Birth. April 6, 1840, Palermo, Sicily. Neapolitan patrician. Third of the four sons of Fulco Antonio Ruffo di Calabria (1801-1848), ninth prince of Scilla, who was minister of Naples in Turín, and Eleonora Galletti di S. Cataldo (1810-1885). The other siblings were Fulco Beniamino (1848-1901), who was mayor of Naples and gran father of Queen Paola of Belgium, Salvatore and Francesco. Great-nephew of Cardinal Luigi Ruffo Scilla (1801). Other cardinals from another branch of the family were Tommaso Ruffo (1706); Antonio Maria Ruffo (1743); Fabrizio Dionigi Ruffo (1791).
Education. Initial studies with the Barnabites in Colegio de Pontecorvo (1850-1856); then, studied at the Roman Seminary, where he obtained a licentiate in theology on September 3, 1860; and a licentiate in utroque iuris, both civil and canon law, on July 15, 1864.
Priesthood. Ordained, September 20, 1862, Rome. Further studies, Rome. Domestic prelate of His Holiness, March 13, 1868. Protonotary apostolic ad instar participantium, March 26, 1873. Auditor of the Apostolic Chamber, April 19, 1877.
Episcopate. Elected archbishop of Chieti e Vasto, December 28, 1877; on that same day he was granted the pallium. Consecrated, January 6, 1878, patriarchal Lateran basilica, Rome, by Cardinal Flavio Chigi, archpriest of the patriarchal Lateran basilica, assisted by Felix-Marie de Neckere, titular archbishop of Melitene, economous of the Fabric of Saint Peter's basilica, and by Filippo Manetti, titular archbishop of Sardes, secretary of the S.C. of the Apostolic Visit. Assistant at the Pontifical Throne, June 21, 1881. Transferred to the titular see of Petra and appointed nuncio in Bavaria, May 23, 1887. Master of the Pontifical House and prefect of the Apostolic Palace, March 20, 1889.
Cardinalate. Created cardinal priest in the consistory of December 14, 1891; received the red hat and the title of S. Maria in Traspontina, December 17, 1891. Camerlengo of the Sacred College of Cardinals, May 18, 1894 to March 18, 1895.
Death. May 29, 1895, Rome. Exposed in the church of S. Rocco and buried in the chapel of the Vatican chapter, Campo Verano cemetery, Rome (1).
Bibliography. 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. 817-818; "Luigi Ruffo-Scilla" in "Cardinali defunti." La Gerarchia Cattolica e la Famiglia Pontificia per l'anno 1903. Città del Vaticano : Tipografia Poliglotta Vaticana, 1903, p. 196; Ritzler, Remigium, and Pirminum Sefrin. Hierarchia Catholica Medii et Recientoris Aevi. Volumen VIII (1846-1903). Patavii : Typis et Sumptibus Domus Editorialis "Il Messaggero di S. Antonio" apud Basilicam S. Antonii, 1979, pp. 35, 51, 449 and 545.
Webgraphy. Genealogy, A8 B1 C4 D5 E1 F2 G1 H3 I2 J2 K3, Libro d'Oro della Nobilità Mediterranea.
(1) This is the text of the inscription on his tomb, kindly provided by Mr. Eman Bonnici, from Malta:
Birth. September 12, 1835, Castiglione del Lago, diocese of Perugia. Son of Giuseppe Sepiacci and Maddalena Tufi. His baptismal name was Domenico Daniele. Received the sacrament of confirmation in 1840.
Education. Entered the Order of the Hermits of Saint Augustine in the convent of Terni on June 27, 1851 and took the name Luigi. Religious profession, June 28, 1852. Lector of philosophy, August 2, 1859 ; master in theology, August 3 (or 5), 1869; Archgymnasium of Rome (master in oriental languages, July 10, 1865).
Priesthood. Ordained, May 29, 1858, Perugia, by Gioacchino Pecci, archbishop-bishop of Perugia (future Pope Leo XIII). Member of the Irish Roman College at S. Maria in Pusterula, September 27, 1864; in Gent, Belgium for four years; at the Church of S. Agostino, Rome. Professor of theology, Roman Archgymnasium. April 8, 1870. Examiner of the Roman clergy, November 14, 1873; socius of the Academy of Catholic Religion, July 1, 1874; secretary general. General procurator of his order, February 1880.
Episcopate. Elected titular bishop of Callinico, March 15, 1883. Consecrated, March 18, 1883, church of S. Agostino, Rome, by Cardinal Raffaele Monaco La Valletta, vicar general of Rome, assisted by Giulio Lenti, titular archbishop of Side, vice-gerent of Rome, and by Francesco Marinelli, O.S.A., titular bishop of Porfireone, sacristan of His Holiness. Named president of the Pontifical Academy of Ecclesiastical Nobles (Vatican school of diplomacy), August 7, 1885. Secretary of the S.C. of Bishops and Religious, June 28 (or July 2), 1886.
Cardinalate. Created cardinal priest in the consistory of December 14, 1891; received the red hat and the title of S. Prisca, December 17, 1891. Prefect of the S.C. of Indulgences and Relics, August 1, 1892.
Death. April 26, 1893, Rome. Exposed in the church of S. Agostino and buried in the chapel of his order in Campo Verano cemetery, Rome. In 1938, on the occasion of the 45th anniversary of his death, his remains were transferred to the Basilica of S. Prisca, his cardinalitial title (1).
Webgraphy. Biography, in Latin, under "Sepiacci Fr. Aloysius", Bibliographia Augustiniana; biography, in Italian, Wikipedia; his arms, engraving and portrait, Araldica Vaticana.
(1) This is the text of the inscription on his vault, kindly provided by Mr. Eman Bonnici, from Malta:
ALOYSII SEPIACCI O.E.S.A.
SANCTAE ROMANAE ECCLESIAE
HUIUS TITULI S. PRISCAE CARDINALIS
SEDULI COMIS PIETATIS CUSTODIA
THEOLOGICA SCIENTIA PRAESTANTISSIMI
QUI SUPREMUM DIEM ROMAE OBIIT
XXVI APRILIS MDCCCXCIII
LVIII ANNIS EXPLENS TEMPORA MULTA
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