Fr. Raniero Cantalamessa, OFM Cap, was born in Italy and ordained a Franciscan Capuchin priest in 1958. He taught at the Catholic University of Milan until 1979, when he resigned his teaching position to become a full-time preacher of the gospel. In 1980 he was appointed by Pope John Paul II as preacher to the Papal Household. He still serves in that capacity, preaching a weekly sermon during Advent and Lent in the presence of Pope Benedict XVI. He is a frequent speaker at international and ecumenical conferences and rallies, and his books have been translated into more than twenty languages. He lives in a hermitage in Italy, ministering to a small community of cloistered nuns.