Cardinal Andrea Cordero Lanza di Montezemolo, Archpriest of the Papal Basilica of St. Paul outside-the-Walls, was born on August 27, 1925 in Turin, Italy.
In 1949 he obtained a degree in architecture and while practising such profession, he obtained from the Pontifical Gregorian University a bachelor’s degree in philosophy (1952) and a licentiate in theology (1954).
He was ordained a priest on March 13, 1954, and attended the Pontifical Ecclesiastical Academy (1957-1959) and in 1959 obtained a degree in canon law at the Pontifical Lateran University. In the same year, he entered the diplomatic service of the Holy See and for 42 years served as nunciature secretary in various countries: the apostolic delegation in Mexico (1960-1964); the apostolic nunciature in Japan (1964-1965); the apostolic nunciature in Kenya/Uganda/Tanzania (1965-1968); Secretariat of State, council for public affairs (1968-1972).
He was appointed under-secretary and then secretary of the Pontifical Commission Iustitia et Pax, and on April 5, 1977 he was nominated titular Archbishop of Anglona and Apostolic Pro-Nuncio in Papua New Guinea and Apostolic Delegate in the Solomon Islands. On June 4, 1977 he received episcopal ordination.
On October 25, 1980 he was transferred to the apostolic nunciatures in Honduras and Nicaragua, and on April 1, 1986 he was appointed Apostolic Nuncio in Uruguay.
On April 28, 1990 he was appointed Apostolic Delegate in Jerusalem and Palestine. On May 28, of the same year he was appointed Apostolic Nuncio in Cyprus. Always in 1990 he was appointed Apostolic Delegate in Jordan.
On April 13, 1991 he was transferred to the titular see of Tuscania and from 1994-1998 he served as Apostolic Nuncio in Israel. From March 7, 1998 until April 2001 he served as Apostolic Nuncio in Italy and in San Marino.
On May 31, 2005 Pope Benedict XVI appointed him as Archpriest of the Papal Basilica of St. Paul outside-the-Walls.
An expert in heraldry, he contributed to the design of the coat of arms of Pope Benedict XVI.
Created and proclaimed cardinal by Benedict XVI in the consistory of March 24, 2006, of the Deaconry of Santa Maria in Portico (St. Mary in Portico).