Pope Leo XIII

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Leo XIII
Bishop of Rome
Leo XIII..jpg
Leo XIII in c. 1899
Papacy began20 February 1878
Papacy ended20 July 1903
Predecessor Pius IX
Successor Pius X
Orders
Ordination31 December 1837
by  Carlo Odescalchi
Consecration19 February 1843
by  Luigi Lambruschini
Created cardinal19 December 1853
by Pius IX
Personal details
Birth nameVincenzo Gioacchino Raffaele Luigi Pecci
Born2 March 1810
Carpineto Romano, département of Rome, French Empire
Died20 July 1903(1903-07-20) (aged 93)
Apostolic Palace, Rome, Kingdom of Italy
Previous post
Signature Autograph-LeonXIII.png
Coat of arms Coat of arms of Pope Leo XIII.svg
Other popes named Leo
Papal styles of
Pope Leo XIII
Coat of arms of Pope Leo XIII.svg
Reference style His Holiness
Spoken styleYour Holiness
Religious styleHoly Father
Posthumous styleNone
Ordination history of
Pope Leo XIII
History
Priestly ordination
Ordained by Carlo Odescalchi
Date31 December 1837
Episcopal consecration
Principal consecrator Luigi Lambruschini
Co-consecrators Fabio Maria Asquini
Giuseppe Maria Castellani
Date19 February 1843
Cardinalate
Elevated by Pius IX
Date19 December 1853
Episcopal succession
Bishops consecrated by Pope Leo XIII as principal consecrator
Antonio Briganti 19 November 1871
Carmelo Pascucci 19 November 1871
Carlo Laurenzi 24 June 1877
Edoardo Borromeo 19 May 1878
Francesco Latoni 1 June 1879
Jean Baptiste François Pitra 1 June 1879
Bartholomew Woodlock 1 June 1879
Agostino Bausa 24 March 1889
Giuseppe Antonio Ermenegildo Prisco 29 May 1898

Pope Leo XIII (Italian : Leone XIII; born Vincenzo Gioacchino Raffaele Luigi Pecci [lower-alpha 1] [vinˈtʃɛntso dʒoakˈkiːno raffaˈɛːle luˈiːdʒi ˈpettʃi] ; 2 March 1810 – 20 July 1903) was head of the Catholic Church from 20 February 1878 to his death. He was the oldest pope (reigning until the age of 93), and had the third-longest confirmed pontificate, behind that of Pius IX (his immediate predecessor) and John Paul II.

Italian language Romance language

Italian is a Romance language of the Indo-European language family. Italian descended from the Vulgar Latin of the Roman Empire and, together with Sardinian, is by most measures the closest language to it of the Romance languages. Italian is an official language in Italy, Switzerland, San Marino and Vatican City. It has an official minority status in western Istria. It formerly had official status in Albania, Malta, Monaco, Montenegro (Kotor) and Greece, and is generally understood in Corsica and Savoie. It also used to be an official language in the former Italian East Africa and Italian North Africa, where it still plays a significant role in various sectors. Italian is also spoken by large expatriate communities in the Americas and Australia. Italian is included under the languages covered by the European Charter for Regional or Minority languages in Bosnia and Herzegovina and in Romania, although Italian is neither a co-official nor a protected language in these countries. Many speakers of Italian are native bilinguals of both Italian and other regional languages.

Catholic Church Largest Christian church, led by the Bishop of Rome

The Catholic Church, also known as the Roman Catholic Church, is the largest Christian church, with approximately 1.3 billion baptised Catholics worldwide as of 2017. As the world's oldest and largest continuously functioning international institution, it has played a prominent role in the history and development of Western civilisation. The church is headed by the Bishop of Rome, known as the pope. Its central administration is the Holy See.

Contents

He is well known for his intellectualism and his attempts to define the position of the Catholic Church with regard to modern thinking. In his famous 1891 encyclical Rerum novarum , Pope Leo outlined the rights of workers to a fair wage, safe working conditions, and the formation of labor unions, while affirming the rights of property and free enterprise, opposing both socialism and laissez-faire capitalism. He influenced Mariology of the Catholic Church and promoted both the rosary and the scapular.

<i>Rerum novarum</i> encyclical issued by Pope Leo XIII on May 15, 1891

Rerum novarum, or Rights and Duties of Capital and Labor, is an encyclical issued by Pope Leo XIII on 15 May 1891. It was an open letter, passed to all Catholic patriarchs, primates, archbishops and bishops, that addressed the condition of the working classes.

Socialism is a range of economic and social systems characterised by social ownership of the means of production and workers' self-management, as well as the political theories and movements associated with them. Social ownership can be public, collective or cooperative ownership, or citizen ownership of equity. There are many varieties of socialism and there is no single definition encapsulating all of them, with social ownership being the common element shared by its various forms.

Laissez-faire is an economic system in which transactions between private parties are free from any form of government intervention such as regulation, privileges, imperialism, tariffs and subsidies. Proponents of laissez faire argue for a complete separation of government from the economic sector. The phrase laissez-faire is part of a larger French phrase and literally translates to 'let [it/them] do'; however, in this context, the phrase usually means 'let go'.

Leo XIII issued a record of eleven papal encyclicals on the rosary earning him the title as the "Rosary Pope". In addition, he approved two new Marian scapulars and was the first pope to fully embrace the concept of Mary as Mediatrix. He was the first pope to have never held any control over the Papal States, after they had been dissolved by 1870. He was briefly buried in the grottos of Saint Peter's Basilica before his remains were later transferred to the Basilica of Saint John Lateran.

Rosary Roman Catholic sacramental and Marian devotion to prayer

The Holy Rosary, also known as the Dominican Rosary, refers to a form of prayer psalter used in the Catholic Church and to the string of knots or beads used to count the component prayers. When used for the prayer, the word is usually capitalized, as is customary for other names of prayers, such as "the Lord's Prayer", and "the Hail Mary"; when referring to the beads, it is written with a lower-case initial letter.

Scapular short cloak worn with ecclesiastical dress

The scapular is a Western Christian garment suspended from the shoulders. There are two types of scapular, the monastic and devotional scapular, although both forms may simply be referred to as "scapular". As an object of popular piety, it serves to remind the wearers of their commitment to live a Christian life.

Mediatrix in Roman Catholic theology, a title of Mary in her intercessory role as a mediator in the salvific redemption by her son Jesus Christ

In Roman Catholic Mariology, the title Mediatrix refers to the intercessory role of the Blessed Virgin Mary as a mediator in the salvific redemption by her son Jesus Christ, and that he bestows graces through her. Mediatrix is an ancient title that has been used by a number of saints since at least the 5th century. Its use grew during the Middle Ages and reached its height in the writings of saints Louis de Montfort and Alphonsus Liguori in the 18th century.

Early life and education, 1810–1836

The house in Carpineto, in which the Pecci brothers grew up Leobirth.jpg
The house in Carpineto, in which the Pecci brothers grew up

Born in Carpineto Romano, near Rome, he was the sixth of the seven sons of Count Ludovico Pecci and his wife Anna Prosperi Buzzi. His brothers included Giuseppe and Giovanni Battista Pecci. Until 1818 he lived at home with his family, "in which religion counted as the highest grace on earth, as through her, salvation can be earned for all eternity". [1] Together with his brother Giuseppe, he studied in the Jesuit College in Viterbo, where he stayed until 1824. [2] He enjoyed the Latin language and was known to write his own Latin poems at the age of eleven.

Carpineto Romano Comune in Lazio, Italy

Carpineto Romano is a comune (municipality) in the Metropolitan City of Rome in the Italian region Lazio, located about 60 kilometres southeast of Rome.

Giuseppe Pecci Italian cardinal

Giuseppe Pecci was a Jesuit Thomist theologian whose younger brother, Vincenzo, became Pope Leo XIII and appointed him a cardinal. The Neo-Thomist revival, which Leo XIII and his brother Giuseppe, Cardinal Pecci originated in 1879, remained the leading papal philosophy until Vatican II.

Viterbo Comune in Lazio, Italy

Viterbo is an ancient city and comune in the Lazio region of central Italy, the capital of the province of Viterbo.

In 1824 he and his older brother Giuseppe were called to Rome where their mother was dying. Count Pecci wanted his children near him after the loss of his wife, and so they stayed with him in Rome, attending the Jesuit Collegium Romanum.

In 1828, 18-year-old Vincenzo decided in favour of secular clergy, while his brother Giuseppe entered the Jesuit order. [3] He studied at the Academia dei Nobili , mainly diplomacy and law. In 1834, he gave a student presentation, attended by several cardinals, on papal judgements. For his presentation he received awards for academic excellence, and gained the attention of Vatican officials. [4] Cardinal Secretary of State Luigi Lambruschini introduced him to Vatican congregations. During a cholera epidemic in Rome he assisted Cardinal Sala in his duties as overseer of all the city hospitals. [5] In 1836 he received his doctorate in theology and doctorates of civil and Canon Law in Rome.

The term secular clergy refers to deacons and priests who are not monastics or members of a religious institute. A diocesan priest is a Catholic, Anglican, or Eastern Orthodox priest who commits himself or herself to a certain geographical area and is ordained into the service of the citizens of a diocese, a church administrative region. That includes serving the everyday needs of the people in parishes, but their activities are not limited to that of their parish.

Pontifical Ecclesiastical Academy Roman College of the Catholic Church

The Pontifical Ecclesiastical Academy is one of the Roman Colleges of the Catholic Church. The academy is dedicated to training priests to serve in the diplomatic corps and the Secretariat of State of the Holy See.

Cardinal Secretary of State presides over Secretariat of State of the Holy See

The Secretary of State of His Holiness The Pope, commonly known as the Cardinal Secretary of State, presides over the Holy See Secretariat of State, which is the oldest and most important dicastery of the Roman Curia. The Secretariat of State performs all the political and diplomatic functions of the Holy See and the Vatican City. The Secretary of State is sometimes described as the prime minister of the Holy See, even though the nominal head of government of Vatican City is the President of the Pontifical Commission for Vatican City State.

Provincial administrator, 1837–1843

Carpineto in 1860 Leoborn.jpg
Carpineto in 1860

On 14 February 1837, Pope Gregory XVI appointed the 27 year old Pecci as personal prelate even before he was ordained priest on 31 December 1837, by the Vicar of Rome, Cardinal Carlo Odescalchi. He celebrated his first mass together with his priest brother Giuseppe. [6] Shortly thereafter, Gregory XVI appointed Pecci as legate (provincial administrator) to Benevento, the smallest of papal provinces, including about 20,000 people. [5]

The main problems facing Pecci were a decaying local economy, insecurity because of widespread bandits, and pervasive Mafia or Camorra structures, which were often allied with aristocratic families. Pecci arrested the most powerful aristocrat in Benevento, and his troops captured others, who were either killed or imprisoned by him. With the public order restored, he turned to the economy and a reform of the tax system to stimulate trade with neighboring provinces. [7]

Pecci was first destined for Spoleto, a province of 100,000. On 17 July 1841, he was sent to Perugia with 200,000 inhabitants. [5] His immediate concern was to prepare the province for a papal visitation in the same year. Pope Gregory XVI visited hospitals and educational institutions for several days, asking for advice and listing questions. The fight against corruption continued in Perugia, where Pecci investigated several incidents. When it was claimed that a bakery was selling bread below the prescribed pound weight, he personally went there, had all bread weighed, and confiscated it if below legal weight. The confiscated bread was distributed to the poor. [8]

Nuncio to Belgium, 1843

Archbishop Pecci as Nuncio in Brussels Leo13nuncio.jpg
Archbishop Pecci as Nuncio in Brussels

In 1843, Pecci, only thirty-three years old, was appointed Apostolic Nuncio to Belgium, [9] a position which guaranteed the Cardinal's hat after completion of the tour.

On 27 April 1843, Pope Gregory XVI appointed Pecci Archbishop and asked his Cardinal Secretary of State Lambruschini to consecrate him. [9] Pecci developed excellent relations with the royal family and used the location to visit neighbouring Germany, where he was particularly interested in the resumed construction of the Cologne Cathedral.

In 1844, upon his initiative, a Belgian College in Rome was opened, where 102 years later, in 1946, the future Pope John Paul II would begin his Roman studies. He spent several weeks in England with Bishop Nicholas Wiseman, carefully reviewing the condition of the Catholic Church in that country. [10]

In Belgium, the school question was sharply debated between the Catholic majority and the Liberal minority. Pecci encouraged the struggle for Catholic schools, yet he was able to win the good will of the Court, not only of the pious Queen Louise, but also of King Leopold I, strongly Liberal in his views. The new nuncio succeeded in uniting the Catholics. At the end of his mission, the King granted him the Grand Cordon in the Order of Leopold. [11]

Archbishop-Bishop of Perugia, 1843–1878

Papal assistant

Archbishop Pecci enters Perugia in 1846 Leo entryperugia.jpg
Archbishop Pecci enters Perugia in 1846

In 1843, Pecci had been named papal assistant. From 1846 to 1877 he was considered a popular and successful Archbishop-Bishop of Perugia. In 1847, after Pope Pius IX granted unlimited freedom for the press in the Papal States, [12] Pecci, who had been highly popular in the first years of his episcopate, became the object of attacks in the media and at his residence. [13] In 1848, revolutionary movements developed throughout Western Europe, including France, Germany and Italy. Austrian, French and Spanish troops reversed the revolutionary gains, but at a price for Pecci and the Catholic Church, who could not regain their former popularity.

Provincial council

Pecci called a provincial council[ when? ] to reform the religious life in his dioceses. He invested in enlarging the seminary for future priests and in hiring new and prominent professors, preferably Thomists. He called on his brother Giuseppe Pecci, a noted Thomist scholar, to resign his professorship in Rome and teach in Perugia instead. [14] His own residence was next to the seminary, which facilitated his daily contacts with the students.

Charitable activities

Archbishop Pecci aids the poor in Perugia Leopoor.jpg
Archbishop Pecci aids the poor in Perugia

Pecci developed several activities[ when? ] in support of Catholic charities. He founded homeless shelters for boys, girls and elderly women. Throughout his dioceses he opened branches of a Bank, Monte di Pietà, which focused on low-income people and provided low-interest loans. [15] He created soup kitchens, which were run by the Capuchins. In the consistory of 19 December 1853, he was elevated to the College of Cardinals, as Cardinal-Priest of S. Crisogono . [9] In light of continuing earthquakes and floods, he donated all resources for festivities to the victims. Much of the public attention turned on the conflict between the Papal States and Italian nationalism, aiming at the papal states' annihilation to achieve the Unification of Italy.

Defending the papacy

Pecci defended the papacy and its claims. When Italian authorities expropriated convents and monasteries of Catholic orders, turning them into administration or military buildings, Pecci protested but acted moderately. When the Italian state took over Catholic schools, Pecci, fearing for his theological seminary, simply added all secular topics from other schools and opened the seminary to non-theologians. [16] The new government also levied taxes on the Church and issued legislation,[ when? ] according to which all Episcopal or papal utterances were to be approved by the government before their publication. [17]

Organizing the First Vatican Council

On 8 December 1869, an ecumenical council, which became known as the First Vatican Council, was to take place in the Vatican per Pope Pius IX. Pecci was likely well informed, since the Pope named his brother Giuseppe to help prepare the event.

During the 1870s in his last years in Perugia, Pecci addressed the role of the Church in modern society several times, defining the Church as the mother of material civilization, because it upheld human dignity of working people, opposed the excesses of industrialization, and developed large scale charities for the needy. [18]

In August 1877, on the death of Cardinal Filippo de Angelis, Pope Pius IX appointed him Camerlengo, which meant he had to reside in Rome. [19]

Papal conclave, 1878

Pope Pius IX died on 7 February 1878, [19] and during his closing years, the Liberal press had often insinuated that the Kingdom of Italy should take a hand in the conclave and occupy the Vatican.[ citation needed ] However the Russo-Turkish War (1877–1878) and the sudden death of Victor Emmanuel II (9 January 1878) distracted the government's attention.

In the conclave, the cardinals faced varied questions and discussed issues like church–state relations in Europe, specifically Italy, divisions in the church, and the status of the First Vatican Council. It was also debated that the conclave be moved elsewhere, but Pecci decided otherwise. On 18 February 1878 the conclave assembled in Rome. Cardinal Pecci was elected on the third ballot and chose the name Leo XIII. [19] He was announced to the people and later crowned on 3 March 1878.

(He retained administration of the Perugia see until 1880.)

Papacy, 1878–1903

Silver medal celebrating the 1891 Pope Leo XIII's inauguration of the new observatory Vatican Observatory 1891.jpg
Silver medal celebrating the 1891 Pope Leo XIII's inauguration of the new observatory
Photogram of the 1896 film Sua Santita papa Leone XIII, the first time a Pope appeared on film. Papst Leo XIII 1898.jpg
Photogram of the 1896 film Sua Santitá papa Leone XIII, the first time a Pope appeared on film.
Photograph of Leo XIII in his later years. XIII.Leopapa1.jpg
Photograph of Leo XIII in his later years.

As soon as he was elected to the papacy, Leo XIII worked to encourage understanding between the Church and the modern world. When he firmly re-asserted the scholastic doctrine that science and religion co-exist, he required the study of Thomas Aquinas [20] and opened the Vatican Secret Archives to qualified researchers, among whom was the noted historian of the Papacy Ludwig von Pastor. He also re-founded the Vatican Observatory "so that everyone might see clearly that the Church and her Pastors are not opposed to true and solid science, whether human or divine, but that they embrace it, encourage it, and promote it with the fullest possible devotion." [21]

Leo XIII was the first Pope of whose voice a sound recording was made. The recording can be found on a compact disc of Alessandro Moreschi's singing; a recording of his praying of the Ave Maria is available on the Web. [22] He was also the first Pope to be filmed by a motion picture camera. He was filmed by its inventor, W. K. Dickson, and blessed the camera while being filmed. [23]

Leo XIII brought normality back to the Church after the tumultuous years of Pius IX. Leo's intellectual and diplomatic skills helped regain much of the prestige lost with the fall of the Papal States. He tried to reconcile the Church with the working class, particularly by dealing with the social changes that were sweeping Europe. The new economic order had resulted in the growth of an impoverished working class who had increasing anti-clerical and socialist sympathies. Leo helped reverse this trend.

While Leo XIII was no radical in either theology or politics, his papacy did move the Catholic Church back to the mainstream of European life. Considered a great diplomat, he managed to improve relations with Russia, Prussia, Germany, France, Britain and other countries.

Pope Leo XIII was able to reach several agreements in 1896 that resulted in better conditions for the faithful and additional appointments of bishops. During the Fifth cholera pandemic in 1891 he ordered the construction of a hospice inside the Vatican. That building would be torn down in 1996 to make way for construction of the Domus Sanctae Marthae. [24]

Leo was a drinker of the cocaine-infused wine tonic Vin Mariani. [25] He awarded a Vatican gold medal to the wine's creator, Angelo Mariani and also appeared on a poster endorsing it. [26]

His favourite poets were Virgil and Dante. [27]

Foreign relations

Depiction of Leo XIII's papal coronation - image circa 1900. The story of the greatest nations, from the dawn of history to the twentieth century - a comprehensive history, founded upon the leading authorities, including a complete chronology of the world, and (14775157511).jpg
Depiction of Leo XIII's papal coronation – image circa 1900.

Russia

Pope Leo XIII began his pontificate with a friendly letter to Tsar Alexander II, in which he reminded the Russian monarch of the millions of Catholics living in his empire who would like to be good Russian subjects if their dignity were respected.

After the assassination of Alexander II, the Pope sent a high ranking representative to the coronation of his successor. Alexander III was grateful and asked for all religious forces to unify. He asked the Pope to ensure that his bishops abstain from political agitation. Relations improved further, when Pope Leo XIII, due to Italian considerations, distanced the Vatican from the Rome-Vienna-Berlin alliance and helped to facilitate a rapprochement between Paris and St. Petersburg.

Germany

Under Otto von Bismarck, the anti-Catholic Kulturkampf in Prussia led to significant restrictions on the Catholic Church in Imperial Germany, including the Jesuits Law of 1872. During Leo's papacy compromises were informally reached and the anti-Catholic attacks subsided. [28]

The Centre Party in Germany represented Catholic interests and was a positive force for social change. It was encouraged by Leo's support for social welfare legislation and the rights of working people. Leo's forward-looking approach encouraged Catholic Action in other European countries where the social teachings of the Church were incorporated into the agenda of Catholic parties, particularly the Christian democratic parties, which became an acceptable alternative to socialist parties. Leo's social teachings were reiterated throughout the 20th century by his successors.

In his Memoirs [29] Kaiser Wilhelm II discussed the "friendly, trustful relationship that existed between me and Pope Leo XIII." During Wilhelm's third visit to Leo: "It was of interest to me that the Pope said on this occasion that Germany must be the sword of the Catholic Church. I remarked that the old Roman Empire of the German nation no longer existed, and that conditions had changed. But he adhered to his words."

France

Leo XIII was the first pope to come out strongly in favour of the French Republic, upsetting many French monarchists.[ citation needed ] [30]

Italy

In the light of a climate hostile to the Church, Leo continued the policies of Pius IX towards Italy, without major modifications. [31] In his relations with the Italian state, Leo XIII continued the Papacy's self-imposed incarceration in the Vatican stance and continued to insist that Italian Catholics should not vote in Italian elections or hold elected office. In his first consistory in 1879, he elevated his older brother, Giuseppe, to the cardinalate. He had to defend the freedom of the Church against what Catholics considered Italian persecutions and attacks in the area of education, expropriation and violation of Catholic Churches, legal measures against the Church and brutal attacks, culminating in anticlerical groups attempting to throw the body of the deceased Pope Pius IX into the Tiber river on 13 July 1881. [32] The Pope even considered moving his residence to Trieste or Salzburg, two cities in Austria, an idea that the Emperor Franz Joseph I gently rejected. [33]

United Kingdom

Among the activities of Leo XIII that were important for the English-speaking world, he restored the Scottish hierarchy in 1878. In the following year, on 12 May 1879, he raised to the rank of cardinal the convert clergyman John Henry Newman, [34] who was to be beatified by Pope Benedict XVI in 2010. In British India, too, Leo established a Catholic hierarchy in 1886, and regulated some long-standing conflicts with the Portuguese authorities. A Papal Rescript (20 April 1888) condemned the Irish Plan of Campaign and all clerical involvement in it as well as boycotting, followed in June by the Papal encyclical "Saepe Nos" [35] that was addressed to all the Irish bishops. Of outstanding significance, not least for the English-speaking world, was Leo's encyclical Apostolicae curae on the invalidity of the Anglican orders, published in 1896.

United States

In 1889, Pope Leo XIII authorized the founding of The Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C., and granted it Papal degrees in theology PapaleoXIII.jpg
In 1889, Pope Leo XIII authorized the founding of The Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C., and granted it Papal degrees in theology

The United States at many moments in time attracted the attention and admiration of Pope Leo. He confirmed the decrees of the Third Plenary Council of Baltimore (1884), and raised James Gibbons, archbishop of that city, to the cardinalate in 1886.

On 10 April 1887, a pontifical charter from Pope Leo XIII founded The Catholic University of America, establishing the national university of the Catholic Church in the United States.

American newspapers criticized Pope Leo because they claimed that he was attempting to gain control of American public schools.[ citation needed ] One cartoonist drew Leo as a fox unable to reach grapes that were labeled for American schools; the caption read "Sour grapes!" [36]

Brazil

Pope Leo XIII is also remembered for the First Plenary Council of Latin America held at Rome in 1899, and his encyclical of 1888 to the bishops of Brazil, In plurimis , on the abolition of slavery. In 1897, he published the Apostolic Letter Trans Oceanum, which dealt with the privileges and ecclesiastical structure of the Catholic Church in Latin America. [37]

Chile

During the War of the Pacific he gave the papal blessing to the Chilean troops on the eve of the Battle of Chorrillos in January 1881; after the battle, in the resulting chaos, there was extensive looting in the city, both from chilean troops aswell as peruvians, with the chileans carrying many old Bibles to their churches. [38] Despite this, one year later, the Chilean President Domingo Santa María, member of the Liberal Party in defiance of the opposition, the fiercely catholic Conservative Party, issued the Leyes Laicas (Laic Laws), which reduced the faculties of the Catholic Church over the State and Society, though it was not until 1925 when President Arturo Alessandri, also from the Liberal Party separated the Church from the State.

Evangelization

Pope Leo XIII sanctioned the missions to eastern Africa beginning in 1884. [34] In 1879 Catholic missionaries associated with the White Father Congregation (Society of the Missionaries of Africa) came to Uganda and others went to Tanganyika (present day Tanzania) and Rwanda. In 1887 he approved the foundation of Missionaries of St. Charles Borromeo which was organized by the Bishop of Piacenza, Giovanni Battista Scalabrini. The missionaries were sent to North and South America to do pastoral care for Italian immigrants.

Theology

Giuseppe Pecci in 1872. At the urgent requests of the College of Cardinals, Leo XIII in 1879 elevated his brother, Giuseppe Pecci, a Jesuit and prominent Thomist theologian, into their ranks. GiuseppePecciLeoXIII.jpg
Giuseppe Pecci in 1872. At the urgent requests of the College of Cardinals, Leo XIII in 1879 elevated his brother, Giuseppe Pecci, a Jesuit and prominent Thomist theologian, into their ranks.

The pontificate of Leo XIII was theologically influenced by the First Vatican Council (1869–1870), which had ended only eight years earlier. Leo XIII issued some 46 apostolic letters and encyclicals dealing with central issues in the areas of marriage and family and state and society. He also wrote two prayers for the intercession of Michael the Archangel after allegedly having a vision of Michael and the end times, [40] although the story of the alleged vision may be merely apocryphal, as historians note that the story does not appear in any writings of Pope Leo XIII. [41]

Leo XIII also approved a number of Scapulars. In 1885 he approved the Scapular of the Holy Face, (also known as The Veronica) and elevated the Priests of the Holy Face to an archconfraternity. [42] He also approved the Scapular of Our Lady of Good Counsel and the Scapular of St. Joseph, both in 1893, and the Scapular of the Sacred Heart in 1900. [43]

Thomism

As pope, he used all his authority for a revival of Thomism, the theology of Thomas Aquinas. On 4 August 1879, Leo XIII promulgated the encyclical Aeterni Patris ("Eternal Father") which, more than any other single document, provided a charter for the revival of Thomism—the medieval theological system based on the thought of Aquinas—as the official philosophical and theological system of the Catholic Church. It was to be normative not only in the training of priests at church seminaries but also in the education of the laity at universities.

Following this encyclical Pope Leo XIII created the Pontifical Academy of St. Thomas Aquinas on 15 October 1879 and ordered the publication of the critical edition, the so-called Leonine Edition, of the complete works of the doctor angelicus. The superintendence of the leonine edition was entrusted to Tommaso Maria Zigliara, professor and rector of the Collegium Divi Thomae de Urbe the future Pontifical University of Saint Thomas Aquinas, Angelicum. Leo XIII also founded the Angelicum's Faculty of Philosophy in 1882 and its Faculty of Canon Law in 1896.

Consecrations

The Blessed Sister Mary of the Divine Heart was a nun from the Congregation of Our Lady of Charity of the Good Shepherd who requested Pope Leo XIII to consecrate the entire world to the Sacred Heart of Jesus. Maria Droste zu Vischering.jpg
The Blessed Sister Mary of the Divine Heart was a nun from the Congregation of Our Lady of Charity of the Good Shepherd who requested Pope Leo XIII to consecrate the entire world to the Sacred Heart of Jesus.

Pope Leo XIII performed a number of consecrations, at times entering new theological territory. After he received many letters from Sister Mary of the Divine Heart, the countess of Droste zu Vischering and Mother Superior in the Convent of the Good Shepherd Sisters in Porto, Portugal, asking him to consecrate the entire world to the Sacred Heart of Jesus, he commissioned a group of theologians to examine the petition on the basis of revelation and sacred tradition. The outcome of this investigation was positive, and so in the encyclical letter Annum sacrum (on 25 May 1899) he decreed that the consecration of the entire human race to the Sacred Heart of Jesus should take place on 11 June 1899.

The encyclical letter also encouraged the entire Catholic episcopate to promote the First Friday Devotions, established June as the Month of the Sacred Heart, and included the Prayer of Consecration to the Sacred Heart. [45] His consecration of the entire world to the Sacred Heart of Jesus presented theological challenges in consecrating non-Christians. Since about 1850, various congregations and States had consecrated themselves to the Sacred Heart, and, in 1875, this consecration was made throughout the Catholic world.

Scriptures

In his 1893 encyclical Providentissimus Deus, he described the importance of scriptures for theological study. It was an important encyclical for Catholic theology and its relation to the Bible, as Pope Pius XII pointed out fifty years later in his encyclical Divino Afflante Spiritu. [46]

Relations with schismatic Eastern Churches

Pope Leo XIII fostered relations of goodwill, particularly towards the churches of the East, who were not in communion with the Apostolic See. He also opposed efforts to Latinize the Eastern Rite Churches, stating that they constitute a most valuable ancient tradition and symbol of the divine unity of the Catholic Church. He expressed this in his encyclical "Orientalium Dignitas" of 1894, writing, "The Churches of the East are worthy of the glory and reverence that they hold throughout the whole of Christendom in virtue of those extremely ancient, singular memorials that they have bequeathed to us."

Theological research

John Henry Newman was raised into the College of Cardinals by Pope Leo XIII. Newmanhenry.jpg
John Henry Newman was raised into the College of Cardinals by Pope Leo XIII.

Leo XIII is credited with great efforts in the areas of scientific and historical analysis. He opened the Vatican Archives and personally fostered a twenty-volume comprehensive scientific study of the Papacy by Ludwig von Pastor, an Austrian historian. [47]

Mariology

His predecessor, Pope Pius IX, became known as the Pope of the Immaculate Conception because of the dogmatization in 1854. Leo XIII, in light of his unprecedented promulgation of the rosary in eleven encyclicals, was called the Rosary Pope. In eleven encyclicals on the rosary he promulgates Marian devotion. In his encyclical on the fiftieth anniversary of the Dogma of the Immaculate Conception, he stresses her role in the redemption of humanity, mentioning Mary as Mediatrix and Co-Redemptrix.

Social teachings

Church and state

Leo XIII worked to encourage understanding between the Church and the modern world, though he preferred a cautious view on freedom of thought, stating that it "is quite unlawful to demand, defend, or to grant unconditional freedom of thought, or speech, of writing or worship, as if these were so many rights given by nature to man". Leo's social teachings are based on the Catholic premise that God is the Creator of the world and its Ruler. Eternal law commands the natural order to be maintained, and forbids that it be disturbed; men's destiny is far above human things and beyond the earth.[ citation needed ]

Rerum novarum
Portrait by Philip de Laszlo, 1900 Papst Leo XIII.jpg
Portrait by Philip de László, 1900

His encyclicals changed the Church's relations with temporal authorities, and, in the 1891 encyclical Rerum novarum, for the first time addressed social inequality and social justice issues with Papal authority, focusing on the rights and duties of capital and labour. He was greatly influenced by Wilhelm Emmanuel von Ketteler, a German bishop who openly propagated siding with the suffering working classes in his book Die Arbeiterfrage und das Christentum. Since Leo XIII, Papal teachings have expanded on the rights and obligations of workers and the limitations of private property: Pope Pius XI Quadragesimo anno, the Social teachings of Pope Pius XII on a huge range of social issues, John XXIII Mater et magistra in 1961, Pope Paul VI, the encyclical Populorum progressio on world development issues, and Pope John Paul II, Centesimus annus , commemorating the 100th anniversary of Rerum novarum. Leo XIII had argued that both capitalism and communism are flawed. Rerum novarum introduced the idea of subsidiarity, the principle that political and social decisions should be taken at a local level, if possible, rather than by a central authority, into Catholic social thought. A list of all of Leo's encyclicals can be found in the List of Encyclicals of Pope Leo XIII.

Canonizations and beatifications

Leo XIII canonized the following saints during his pontificate:

Leo XIII also beatified several of his predecessors: Urban II (14 July 1881), Victor III (23 July 1887) and Innocent V (9 March 1898). He also canonized Adrian III on 2 June 1891.

He also beatified the following.

He also approved the cult of Cosmas of Aphrodisia. He also beatified several of the English martyrs in 1895. [48]

Doctors of the Church

Leo XIII named four individuals as Doctors of the Church:

Audiences

In 1901, Pope Leo XIII welcomed Eugenio Pacelli, later Pope Pius XII, on his first day of fifty-seven years of service in the Vatican (1901-1958). Pacelliordenado.jpg
In 1901, Pope Leo XIII welcomed Eugenio Pacelli, later Pope Pius XII, on his first day of fifty-seven years of service in the Vatican (1901–1958).

One of the first audiences Leo XIII granted was to the professors and students of the Collegio Capranica, where in the first row knelt in front of him a young seminarian, Giacomo Della Chiesa, the future Pope Benedict XV, who would reign from 1914 to 1922.

While on a pilgrimage with her father and sister in 1887, the future Saint Thérèse of Lisieux attended a general audience with Pope Leo XIII and asked him to allow her to enter the Carmelite order. Even though she was strictly forbidden to speak to him because she was told it would prolong the audience too much, in her autobiography, Story of a Soul, she wrote that after she kissed his slipper and he presented his hand, instead of kissing it, she took it in her own hand and said through tears, "Most Holy Father, I have a great favor to ask you. In honor of your Jubilee, permit me to enter Carmel at the age of 15!" Leo XIII answered, "Well, my child, do what the superiors decide." Thérèse replied, "Oh! Holy Father, if you say yes, everybody will agree!" Finally, the Pope said, "Go... go... You will enter if God wills it" [italics hers] after which time two guards lifted Thérèse (still on her knees in front of the Pope) by her arms and carried her to the door where a third gave her a medal of the Pope. Shortly thereafter, the Bishop of Bayeux authorized the prioress to receive Thérèse, and in April 1888, she entered Carmel at the age of 15.

Death

The monument and tomb to Leo XIII in the Basilica of Saint John Lateran. TOMB LEO xiii.jpg
The monument and tomb to Leo XIII in the Basilica of Saint John Lateran.

Leo XIII was the first pope to be born in the 19th century and was also the first to die in the 20th century: he lived to the age of 93, dying on 20 July 1903, [49] the longest-lived pope ever (as of 2019). At the time of his death, Leo XIII was the second-longest reigning pope, exceeded only by his immediate predecessor, Pius IX.

Charles A. Finn, a priest of the Archdiocese of Boston and at his death the oldest priest in the United States, served as a mass officer at his funeral. [50] Leo XIII was entombed in Saint Peter's Basilica only very briefly after his funeral, but was later moved instead to the very ancient Basilica of Saint John Lateran, his cathedral church as the Bishop of Rome, and a church in which he took a particular interest. He was moved there in late 1924.

See also

Notes

  1. English: Vincent Joachim Raphael Lewis Pecci
  1. Kühne 1880, p. 7.
  2. Kühne 1880, p. 12.
  3. Kühne 1880, p. 20.
  4. Kühne 1880, p. 23.
  5. 1 2 3 "CATHOLIC ENCYCLOPEDIA: Pope Leo XIII". www.newadvent.org.
  6. Kühne 1880, p. 24.
  7. Kühne 1880, p. 31.
  8. Kühne 1880, p. 37.
  9. 1 2 3 Miranda, Salvador. "Pecci, Gioacchino", The Cardinals of the Holy Roman Church
  10. Kühne 1880, p. 52.
  11. Laatste Nieuws (Het) 1 January 1910
  12. Kühne 62
  13. Kühne 1880, p. 66.
  14. Kühne 1880, p. 76.
  15. Kühne 1880, p. 78.
  16. Kühne 1880, p. 102.
  17. Kühne 1880, p. 105.
  18. Kühne 1880, p. 129.
  19. 1 2 3 O'Reilly, Bernard. Life of Leo XIII, Charles L. Webster & Company, New York, 1887
  20. Aeterni Patris – On the Restoration of Christian Philosophy (encyclical), Catholic forum, 4 August 1879, archived from the original on 25 February 2007.
  21. Pecci, Vincenzo Gioacchino Raffaele Luigi (14 March 1891), Ut Mysticam (in Latin).
  22. Pope Leo XIII, 1810–1910, Archive.
  23. Abel, Richard (1 August 2004), Encyclopedia of early cinema, p. 266, ISBN   978-0-415-23440-5 .
  24. "Domus Sanctae Marthae & The New Urns Used in the Election of the Pope". EWTN. 22 February 1996. Retrieved 15 February 2010.
  25. Nesi, Thomas (2008). Poison Pills: The Untold Story of the Vioxx Drug Scandal (1st ed.). New York: Thomas Dunne Books. p. 53. ISBN   9780312369590. OCLC   227205792.
  26. Inciardi, James A. (1992). The War on Drugs II. Mayfield Publishing Company. p. 6. ISBN   978-1-55934-016-8.
  27. "Pope Leo XIII and his Household" in The Century Illustrated Monthly Magazine, p. 596
  28. Ross, Ronald J. (1998). The failure of Bismarck's Kulturkampf: Catholicism and state power in imperial Germany, 1871–1887. Washington: Catholic University of America Press. ISBN   978-0-81320894-7.
  29. Emperor), William I.I. (German (1922). Memoirs. pp. 204–07. Retrieved 23 June 2013.
  30. https://worldhistoryproject.org/1878/2/20/count-vincenzo-pecci-leo-xiii-elected-pope.Missing or empty |title= (help)
  31. Schmidlin 1934, p. 409.
  32. Schmidlin 1934, p. 413.
  33. Schmidlin 1934, p. 414.
  34. 1 2 Martire, Egilberto (1951). Enciclopedia Cattolica[Catholic Encyclopedia] (in Italian). 7. Firenze: Casa Editrice G. C. Sansoni.
  35. Pecci, Vincenzo Gioacchino Raffaele Luigi, Sæpe nos (in Latin), New Advent.
  36. LLC, CRIA. "CRIA: Commercial Research Image Archives". www.criaimages.com.
  37. Pecci, Vincenzo Gioacchino Raffaele Luigi (18 April 1897). "Trans Oceanum, Litterae apostolicae, De privilegiis Americae Latinae" [Over the Ocean, Apostolic letter on Latin American privileges] (in Latin). Rome, IT: Vatican. Retrieved 23 June 2013.
  38. Caivano, Tomas (1907), Historia de la guerra de América entre Chile, Perú y Bolivia[History of the American war between Chile, Peru and Bolivia] (in Spanish).
  39. Kühne, Benno (1880), Unser Heiliger Vater Papst Leo XIII in seinem Leben und wirken, Benzinger: Einsiedeln, p. 247.
  40. "Archangel Michael".
  41. Cekada, Rev. Anthony (1992). "Russia and the Leonine Prayers" (PDF). TraditionalMass.org. Retrieved 29 September 2017.
  42. Henry Charles Lea, 2002, A History of Auricular Confession and Indulgences in the Latin Church, Adamant Media Corp. ISBN   1-4021-6108-5 page 506
  43. Francis de Zulueta, 2008, Early Steps In The Fold, Miller Press, ISBN   978-1-4086-6003-4 page 317
  44. Chasle, Louis (1906), Sister Mary of the Divine Heart, Droste zu Vischering, religious of the Good Shepherd, 1863–1899, London: Burns & Oates.
  45. Ball, Ann (2003), Encyclopedia of Catholic Devotions and Practices, p. 166, ISBN   978-0-87973-910-2 .
  46. Divino Afflante Spiritu, 1–12.
  47. von Pastor, Ludwig (1950), Errinnerungen (in German).
  48. "St. Cosmas — Saints & Angels". Catholic Online. Retrieved 15 February 2010.
  49. John-Peter Pham, Heirs of the Fisherman: Behind the Scenes of Papal Death and Succession, (Oxford University Press, 2004), 98.
  50. "Monsignor Charles A. Finn, the oldest Roman Catholic priest..." UPI. 8 March 1982. Retrieved 30 January 2019.

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References

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Further reading

Diplomatic posts
Preceded by
Raffaele Fornari
Apostolic Nuncio to Belgium
1843–1846
Succeeded by
Innocenzo Ferrieri
Catholic Church titles
Preceded by
Giovanni Giacomo Sinibaldi
 TITULAR 
Archbishop of Tamiathis
1843–1846
Succeeded by
Diego Planeta
Preceded by
Carlo Filesio Cittadini
Archbishop1-Bishop of Perugia
1846–1878
Succeeded by
Federico Pietro Foschi
Preceded by
Filippo de Angelis
Camerlengo of the Holy Roman Church
22 September 1877 – 20 February 1878
Succeeded by
Camillo di Pietro
Preceded by
Pius IX
Pope
20 February 1878 – 20 July 1903
Succeeded by
Pius X
Notes and references
1. Retained Personal Title