Archbishop Georg Gänswein was born on 30 July 1956 in Reidern am Wald, Waldshut,
a small town in the Black Forest region of Germany.
Archbishop Gänswein has come from a hard working family, Father Albert Gänswein and
Mother Gertrude Gänswein. His Father ran a seventh generation smithy and was involved
in many clubs and associations. Archbishop Gänswein is the eldest of five children,
two Brothers and two Sisters, Reinhard, Helmut, Ursula and Johanna.
His great interests are sports, and is a keen tennis player. Before he became a Priest
he was a ski instructor for the local ski club, he has a pilots licence and was a
mailman in a small village in the Black Forest.
Archbishop Gänswein decided to become a Priest when he was eighteen years old and
studied Theology in Freiburg, Germany. Today he is still a Priest in the archdiocese
of Freiburg. In 1984 Archbishop Gänswein was ordained a Catholic Priest and in 1996
he joined the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. He became a Professor of
canon law at the Pontifical University of the Holy Cross in Rome. In 2000 he was
a Chaplain to His Holiness John Paul II and in 2003 he became Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger’s
In 2005 Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger was elected and became Pope Benedict XVI after
the sad loss of Pope John Paul II. Archbishop Gänswein was appointed Principal Private
Secretary to His Holiness and moved into the Apostolic Palace at the Vatican in Rome.
In 2006 Pope Benedict XVI honoured his private secretary and Archbishop Gänswein
became Prelate of His Holiness. In the past five years since 2006 he has accompanied
Pope Benedict XVI to all visits abroad, Papal Audiences on every Wednesday and appointments
in the Vatican meeting Religious leaders, Politicians and Royalty from various Countries
along with his usual secretarial duties. During these years Archbishop Gänswein has
written many books for adults and children. In 2010 he was awarded the much acclaimed
Capri San Michele award for his book entitled ‘Benedict XVI - Urbi et Orbi: With
the Pope in Rome and travelling the World’. In February 2011 Archbishop Gänswein
received a well deserved Honorary Degree for ‘International Relations and Development
Cooperation’. On 6th January 2013 Pope Benedict XVI officially appointed Archbishop
Ganswein to Prefecture of the Papal Household and titular Archbishop of Urbisaglia