A brief history
1984, October 15
Bishop Alvaro del Portillo celebrates the solemn commencement Mass at the Church of Saint Jerome of Charity to inaugurate the first academic year of the Academic Roman Center of the Holy Cross.
1985, January 9
The Congregation for Catholic Education, under the Decree of Dei Servus, canonically institutes the Academic Roman Center of the Holy Cross, and establishes the Schools of Theology and Canon Law from the University of Navarra. There were 41 students enrolled in the Center’s first academic year.
1986, September 17
The Congregation for Catholic Education founds the Higher Institute of Religious Sciences of Apollinare (ISSRA). On July 16, 1988 the ISSRA came under the guidance and academic tutelage of the School of Theology.
In order to accommodate the University´s growing needs, some of the academic activities are transferred to parts of the Apollinare Palace. However, the official seat of the Academic Center is still the Saint Jerome of Charity building.
A. Y. 1986-1987
The first publication of “Annales Theologici,” a journal from the School of Theology
A. Y. 1988-1989
The first publication of “Ius Ecclesiae,” a journal from the School of Canon Law
The University’s Philosophy School begins with 23 students. Up to this point, studies in philosophy were coordinated by the Institute of Philosophy at the University of Navarre.
1990, January 9
The Congregation for Catholic Education canonically institutes the Roman University of the Holy Cross, giving it the official authority to confer academic degrees in the areas of Theology and Philosophy. The University continues its activities in the Faculty of Canon Law at the University of Navarre (Roman department).
A. A. 1990-1991
The academic and administrative seat of the University is transferred to the Apollinare Palace.
1991, January 9
The Congregation for Catholic Education erects the International Ecclesiastical College, Sedes Sapientiae. Some international seminarians, who study at the university, live and receive formation specific to the priesthood at Sedes Sapientiae.
The first issue of Notizie dall'Apollinare (today, Notizie dalla Santa Croce), a newsletter offering information on the current activities of the University, is published principally for the benefit of alumni and benefactors.
A. Y. 1992-1993
The first journal of the Philosophy School is published: “Acta Philosophica.”
1992, May 17
In the Piazza of Saint Peter, John Paul II beatifies the Servant of God, Josemaría Escrivá, Founder of Opus Dei, and inspiration for the Pontifical University of the Holy Cross.
A. Y. 1993-1994
The Pontifical University of the Holy Cross becomes one of the founding members of the URBE union (Roman Ecclesial Library Union), an electronic network of thirteen libraries of other institutions participating in the project.
1993, March 28
The Congregation for Catholic Education establishes the Roman branch of the University of Navarre’s Canon Law School at the Roman University of the Holy Cross.
1994, March 23
Bishop Alvaro del Portillo, founder and first Chancellor of the University of the Holy Cross, dies in Rome. April 20 of the same year, the Holy Father, Pope John Paul II nominates the Prelate of Opus Dei, Bishop Javier Echevarría, to be the new Chancellor of the University.
1995, June 26
On the twentieth anniversary of the “dies natalis” of Saint Josemaría Escrivà – the inspiration of the University of the Holy Cross, and ten years after its institution – the Holy Father John Paul II confers the Pontifical title to the Atheneum.
1996, February 26
The Congregation for Catholic Education erects the School of Church Communications, with the authority to confer Licentiate and Doctoral academic degrees.
Work is begun to expand and modify the layout of the buildings between Via San Girolamo della Carità and Via dei Farnesi, where the current library is located.
1998, July 15
The Holy Father, Pope John Paul II, having followed the appropriate procedures, officially confers the full approval to the Pontifical University of the Holy Cross.
1999, May 29
The Holy Father John Paul II, fifteen years after the University’s founding, grants an audience to the academic community of the Pontifical University of the Holy Cross.
2001, January 9
The Chancellor of the University, Bishop Javíer Echevarría, erects the Saint Josemaría Escrivá Historical Institute, located in Rome.
A. Y. 2001-2002
Edizioni Università della Santa Croce (University of Santa Croce Editions) is started.
2002, January 8-12
The University collaborates in the Conference La grandezza della vita quotidiana (On the Greatness of Daily Life). The intention is to remember, understand, and appreciate the impact that Josemaría Escrivá , on the hundredth anniversary of his birth, had on our understanding of both humanity and spirituality. The Conference includes 1,200 participants from 57 nations.
2002, January 31
Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger meets with the professors of the University in order to discuss the relevant problems facing the doctrine of the faith, and to respond to various questions on both theology and current events.
2002, October 6
Josemaría Escrivá, Founder of Opus Dei and Patron of the Pontifical University of the Holy Cross, is canonized in Saint Peter’s Square.
2002, November 26
The University confers its first Honoris Causa Doctorate degrees in three separate disciplines to Cardinal Dionigi Tettamanzi, Sacred Theology; to Prof. Javier Hervada Xiberta, Canon Law; and to Prof. Michael Rist, Philosophy.
2003, April 29
By decree of the Congregation for Catholic Education, the Tiberinum College is founded in order to provide accommodations for priests and students of the University.
A. Y. 2003-2004
Work is begun on the Apollinare Palace in order to accommodate the ever-increasing number of students. The number of enrolled students has grown from the original 41 to 1,337 students from 65 nations.
On January 10, the University celebrates its twentieth anniversary with an academic event entitled Dei Servus. For the occasion, the 14 volumes that compose the Proceedings of the International Congress on the Greatness of Daily Life are presented.
2006, October 10
Following the statement given by the Episcopal Conference of the ISSR on February 15, 2005, the Congregation for Catholic Education approves the new Statutes for the Higher Institute of Religious Sciences of Apollinare.
The renovations being done to the Apollinare Palace are completed. The total amount of space is increased from 6622 sqm to its current 9366 sqm. The capacity of the classrooms is doubled, as is that of the main Assembly Hall.
2008, April 9
An Honorary Doctorate in the field of Institutional Social Communications is conferred upon Camillo Cardinal Ruini and to Prof. Alfonso Nieto Tamargo.
2008, August 7
The University hosts the closing ceremony of the Tribunal for the Prelature of Opus Dei, the first phase in the cause for the canonization of the University’s first Chancellor, Bishop Álvaro del Portillo.
A. Y. 2009-2010
The beginning of the academic year marks the Twenty-fifth anniversary of the Pontifical University of Santa Croce. In 2009 there are 1,471 students with 75 different nations represented. Since 1984, 7,317 students from 102 different countries have passed through the halls of the University.