The Cardinals of the Holy Roman Church

Biographical Dictionary
Pope Gregory XVI (1831-1846)
Consistory of July 8, 1839 (XIV)

(48) 1. PIGNATELLI, Theat., Ferdinando Maria (1770-1853)

Birth. June 9, 1770, Naples. Of the family branch of the Monteroduni. Son of Giovanni Pignatelli (1719-1791), prince of Monteroduni, and Lucrezia Mormile, (1730-1813), from the ancient partenopea aristocracy. The family gave the Church Pope Innocent XII; and Cardinals Francesco Pignatelli, seniore, Theat., (1703); Francesco Maria Pignatelli, iuniore (1794); and Domenico Pignatelli di Belmonte, Theat. (1802).

Education. Entered the Congregation of the Clerics Regular Theatines. He studied theology in Genoa; obtained a doctorate by papal brief in 1839.

Priesthood. Ordained, May 25, 1793. Lector of philosophy and theology in houses of studies of his congregation. Superior general of his order, 1824; resigned by apostolic brief, February 5, 1836. Prosynodal examiner of the clergy of Naples. Consultor of the S.C. of Propaganda Fide fom Abril de 1838. Granted the doctorate in theology, by apostolic brief, February 15, 1839.

Episcopate. Elected archbishop of Palermo, February 21, 1839. Consecrated, April 1, 1839, in the church of S.Andrea della Valle, Rome, by Cardinal Emmanuel De Gregorio, assisted by Antonio Louis Piatti, titular Latin patriarch of Antioch, and by Ignazio Giovanni Cadolini, titular archbishop of Edessa di Osroene, secretary of the S.C. of Propaganda Fide.

Cardinalate. Created cardinal priest in the consistory of July 8, 1839; received the red hat and the title of S. Maria della Vittoria, July 11, 1839. Participated in the conclave of 1846, which elected Pope Pius IX.

Death. May 10, 1853, Palermo. Exposed and buried in the metropolitan cathedral of Palermo (1).

Bibliography. Ritzler, Remigium, and Pirminum Sefrin. Hierarchia Catholica Medii et Recentioris Aevi. Volumen VII (1800-1846). Patavii : Typis et Sumptibus Domus Editorialis "Il Messaggero di S. Antonio" apud Basilicam S. Antonii, 1968, pp. 31, 43 and 298.

Webegraphy. Biography by Ugo Dovere, in Italian, Dizionario Biografico degli Italiani - Volume 83 (2015), Treccani; his engraving, arms and portrait, Araldica Vaticana.

(1) This is the text of the inscription in his vault, kindly provided by Mr. Eman Bonnici, from Malta:

Ferdinandi M. Pignatellii
S.R.E. Card. et Archiep. Pan.
cineres hic iacent.

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