretary (December 18, 1958). As Secretary, he was the second-highest official of that dicastery, under Benedetto Cardinal Aloisi Masella.

On August 28, 1962, Zerba was appointed Titular Archbishop of Colossae by Pope John XXIII. He received his episcopal consecration on the following September 21 from Pope John himself, with Archbishops Francesco Carpino and Pietro Parente serving as co-consecrators, in the Lateran Basilica. From 1962 to 1965, Zerba attended the Second Vatican Council.

Pope Paul VI created him Cardinal Priest of Nostra Signora del Sacro Cuore in the consistory of February 22, 1965. Zerba resigned as Secretary of Discipline of the Sacraments on January 26, 1965, after six years of service. Never having the opportunity to participate in a papal conclave, the Cardinal lost the right to do so upon reaching the age of 80 on April 15, 1972.

Zerba died in Rome, at age 81. He is buried in his native Castelnuovo Scrivia.

External links

Preceded by
Francesco Bracci
Secretary of the Sacred Congregation for the Discipline of the Sacraments
Succeeded by
Giacomo Violardo
no:Cesare Zerba

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