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Vatican Librarian

Monsignor Cesar Pasini’s Historic Visit

Monsignor Cesar Pasini, prefect of the Biblioteca Aposatolica Vaticana in Rome, and one of the world's foremost scholars on Saint Ambrose of Milan, visited St. Ambrose University in December 2012.

Msgr. Pasini, author of one of the definitive works on Saint Ambrose, Ambrose of Milan: Thoughts and Actions of a Bishop, which is currently being translated into English visited the university's Academy for the Study of Saint Ambrose of Milan, and presented a public lecture, "Progressing with Freedom Toward Humility: Images and Thoughts of Ambrose of Milan."

St. Ambrose Professor of Theology Rev. Robert Grant, who also serves as director of the university's Academy for the Study of Saint Ambrose of Milan, says that Msgr. Pasini's lecture was a blend of spirituality and theology, which "discussed the Christian call to lose oneself, to surrender one's own desires and ideologies in order to encounter Christ."

Monsignor Cesar Pasini, the prefect of the Vatican Library, is a priest of the diocese of Milan, born Feb. 3, 1950 and ordained a priest June 8, 1974. He is a founding member of the Academia Ambrosiana, which is a research institute housed within the Biblioteca Ambrosiana, with whom St, Ambrose University has signed a Memorandum of Understanding. He is also a founding member, frequent contributor, and chief editor of the annual publication Studia Ambrosiana: Saggi e ricerche su Ambrogio e l'eta tardoantica (Ambrosian Studies: scholars and researchers on Ambrose and the late ancient period). Five articles by SAU faculty have been published in this journal.

He has written numerous articles commentaries, and books concerning the theology and spirituality of Saint Ambrose of Milan, including a significant biography, Ambrogio di Milano: azione e pensiero di un vescovo (Ambrose of Milan: Thoughts and Actions of a Bishop). The English translation of this book is due out in early 2013 and includes the following reference to SAU: "This translation joins together two locations: Rome and Davenport, Iowa. The Biblioteca Apostolica Vaticana, where I now work, has made me aware of Ambrose in his Roman background...Davenport and the university dedicated to St. Ambrose is the place in which this translation was born." He goes on to suggest that St. Ambrose University could be crucial "in advancing an environment of research toward a suitable awareness of Ambrose." He is, in a word, one of the most significant scholars of the university's patron saint in the world.

As prefect of the Vatican Library, Msgr. Pasini oversees a major development program (recently completed), which includes physical plant renovations and construction, digitalizing resources, collaboration among other global research institutions, Vatican museum exhibitions, etc. He manages the staff, the budget, and the facility. He even takes time to write a regular newsletter, available in English.

Msgr. Pasini is also associated with a community of convented sisters, the Romite Ambrosiane Sacro Monte Varese, whose charism is rooted in the spirituality of Saint Ambrose of Milan. Indeed, their convent is on the site said to be the summer house of Ambrose (and thus, the place wherein Augustine experienced his conversion). He offers retreats and pastoral advice to this group.

Msgr. Pasini is a near-fluent English speaker, whose academic work is also in French, German, Latin, and Greek.