Andrea Riccardi

Andrea Riccardi ( born January 16, 1950 in Rome) is a historian and founder of the Catholic Community of Sant'Egidio

Riccardi since 1981 Full Professor of Modern History, History of Christianity and the history of religion at the state " University of Rome " ( Università degli Studi Roma Tre ) in Rome ( Faculty: Lettere e Filosofia ). In 2009 him the Charlemagne Prize of Aachen was awarded for his efforts in combating poverty and for peace.

Andrea Riccardi was appointed on 16 November 2011 by the Italian Prime Minister -designate Mario Monti to the Minister ( without portfolio ) with a work order for " International cooperation and integration."


The son of a banker read in his youth, Mao and Marx and came to the conclusion that faith and politics should be connected.

After a degree in Law Riccardi specialized on time and church history. He taught at the University of Bari, and later at the University La Sapienza in Rome. Riccardi examined the relationships between the different religious worlds and the religious coexistence, especially in the Mediterranean region in the 19th and 20th centuries, further relations between Christianity, Culture and Modernity in the 20th century.

Sant'Egidio and peace work

Riccardi founded in 1968 as a high school student, the Community of Sant'Egidio. With some of his friends he gave children in the Barackenvorstädten Rome free tuition. In the evening we met for prayer, starting in 1974 in the church of Sant'Egidio (St. Giles) in Trastevere. From this grew a Catholic base community, the first built up contacts with the Roman Jews, Muslims and atheists, from which eventually arose an international network. Under John Paul II Riccardi often acted as secretive diplomat. In 1982, he tried to mediate in the Lebanese civil war and to invite the Druze leader Walid Jumblatt to Rome. Although he was arrested by soldiers, but reached that the meeting in Rome actually came about and the displaced Christians could return.

Andrea Riccardi was one of the four official mediator in the peace talks for Mozambique (next Matteo Zuppi of the Community of Sant'Egidio, the Mozambican Bishop Jaime Gonçalves and the Italian Parliament member Mario Raffaelli ). These negotiations took place on the initiative of the Community of Sant'Egidio in Rome in July 1990 and ended with the signing of the peace treaty on October 4, 1992. He has for many years for dialogue and understanding among religions and cultures, before particularly within the framework of the International meeting for Peace ( " world prayer meeting ") of the world's major religions in following the historic meeting of Pope John Paul II in 1986 in Assisi.

With its lay community Riccardi committed to social issues, for peace, abolition of the death penalty, ecumenism and interreligious dialogue. In 2008 he took part in the Synod of Bishops on the Word of God as one of 37 auditors ( listeners ). In January 2011 he was appointed by Pope Benedict XVI. appointed to the Pontifical Health Council.


For his work in peace, he was awarded in 2001 with the Notre Dame Award. He is a member of the Patronage Committee of International Coalition for the Decade for a Culture of Peace and Non-Violence for the Children of the World (2001-2010). Riccardi was founded in 2004 an Honorary Doctorate ( Humane Letters ) Georgetown University (Washington DC, USA ), 2005 an honorary doctorate from the Faculty of Catholic Theology at the University of Augsburg and 2011, the Faculty of Theology of the University of Fribourg. awarded. From Time Magazine Riccardi was established in 2003 as one of the - nominated "Heroes 2003 Fighting Hate". Riccardi was awarded the Charlemagne Prize Committee in December 2008, the Charlemagne Prize in 2009 and awarded on May 21. The Directory for the Charlemagne Prize praised addition to the numerous merits particular the outstanding example of civic engagement for a human, and - within and outside its borders - Europe based on solidarity, for the understanding of peoples, cultures and religions and for a more peaceful and just world.


The journalist Sandro Magister wrote in 2003, referring to former members, Riccardi lead the he founded the Community of Sant'Egidio in an authoritarian manner: He decide who will called to the priesthood and issuing "marriage licenses " for group members. Matthias Drobinski wrote to such accusations in the Süddeutsche Zeitung. " He could also be authoritarian, critics say, and knew very well how they could influence even without official Na and quips Riccardi If it only serves peace. . "

Publications in German language

  • Beneath the cross: spiritual reading of Scripture of the four stories of suffering. EOS -Verlag, St. Ottilie 2002, ISBN 3-8306-7023-0
  • Salt of the earth, light of the world: witness of faith and persecution of Christians in the 20th century. Herder, Freiburg im Breisgau 2002, ISBN 3-451-27421-3
  • God has no fear: the power of the Gospel in a world of change. Real -Verlag, Würzburg 2003, ISBN 3-429-02581-8
  • The preventive peace: hopes and thoughts in a troubled world. Real -Verlag, Würzburg 2005, ISBN 3-429-02701-2
  • The art of living together. Cultures and people in the globalized world. Real -Verlag, Würzburg 2008, ISBN 978-3-429-02996-8
  • John Paul II 's biography. Real -Verlag, Würzburg 2012, ISBN 978-3-429-03412-2