Styles of
Gustavo Testa
CardinalCoA PioM
Reference style His Eminence
Spoken style Your Eminence
Informal style Cardinal
See none

Gustavo Testa (July 28, 1886 – February 28, 1969) was an Italian Cardinal of the Roman Catholic Church. He served as Prefect of the Congregation for Oriental Churches from 1967 to 1968, and was elevated to the cardinalate in 1959.


Born to a wealthy family in Boltiere, Bergamo, Gustavo Testa attended the Pontifical Lateran University, Pontifical Roman Athenaeum S. Apollinare, and Pontifical Biblical Institute in Rome. He was ordained to the priesthood on October 28, 1910, and finished his studies in 1912. After a period of pastoral work in Bergamo and teaching at its seminary, Testa entered the Roman Curia, in the Secretariat of State, in 1920. He then served as Secretary of the nunciature to Austria until 1923. Testa was raised to the rank of Privy Chamberlain of His Holiness on October 28, 1921, and later Domestic Prelate of His Holiness on May 18, 1923. He was also named auditor for the Bavarian nuniciature in 1927 before becoming counselor of the nunciature to Italy in 1929.

On June 4, 1934, Testa was appointed Titular Archbishop of Amasea and Apostolic Delegate to Egypt, Arabia, Eritrea, Abyssinia, and Palestine. He received his episcopal consecration on the following November 1 from Cardinal Ildefonso Schuster, OSB, with Bishops Adriano Bernareggi and Angelo Roncalli serving as co-consecrators. Testa was later named the first Apostolic Delegate to Jerusalem, Palestine, Transjordania, and Cyprus on February 11, 1948, and Nuncio to Switzerland on March 6, 1953.

Pope John XXIII created him Cardinal Priest of San Girolamo dei Croati in the consistory of December 14, 1959. On October 4, 1961, Testa was made Pro-President of the Cardinalitial Commission for the Special Administration of Holy See. The Cardinal was appointed Secretary of the Congregation for Oriental Churches on August 2, 1962, and his position was renamed as Prefect of the same dicastery on August 15, 1967. From 1962 to 1965, he attended the Second Vatican Council. Testa was one of the cardinal electors who participated in the 1963 papal conclave that selected Cardinal Montini as Pope Paul VI; during the conclave, Testa lost his temper and demanded that the deadlock be dissolved by allowing Montini's election[1]. He resigned as Prefect of Oriental Churches on January 13, 1968, and then as Pro-President of the Special Administration of Holy See on May 7, 1968.

Testa died in Rome at age 82, and is buried in Bergamo.


  • Testa had been a close friend of Pope John XXIII, also from Bergamo, since they were schoolmates in Rome[2].


  1. Pham, John-Peter. "Heirs of the Fisherman: Behind the Scenes of Papal Death and Succession". Oxford University Press, 2007
  2. TIME Magazine. Eight New Hats November 30, 1959

External links

Preceded by
Valerio Valeri
Apostolic Delegate to Egypt, Arabia, Eritrea, Abyssinia, and Palestine
Succeeded by
Arthur Hughes, MAfr
Preceded by
Apostolic Delegate to Jerusalem, Palestine, Transjordania, and Cyprus
Succeeded by
Silvio Oddi
Preceded by
Filippo Bernardini
Nuncio to Switzerland
Succeeded by
Alfredo Pacini
Preceded by
Gabriel Coussa, BA
Prefect of the Congregation for Oriental Churches
Succeeded by
Maximilien de Fürstenberg
no:Gustavo Testa

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