Metropolitan Archbishop Giovanni Luca, born Gianluca de Lucia, was born in Bordighera on 27 May 1978. He graduated in Accounting in 2013 and obtained a Bachelor’s Degree in Theology from Saint Andrew Institute (USA).
A former Carabiniere Auxiliary with Medal of Merit, he was a political activist in Ventimiglia, town councillor from 2002 to 2010, former mayoral candidate and had the privilege of participating in the election of the Italian Chamber of Deputies in 2013, achieving a modest result (8997 valid votes).
In 2010/2011 he was a collaborator of the Prime Minister of Djibouti, a small state in the Horn of Africa, and thanks to this opportunity he became a member of the National Association of Collaborators and Ministers and Parliamentarians of France (ANCMP). He also managed three companies in West Africa in the mining, transport and renewable technology sectors from 2015 to 2019.
He has been residing in the Principality of Monaco for many years and directs the Monegasque cult association called “Polish National Catolich Church à Monaco”, a mission of the Vetero-Catholic Policsh National Catolic Church of the same name, in full sacramental exchange with the Roman Catholic Church by the will of Saint John Paul II.
Since 2015, he is Vice President of the Monegasque association called “Grand Priory of Russia – Commandery of Monaco”, Orthodox Order of Malta, currently ecumenical.
Passionate about history and theology, he was fascinated by Seborga and its ancient Principality, so he decided to conduct a historical-legal research on the evolution of Seborga and its Abbey Principality. Three years ago, he published an on-line study, which can be consulted at: https://castrumsepulchri.org
In 2019, he involved a group of enthusiasts in the re-establishment of the Monastic Order of Seborga and its Abbey.
On 29 September 2019, together with nine monks, he took two monastic vows for tertiary life: obedience and moderation. Following the Divine Liturgy, celebrated by the Reverend Father Gastone Bernacchi, secretary of the Italian Deanery of the P.N.C.C. and Vice-President of the Monegasque cult organisation, P.N.C.C. in Monaco, the Reverend Father consecrated ten conversient monks (tertiaries) assisted by two Orthodox religious, in the spirit of ecumenical dialogue as laid down by the Apostle John. At the end of the consecration, His Reverend Highness Giovanni Luca, the new pro tempore Prince-Abate of Seborga, was elected Commendatory Abbot of Seborga.
The newly converted monks have established a monastic rule, de facto reconstituting the Abbey of Seborga in order to claim all the rights of the ancient Abbey Principality.
The Monastic Order of Seborga is incardinated in the Monegasque religious body P.N.C. in Monaco, but since its constitution it has taken on a hybrid theological form that welcomes Catholics and Orthodox and is open to dialogue with all the Christians of the world.
In order to respect the rule adopted by the Order’s monks, the religious have decided to embark on an ecumenical path by welcoming two clerics from the Autocephalous Italian Orthodox Church called Antico Orientale, a church of pre-Chalcedonian extraction, founded by the illustrious Professor Alessandro Meluzzi.
On 1 November 2019, the Commendatory Abbot of Seborga had the privilege of receiving diaconal ordination, together with two other tertiary brethren. He then received Priestly Ordination in order to perfect his mission.
On 28 December 2019, he formally reconstituted the Abbey Principality of Seborga, known as the Principality of Seborga, together with the converged monks of the Abbey of Seborga as a result of the consecration of the Commendatory Abbot into Abbot General of the Abbey of Seborga carried out by the then Vicar General of the Autocephalous Italian Orthodox Church.
On that date, the clerics and monks of the Abbey of Seborga adopted the new Constitution of the reconstituted Abbey Principality of Seborga, which abrogates the one adopted by the constituent monks in 1261 and subsequent amendments.
The Abbey Principality of Seborga fell into “dormant” status from 29 January 1729, the date on which the sale of all rights over Seborga was brought by the legatine monks of the Island of Lerino to the King of Sardinia, until 28 December 2019, the date of its formal reactivation.
On 13 November 2021, in the enchanting setting of Viglas Castle in Slovakia, His Most Reverend Highness re-consecrated the Order of the Dragon, an ancient chivalric order created by Emperor Sigismund of Luxembourg in 1408. On this occasion, the new Grand Master, His Excellency Baron Daniel von Rechitar, descendant of Elisebetta of Luxembourg, was installed, together with his knights and ladies, and appointed by the Grand Master as Sacristan of the Order.
His Most Reverend Highness Giovanni Luca carried out several studies on Orthodoxy, in particular the canons of the First Great Councils of the Church of Christ, confirming that he adopted the Orthodox confession as a choice of life, accepting the canons of the Councils of Nicaea, Ephesus, Chalcedon and Trullan.
This choice was necessary in order to recognise the regularity of the married clergy, especially the bishops who, in Chalcedonian, Catholic or Orthodox churches, are exclusively monks with the obligation of celibacy.
On 20 February 2022, the Prince-Abate of Seborga was consecrated Bishop by His Eminence Theodore, Bishop of Heraclea and Primate of the Italian Orthodox Church of Cisalpine Gaul, known as the Italian Autonomous Orthodox Church, born from the U.A.O.C. – Patriarchate of Kiev. Hence it has the regular Apostolic Succession of the Patriarchate of Kiev, today recognised by the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople, through the Tomos of Autocephaly.
His Most Reverend Highness, since the date of the re-establishment of the Monastic Order of Seborga, wishes to consolidate the work that the public administrators and the late Giorgio Carbone, promoter of the idea to reactivate the Principality of Seborga, have tried to create, by presenting a programme for the economic, tourist and cultural development of Seborga with the following objectives to be achieved, in harmony with the Local Administrative Authorities and the Italian Government:
– Obtain legal recognition by the International Community;
– To obtain the Autonomy of the Abbey Principality of Seborga, through the recognition of the Abbey Principality of Seborga, today a Sovereign State without territorial possession, through the establishment of an autonomous area as provided for in Article five of the Italian Constitution;
– Establish the Agency for the Economic Development of Seborga called ASEPAS;
– To request the installation of ATMs, which are essential for local commercial development;
– To create a Digital Currency, guaranteed by gold and patrimonial reserves of known profitability, inspired by the “Luigino” currency that was introduced in Seborga in 1666 until 1669;
– To identify and plan an area for an eco-sustainable and green residential settlement called “Griffon Village”;
– Relaunching Culture and Tourism through the implementation of a Program of Annual Events planned by the Cultural Association “La Vela Bianca”;
– Requalifying the Territory by recovering the existing agricultural heritage;
– To define the implementation of a European Project for the Cableway Connection with Ospedaletti and its Port Area;
– To define the implementation of a European Project for a heliport link with the Principality of Monaco and Nice Airport;
Particularly in this cosmopolitan era, being a European citizen is a strength and not a disadvantage, even though we continue to claim autonomy from the Italian State. The conception and presentation of projects aimed at obtaining European and Italian funding may favour the economic growth of Seborga.
His Reverend Highness invites you to take part in the events organised by the cultural association called “la Vela Bianca dell’Antico Principato di Seborga” in order to get to know each other better and share the daily project of reconstituting the Abbey Principality of Seborga.