Marko Ivan Rupnik was born November 28, 1954 in Zadlog, Slovenia near Idrija. He is the fourth child, after three sisters, born to Ivan and Ivanka Kaucic. In 1973 he entered the Society of Jesus. He studied philosophy in Ljubljana and then, in 1977, enrolled in the Academy of Fine Arts in Rome where he finished studies in 1981. Theological studies at the Pontifical Gregorian University of Rome followed. He was ordained a priest in 1985. Still at the Gregorian, he began a specialization in missiology. From 1987 to 1991 he lived in Gorizia at the Jesuit “Morning Star” Center where he worked mainly with youth. In 1991 he earned a doctorate from the Gregorian’s Faculty of Missiology with a dissertation on The Theological Missionary Meaning of Art in the Writings of Vjaceslav Ivanovic Ivanov.
Since September of 1991 he has lived and worked in Rome at the Centro Aletti, of which he is the director. He teaches at the Pontifical Oriental Institute, the Pontifical Gregorian University, Saint Anselm Pontifical Liturgical Institute, and gives seminars and lectures at numerous other European academic institutions. Since 1999 he has been a consultant for the Pontifical Council for Culture. In February of 2000 he received the “France Preseren” Award, the Slovenian Republic’s highest recognition for contributions to the cultural patrimony. In 2002 he was decorated with the honor “Sign of honor of the freedom of the Slovenian Republic”, conferred on him by the president of the republic. In 2003 he received the international “Beato Angelico” prize for Europe. His work as an artist and theologian has always been complemented with work that is more specifically pastoral, above all in leading numerous courses and retreats. Besides many collective exhibits he has presented his works in personal exhibits among which those in:
- 1979 Rome, Italy; Milan, Italy; Baltimore, Maryland USA
- 1980 Cleveland, Ohio, USA; Ljubljana, Slovenia
- 1985 Ljubljana, Slovenia
- 1987 Rome, Italy
- 1996 St. Petersburg, Russia
- 1997 Triest, Italy; Brno, Czech Republic; Olomouc, Czech Republic; Rome, Italy; Cluj, Romania
- 2002 Genzano di Roma, Rome province, Italy
In 1993 he painted the presbytery of the Saint-Martin Church of Troyes, France and in 1994 that of the Jesuit novitiate chapel of Kolín, Czech Republic.
With Centro Aletti’s Atelier of spiritual art he has created mosaics in:
- 1999 Redemptoris Mater Chapel in the Second Loggia of the Apostolic Palace, Vatican City
- 2000 St. Hugo Church, Rome, Italy
- 2001 “Madonna of the Olive Grove House” Hospice, Montericco di Albinea, Reggio Emilia province, Italy; Hospitaler Sisters of Mercy Chapel, Rome, Italy; St. John of the Fields Chapel, Pontifical Polish Institute, Rome, Italy; Seminary of Maribor Chapel, Maribor, Slovenia
- 2002 St. Paul the Apostle Church, Barletta, Bari province, Italy; Church of the Most Holy Trinity, Porto Santo Stefano, Grosseto province, Italy; “France Preseren” Publishing House, Ljubljana, Slovenia; St. Michael Church, Grosuplje, Slovenia; Mary Help of Christians Chapel, Tamar, Slovenia; Rest Home Chapel of Crni Vrh, Slovenia; Sts. James and John Church, Milan, Italy; Centro Aletti refectory, Rome, Italy
- 2003 Centrum Aletti Chapel, Olomouc, Czech Republic; Centro Aletti Chapel, Rome, Italy; Badín, Banská Bystrica region, Slovakia; St. Mark Church, Koper, Slovenia; Chapel of the Apostolic Nunciature, Paris, France; Chapel of the Pontifical Faculty of Educational Sciences "Auxilium", Rome, Italy
- 2004 Chapel of the Apostolic Nunciature, Damascus, Syria; Spiritual Center of Emmanuel Community, Lecce, Italy; Chapel of St. Stanislaus College, Ljubljana, Slovenia; St. Florian Chapel, Krnice, Slovenia; St. Claire Church, French College, Rome, Italy.
- 2005 Knights of Columbus' Headquarters' Chapel in New Haven, Connecticut, USA; Chapel of Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments, Vatican City; St. Pasquale Church, Bari, Italy; Chapel in Kocevski rog (Slovenia); Chapel in Archbishopric of Belgrade, Serbia; Sacristy of Madrid Cathedral, Spain;
St Martin Church, Fondi, Italy
- 2006 St Roman Church, Rome, Italy; Chapel of "Casa incontri cristiani", Capiago, Como province, Italy; Mary "Salus Infirmorum" Sanctuary, Scaldaferro, Vicenza province, Italy; Church of St. Stanislaus College, Ljubljana, Slovenia; Orthodox Church of Transfiguration in Cluj