The newly appointed Auxiliary Bishop of the Latin Patriarchate of Jerusalem in Cyprus, Bruno Varriano, is set to be ordained in Nicosia on Saturday.

The ordainment comes two months after Pope Francis nominated Varriano, a friar minor of the Custody of the Holy Land, as the Auxiliary Bishop of the Latin Patriarchate of Jerusalem in Cyprus.

The Episcopal Ordination will take place at the Filoxenia Conference Centre in the capital at 4:30pm and it will be the first of its kind in modern Cyprus since the Ottoman Empire, as the Ottoman invasion in 1571 led to the formal dissolution of the Cypriot Catholic Church, even though faithful and members of the clergy were able to remain on the island.

The Latin Patriarch of Jerusalem Pierbattista Pizzaballa released a statement expressing “gratitude and joy” for the appointment of the new auxiliary bishop Varriano.

“Strengthened by the fullness of the priestly ministry, the bishop-elect will continue in his mission as Patriarchal Vicar for the island of Cyprus,” Pizzaballa said.

He will also attend the ordainment on Saturday, alongside the Archbishop of Cyprus Georgios, the Roman Catholic Archbishop of Athens Theodoros Kontidis, the Maronite Archbishop of Cyprus Selim Sfeir, as well as other Catholic Church representatives from the Vatican, Italy, Portugal, Brazil, Poland, Ukraine, Syria, Lebanon, Turkey, Greece, and Cyprus.

According to a statement released by the Custody of the Holy Land, a custodian priory of the Order of Friars Minor in Jerusalem, it is the first time that an auxiliary bishop of the Latin Patriarchate of Jerusalem will live on the island of Cyprus, after its modern establishment in 1959.

Of Brazilian origin, Varriano was born in Sao Paulo, Brazil in 1971. He joined the Custody of the Holy Land in 1996. He is a priest and a psychotherapist, specialising in clinical psychology.

As a clinical psychologist he worked in the French Hospital in Jerusalem. He holds a Licentiate in Spiritual Theology from the Pontifical “Antonianum” University in Rome and a Diploma in Biblical Formation.

In August 2022 he was appointed Vicar of the Patriarch of Jerusalem of the Latins for Cyprus.