Birth. March 2, 1810, Carpineto, diocese of Anagni. Sixth of the seven children of Count Ludovico Pecci and Countess Anna Prosperi Buzzi. Brother of Cardinal Giuseppe Pecci, S.J. (1879). His baptismal name was Vincenzo Gioacchino Raffaele Luigi. Received the sacrament of confirmation, August 25, 1817.
Education. Studied at the Jesuit school of Viterbo from 1818 until 1824; at Collegio Romano from 1824 to 1832; at the Archgymnasium of Rome, where he earned a doctorate in theology in 1836); at the Pontifical Academy of Ecclesiastical Nobles, Rome, from 1832; an at La Sapienza University, Rome (utroque iuris, both civil and canon law).
Early life. Domestic prelate of His Holiness, February 6 (1), 1837. Referendary of the Tribunals of the Apostolic Signature of Justice and of Grace, March 16, 1837. Relator of the Congregation of Good Government, June 28, 1837.
Priesthood. Ordained, December 31, 1837. Apostolic delegate in Benevento, February 17, 1838; in Spoleto, June 12, 1841; and in Perugia, July 17, 1841.
Episcopate. Elected titular archbishop of Damietta, January 27, 1843. Consecrated, February 19, 1843, church of S. Lorenzo in Panisperna, Rome, by Cardinal Luigi Emmanuele Nicolo Lambruschini, C.R.S.P., secretary of State, assisted by Fabio Maria Asquini, titular archbishop of Tarso, and by Giuseppe Maria Castellani, O.S.A., titular bishop of Porfireone, papal sacristan. Nuncio in Belgium, January 28, 1843 (picture above). Assistant at the Pontifical Throne, February 10, 1843. Consecrated, February 19, 1843, Rome, by Cardinal Luigi Lambruschini. Transferred to the see of Perugia, with the title of archbishop, January 19, 1846.
Cardinalate. Created cardinal priest in the consistory of December 19, 1853; received the red hat and the title of S. Crisogono, December 22, 1853. Camerlengo of the Holy Roman Church, September 21, 1877 until his election to the papacy. Participated in the conclave of 1878 and was elected pope.
Papacy. Elected, February 20, 1878; took the name Leo XIII. Crowned, March 3, 1878, patriarchal Vatican basilica, by Cardinal Teodolfo Mertel (2), deacon of S. Eustachio. He kept the see of Perugia until the naming of his successor in 1880. He created 147 cardinals in 27 consistories.
Death. July 20, 1903, Vatican apostolic palace. Exposed and buried, on July 25, 1903, in the patriarchal Vatican basilica; his remains were transferred to the patriarchal Lateran basilica on October 22, 1924, and buried in the monument erected by the cardinals he created on October 27, 1924.
Bibliography. De Marchi, Giuseppe. Le nunziature apostoliche dal 1800 al 1956 . Pref. di Antonio Samoré. Roma : Edizioni di Storia e letteratura, 1957, p. 62; Kelly, John Norman Davidson, The Oxford Dictionary of Popes. Oxford ; New York : Oxford University Press, 1986, pp. 309-313; Kiefer, William J. Leo XIII. A light from heaven. Milwaukee : The Bruce Publishing Company, 1960; Levillain, Philippe ; Ticchi, Jean-Marc. Le pontificat de Léon XIII : renaissances du Saint-Siège? Rome : École française de Rome, 2006. (Collection de l'École française de Rome, 368). Colloque "Le pontificat de Léon XIII, renaissances du Saint-Siège?" (2003 : Paris, France); Malgeri, Francesco. "Leone XIII." Enciclopedia dei papi. 3 vols. Roma : Istituto della Enciclopedia italiana, 2000, III, 575-593; O'Reilly, Bernard. Life of Leo XIII, from an authentic memoir furnished by his order. London : S. Low, Marston & Co., 1903. Responsibility: written with the encouragement, approbation and blessing of His Holiness the pope; the complete life of the venerable father; Penteriani, Ulderico. "Leone XIII", Mondo Vaticano. Pasato e presente. A cura di Niccolò Del Re. Città del Vaticano : Libreria Editrice Vaticana, 1995, pp. 652-656; 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. 172 and 302; Ritzler, Remigium, and Pirminum Sefrin. Hierarchia Catholica Medii et Recentioris Aevi. Volumen VIII (1846-1903). Patavii : Typis et Sumptibus Domus Editorialis "Il Messaggero di S. Antonio" apud Basilicam S. Antonii, 1979, pp. 13, 24-27 and 47; Soderini, Eduardo. Leo XIII : Italy and France. Translated and annotated by Barbara Barclay Carter. London : Burns Oates & Washbourne, 1935; Soderini, Eduardo. The Pontificate of Leo XIII. Translated by Barbara Barclay Carter. 2 vols. London : Burns, Oates & Washbourne, 1934; Viaene, Vincent. The papacy and the new world order : Vatican diplomacy, catholic opinion and international politics at the time of Leo XIII = La papauté et le nouvel ordre mondial : Diplomatie vaticane, opinion catholique et politique internationale au temps de Leo XIII, 1878-1903. Bruxelles : Institut historique belge de Rome = Belgisch historisch Instituut te Rome, 2005. (Institut historique belge de Rome, bibliothèque = Belgisch historisch Instituut te Rome, Bibliotheek, LVII); Weber, Christoph. Kardinäle und Prälaten in den letzten Jahrzehnten des Kirchenstaates : Elite-Rekrutierung, Karriere-Muster u. soziale Zusammensetzung d. kurialen Führungsschicht zur Zeit Pius' IX. (1846-1878). Stuttgart : Hiersemann, 1978. (Päpste und Papsttum; Bd. 13, I-II), II, 501-503, 538, 547, 565, 585, 605, 617, 619, 645, 674, 686, 701, 706, 711, 715, 726, 740-742, 748 and 749.
Webgraphy. Biography by Umberto Benigni, in English, The Catholic Encyclopedia; biography, in English, Encyclopaedia Britannica; biography by Francesco Malgeri, Enciclopedia dei papi, Treccani; Leone XIII il Pontefice delle cose nuove, in Italian, Sito Ufficiale del Comune di Carpineto Romano; his episcopal lineage by Charles N. Bransom, Jr., in English, Apostolic Succession & Episcopal Lineages in the Roman Catholic Church; his tomb in the patriarchal Lateran basilica, Rome, The National Australian University; his bust by Ernesto Gazzeri, The Catholic University of America; his portrait, AEIOU Österreich-Lexikon; caricature from Vanity Fair, Antique Prints & Maps; his portrait by Mario Quaresima, convent of S. Cecilia in Trastevere, Rome, iccd immagini, Fototeca Nazionale, Italy; his last photograph, iccd immagini, Fototeca Nazionale, Italy; his effigy on a medal of the fourth year of his pontificate, Rusty Pennies, Website of Alexander Basok; his photograph, iccd immagini, Fototeca Nazionale, Italy; his effigy on a postal stamp of Vatican City; official medal, Comune di Carpineto Romano, Bicentenario della nascita di Leone XIII, realizzata dal Maestro Orafo Gianni Ricci; his funeral monument, patriarchal Lateran basilica, Rome, iccd immagini, Fototeca Nazionale, Italy; another view of the same monument, Life is a Prayer.com; his statue, lobby of McMahon Hall, The Catholic University of America; The pope who published riddles in secret by Carol Glatz on Wednesday, Catholic Herald, 23 July 2014; Acton Institute explores legacy of Leo XIII's Rerum novarum, Vatican Radio, 2016-04-19; Catholic social teachings call to the dignity of creation by Denis M. Hughes and Brian Jordan, National Catholic Reporter, May. 13, 2016; Sorprendente rivelazione di Papa Leone XIII: “Ho visto i demoni e ho sentito i loro bisbigli, Aleteia, Corazones.org, Gen 17, 2018; Pope Leo XIII opens the Vatican Secret Archives by Thomas Lester, The Boston Pilot, Friday, August 3, 2018; From the Industrial Revolution to the Digital, what guides us on 'new things'? by Don Clemmer, National Catholic Reporter, Jun 29, 2019; Nationalism without Idolatry. How Christians can purify their civic attachments by Slavica Jakelić, Commonweal, October 22, 2019; This Roman church was a gift from Catholics around the world to Leo XIII by Hannah Brockhaus. Catholic News Agency, Rome, Italy, Dec 31, 2019 / 07:01 pm; La prudente cura per il bene comune. I 130 anni della «Rerum novarum» by Flavio Felice, Professore ordinario di Storia delle dottrine politiche – Università del Molise, L'Osservatore Romano, 15 maggio 2021; "Rerum Novarum", une encyclique toujours d’actualité by Cyprien Viet, Vatican News, Cité du Vatican, 15 mai 2021, 13:32; Catholic Social Doctrine Linked by Encyclicals Rerum Novarum and Quadragesimo Anno by V. Bradley Lewis, National Catholic Register, May 16, 2021; I Pontefici e il Rosario, Leone XIII chiede di pregare per difendere la fede e la Chiesa by Angela Ambrogetti, ACI Stampa, Città del Vaticano, 31 maggio, 2021 / 6:00 PM; Pope Leo XIII and contemporary Catholic contentions by George Weigel, The Boston Pilot, Wednesday, August 11, 2021.
(1) This is according to Penteriani, Ulderico. "Leone XIII", Mondo Vaticano. Pasato e presente, p.652; Ritzler, Hierarchia Catholica Medii
et Recentioris Aevi, VIII, 172; says that he was named on March 16, 1837.
(2) He was the second most senior cardinal deacon. The cardinal protodeacon, Prospero Caterini, was ill and could not take part in the coronation ceremony.
Birth. January 10, 1806, Rome. Of a family, on his father's side, of merchants of the countryside that became rich and entered the patriciate of Terni and Spoleto; and on his mother's side of the dukes of Sermoneta, eminent members of the Roman aristocracy, descendent of Pope Boniface VIII. Second of the seven children of Domenico di Pietro and Faustina Caetani (1785-1832), of the dukes of Sermoneta. Grandnephew of Cardinal Michele Di Pietro (1801). His last name is also listed as De Petro.
Education. Studied at Collegio Romano (humanities and philosophy); at Seminario Romano (theology); at Collegio di Protonotari Apostolici, Rome (doctorate in utroque iuris, both civil and canon law, May 10, 1829). Received the subdiaconate on May 19, 1839; and the diaconate on June 2, 1839.
Early life. Entered the Roman prelature as domestic prelate on January 15, 1829; and referendary on January 15, 1829. Relator of the Sacred Consulta, December 15, 1828. Prelate adjunct of the S.C. of the Tridentine Council, January 15, 1829 until 1832. Protonotary apostolic non participantium, before November 10, 1830. On December 13, 1830, he pronounced before the cardinals gathered for the conclave the funeral oration for Pope Pius VIII. Apostolic delegate in Orvieto, before July 28, 1832; and in Spoleto, January 20, 1834 until 1835. Pope Gregory XVI recalled him to Rome and named him Auditor of the Sacred Roman Rota on April 6, 1835; confirmed in his post by motu proprio of April 27, 1835; took the oath on November 16, 1835; and entered the office on the following November 23; resigned the post on August 19, 1839.
Priesthood. Ordained, June 16, 1839.
Episcopate. Elected titular archbishop of Beirut, July 8, 1839. Consecrated, July 14, 1839, church of Ss. Domenico e Sisto, Rome, by Cardinal Chiarissimo Falconieri-Mellini, archbishop of Ravenna, assisted by Ignazio Giovanni Cadolini, titular archbishop of Edessa, and by Fabio Maria Asquini, titular archbishop of Tarso. Nuncio to the Kingdom of the Naples and the Two Sicilies, July 30 (1), 1839. Assistant at the Pontifical Throne, February 12, 1841. Internuncio extraordinary and apostolic delegate to Portugal, June 29, 1844. Nuncio to Portugal, September 24, 1847; pro-nuncio, 1856.
Cardinalate. Created cardinal in the consistory of December 19, 1853 and reserved in pectore; published in the consistory of June 16, 1856; received the red hat, February 17, 1859; and the title of S. Giovanni a Porta Latina, April 15, 1859. President of the Supreme Council of Public Affairs, August 10, 1859. Protector of the Theological Academy of the University of Rome before January 20, 1861. Prefect of the Supreme Tribunal of the Signature of Justice, August 29, 1863 to 1867. Camerlengo of the Sacred College of Cardinals, January 8, 1866 until February 22, 1867. Opted for the order of cardinal bishops and the suburbicarian see of Albano, September 20, 1867. President of the Census Office, December 20, 1867 to 1870. Opted for the suburbicarian see of Porto e Santa Rufina, March 12, 1877. Vice-dean of the Sacred College of Cardinals. He played an essential role in its organization and obtained the necessary guarantees from the Italian government for the 1878 conclave; it was the first conclave celebrated after the Holy See had lost the Papal States. Participated in the conclave of 1878, which elected Pope Leo XIII. Camerlengo of the Holy Roman Church, March 28, 1878 until his death. Opted for the suburbicarian see of Ostia e Velletri, July 15, 1878, proper of the dean of the Sacred College of Cardinals. Protector of the Kingdom of Portugal.
Death. March 6, 1884, at 8 p.m., of pleuropneumonia, in his Roman residence in Via Panisperna, after receiving the sacraments of the church from the pastor of the church of S. Maria dei Monti; and the apostolic blessing imparted by Monsignor Franchi. Exposed in the church of S. Maria dei Monti, Rome The funeral took place in the church of S. Antonio dei Portoghese, Rome, at 10 a.m., celebrated by Francesco Giordani, titular bishop of Areopoli, suffragan of Velletri; the final absolution was imparted by Cardinal Carlo Sacconi, vice-dean of the Sacred College of Cardinals. In attendance were Cardinals Jean-Baptiste-François Pitra, O.S.B., Flavio Chigi, Giovanni Simeoni, Johannes Baptiste Franzelin, S.J., Lucido Maria Parocchi, Ludovico Jacobini, Bianchi, Teodolfo Mertel, Giuseppe Pecci, Francesco Ricci Paracciani, Pietro Lasagni and Angelo Jacobini. Present were the ambassadors of Portugal, Austria-Hungary, France and Brazil before the Holy See, as well as representatives from Spain, Chile and the Knights of Malta, of which Cardinal Di Pietro was bailiff. The late cardinal was buried in Campo Verano cemetery, Rome.
Bibliography. Boutry, Philippe. Souverain et Pontife : recherches prosopographiques sur la curie romaine à l'âge de la restauration, 1814-1846. Rome : École française de Rome, 2002, p. 547-548; "Cardinali defunti", La Gerarchia Cattolica e la Famiglia Pontificia per l'anno 1903, Città del Vaticano : Tipografia poliglotta vaticana, 1903, p. 179; De Marchi, Giuseppe. Le nunziature apostoliche dal 1800 al 1956. Pref. di Antonio Samoré. Roma : Edizioni di Storia e letteratura, 1957, pp. 176 and 213-214; LeBlanc, Jean. Dictionnaire biographique des cardinaux du XIXe siècle : contribution à l'histoire du Sacré Collège sous les pontificats de Pie VII, Léon XII, Pie VIII, Grégoire XVI, Pie IX et Léon XIII, 1800-1903. Montréal : Wilson & Lafleur, 2007. (Collection Gratianus. Série instruments de recherche), p. 308-310; L'Osservatore Romano [electronic resource]. Città del Vaticano : L'Osservatore Romano, XXIV, n. 57 (March 8, 1884), p. 3; XXIV, n. 58 (March 9, 1884), p. 3; and XXIV, n. 60 (March 12, 1884), p. 3; 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, p. 110; Ritzler, Remigium, and Pirminum Sefrin. Hierarchia Catholica Medii et Recentioris Aevi. Volumen VIII (1846-1903). Patavii : Typis et Sumptibus Domus Editorialis "Il Messaggero di S. Antonio" apud Basilicam S. Antonii, 1979, pp.; 13-14, 43, 44 and 48; Weber, Christoph and Becker, Michael. Genealogien zur Papstgeschichte. 6 v. Stuttgart : Anton Hiersemann, 1999-2002. (Päpste und Papsttum, Bd. 29, 1-6), V, 356; Weber, Christoph. Kardinäle und Prälaten in den letzten Jahrzehnten des Kirchenstaates : Elite-Rekrutierung, Karriere-Muster u. soziale Zusammensetzung d. kurialen Führungsschicht zur Zeit Pius' IX. (1846-1878). Stuttgart : Hiersemann, 1978. (Päpste und Papsttum; Bd. 13, I-II), II, 458-460, 536, 540, 561, 570, 605, 613, 618, 652, 653, 673, 684, 703-705, 732, 743 and 753.
Webgraphy. Biography by Giuseppe Monsagrati, in Italian, Dizionario Biografico degli Italiani - Volume 40 (1991); photograph and biography, in English, Wikipedia; his episcopal lineage by Charles N. Bransom, Jr., in English, Apostolic Succession & Episcopal Lineages in the Roman Catholic Church; his engraving, photograph and arms, Araldica Vaticana; I Decani del Sacro Collegio: il Cardinale Camillo Di Pietro by Marco Mancini, ACI Stampa, Citta del Vaticano, 28 luglio, 2021 / 10:00 AM.
(1) This is according to Ritzler, Hierarchia Catholica Medii et Recentioris Aevi, VII, 110; De Marche, Le nunziature apostoliche dal 1800 al 1956, p. 176, indicates that he was named on July 27, 1839.
©1998-2021 Salvador Miranda.