VATICAN CITY – Pope Benedict XVI named 22 new cardinals, announcing on Friday he will elevate them in a formal ceremony Feb. 18.
The Vatican officials include a Brazilian prelate who heads the office for Consecrated Life.
Cardinals are the pope's key advisers and are members of the group that will eventually elect Benedict's successor.
Of the 22, 18 are under 80 -- raising to 125 the numbers of cardinals eligible to vote in a papal conclave.
The pope announced the names "with great joy" following an Epiphany Mass that ended the Vatican's top Christmas celebrations.