Raffaele Rossi

Last updated

His Eminence
Raffaele Rossi

Servant of God
Secretary of the Sacred Consistorial Congregation
Cardinal Rossi.JPG
Church Roman Catholic Church
Appointed 4 July 1930
Term ended 17 September 1948
Predecessor Carlo Perosi
Successor Adeodato Giovanni Piazza
Other posts
Ordination 21 December 1901
by Ferdinando dei Conti Capponi
Consecration 25 May 1920
by  Gaetano de Lai
Created cardinal 30 June 1930
by Pope Pius XI
Rank Cardinal-Priest
Personal details
Birth name Carlo Rossi
Born(1876-10-28)28 October 1876
Pisa, Kingdom of Italy
Died 17 September 1948(1948-09-17) (aged 71)
Crespano del Grappa, Treviso, Italy
Previous post
MottoJustitia in Carmelo ("Justice in Carmel")
Venerated in Roman Catholic Church
Title as Saint Servant of God
  • Cardinal's attire
  • Carmelite habit
Styles of
Raffaele Rossi
External Ornaments of a Cardinal Bishop.svg
Reference style His Eminence
Spoken style Your Eminence
Informal style Cardinal
See None
Ordination history of
Raffaele Rossi
Priestly ordination
Ordained by Ferdinando dei Conti Capponi
Date of ordination 21 December 1901
Place of ordination Pisa, Kingdom of Italy
Episcopal consecration
Principal consecrator Gaetano de Lai
Co-consecrators Rinaldo Camillo Rousset & Pio Marcello Bagnoli
Date of consecration 25 May 1920
Place of consecration Santa Teresa al Corso, Rome, Kingdom of Italy
Elevated by Pope Pius XI
Date of elevation 30 June 1930
Episcopal succession
Bishops consecrated by Raffaele Rossi as principal consecrator
Giuseppe Marcozi 8 December 1926
Giuseppe Rossino 19 April 1931
Francesco de Filippis 26 July 1931
Amleto Giovanni Cicognani 23 April 1933
Antonio Giordani 30 July 1933
Moses Elias Kiley 17 March 1934
Carlo de Ferrari, C.S.S. 12 January 1936
Teodosio Clemente de Gouveia 5 July 1936
Michal Buzalka 15 May 1938
William Godfrey 21 December 1938
Guido Luigi Bentivoglio, O. Cist. 24 August 1939
Giuseppe Di Donna, O.SS.T. 31 March 1940
Marco Giovanni Della Pietra, O.F.M. 12 May 1940
Francesco Pieri 26 January 1941
Carlo Baldini, O.M.D. 12 October 1941
Emilio Baroncelli 14 February 1943
Antonio Lanza 29 June 1943
Carlo Alberto Ferrero di Cavallerleone 30 November 1944
Gilla Vincenzo Gremigni, M.S.C. 11 February 1945
Giuseppe D'Avack 10 March 1946
Martin-Marie-Stanislas Gillet, O.P. 17 November 1946
Gabriel Paulino Bueno Couto, O. Carm. 15 December 1946
John Anthony Kyne 29 June 1947

Raffaele Rossi (28 October 1876 – 17 September 1948) - born Carlo - was an Italian cardinal of the Catholic Church and professed member from the Discalced Carmelites. [1] Rossi served in the Sacred Consistorial Congregation in the Roman Curia from 1930 until his death and has a friar had the religious name "Raffaele of Saint Joseph". Pope Pius XI elevated him into the cardinalate in 1930. [2]

Catholic Church 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 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, the Holy See, is in the Vatican City, an enclave within the city of Rome in Italy.

Discalced Carmelites religious order

The Discalced Carmelites or Barefoot Carmelites is a Catholic mendicant order with roots in the eremitic tradition of the Desert Fathers and Mothers. The order was established in 1593, pursuant to the reform of the Carmelite Order of the Ancient Observance by two Spanish saints, Saint Teresa of Ávila and Saint John of the Cross.

The Congregation for Bishops is the department of the Roman Curia that oversees the selection of most new bishops. Its proposals require papal approval to take effect, but are usually followed. The Congregation schedules the visits at five-year intervals that bishops are required to make to Rome, when they meet with the pope and various departments of the Curia. It also manages the formation of new dioceses. It is one of the more influential Congregations, since it strongly influences the human resources policy of the church.


Rossi also served as an investigator into the stigmata of Padre Pio at the behest of Pope Benedict XV and reported back to him with a favourable view on the Franciscan friar. He viewed the stigmata and spoke with the friar while noting that the friar was "sincere" and concluding that there was no fraud or deceit on the friar's part. [2] [1]

Stigmata crucifixion wounds of Jesus Christ

Stigmata is a term used in Christian mysticism to describe the manifestations of bodily wounds, scars and pain in locations corresponding to the crucifixion wounds of Jesus Christ, such as the hands, wrists, and feet. An individual bearing the wounds of stigmata is referred to as a stigmatist or a stigmatic.

Padre Pio 20th-century Italian saint, priest, stigmatist and mystic

Padre Pio, also known as Saint Pio of Pietrelcina, O.F.M. Cap., was a friar, priest, stigmatist, and mystic, now venerated as a saint in the Roman Catholic Church. Born Francesco Forgione, he was given the name of Pius when he joined the Order of Friars Minor Capuchin.

Pope Benedict XV 258th Pope of the Catholic Church

Pope Benedict XV, born Giacomo Paolo Giovanni Battista della Chiesa, was head of the Roman Catholic Church from 3 September 1914 until his death in 1922. His pontificate was largely overshadowed by World War I and its political, social, and humanitarian consequences in Europe.

His cause of canonization began three decades after his death and he is known as a Servant of God. [1]

"Servant of God" is a term used for individuals by various religions for people believed to be pious in the faith's tradition. In the Catholic Church, it designates an individual who is being investigated by the Church for possible canonization as a saint. In the Eastern Orthodox Church, this term is used to refer to any Eastern Orthodox Christian. The Arabic name Abdullah, the Hebrew name Obadiah (עובדיה), the German name Gottschalk, and the Sanskrit name Devadasa are all variations of "servant of God".


Education and priesthood

Carlo Rossi was born in Pisa in 1876 to Francesco Rossi and Maria Palmidessi. His parents were descended from noble families. [1]

Pisa Comune in Tuscany, Italy

Pisa is a city and comune in Tuscany, central Italy, straddling the Arno just before it empties into the Ligurian Sea. It is the capital city of the Province of Pisa. Although Pisa is known worldwide for its leaning tower, the city of over 91,104 residents contains more than 20 other historic churches, several medieval palaces, and various bridges across the Arno. Much of the city's architecture was financed from its history as one of the Italian maritime republics.

Rossi felt called in 1891 to enter the religious life despite the opposition of his father who instead enrolled Rossi for a philosophical course at the college in Pisa where one of his mentors was Blessed Giuseppe Toniolo. [2]

University of Pisa Italian public research university located in Pisa

The University of Pisa is an Italian public research university located in Pisa, Italy. It was founded in 1343 by an edict of Pope Clement VI. It is the 19th oldest extant university in the world and the 10th oldest in Italy. The university is ranked within the top 10 nationally and the top 400 in the world according to the ARWU and the QS. It houses the Orto botanico di Pisa, Europe's oldest academic botanical garden, which was founded in 1544.

Blessed Giuseppe Toniolo was an Italian Roman Catholic economist and sociologist. Toniolo served as a professor for most of his life and was a leading political and social economist who railed against Capitalism and Communism. He favored religious values in both economics and politics to create a harmonious situation in which both sectors work for all rather than a select few. Toniolo also supported the work of unions and opposed worker exploitation deeming unions a step forward in preventing this.

Rossi entered the Discalced Carmelites on 3 October 1887 and later made his initial profession on 19 December 1899. His solemn profession of vows was made on 20 September 1901. He was ordained to the priesthood on 21 December 1901 in Pisa after he completed his ecclesial studies at the Carmelite International College and at the Carmelite Scholasticate in Rome. He then taught at Carmelite houses from 1902 until 1920 after having studied at the Pontifical Gregorian for further studies. One of his lecturers at the Gregorian was Cardinal Louis Billot and he made friends with Father Eugenio Pacelli - future pope. [2] [1] Rossi also served at some stage at the order's house of San Paolino in Florence.

The term religious profession is used in many western-rite Christian denominations to refer to the solemn admission of men or women into a religious order by means of public vows.

Rome Capital city and comune in Italy

Rome is the capital city and a special comune of Italy. Rome also serves as the capital of the Lazio region. With 2,872,800 residents in 1,285 km2 (496.1 sq mi), it is also the country's most populated comune. It is the fourth most populous city in the European Union by population within city limits. It is the centre of the Metropolitan City of Rome, which has a population of 4,355,725 residents, thus making it the most populous metropolitan city in Italy. Rome is located in the central-western portion of the Italian Peninsula, within Lazio (Latium), along the shores of the Tiber. The Vatican City is an independent country inside the city boundaries of Rome, the only existing example of a country within a city: for this reason Rome has been often defined as capital of two states.

Carmelites Catholic mendicant religious order

The Order of the Brothers of the Blessed Virgin Mary of Mount Carmel or Carmelites is a Roman Catholic mendicant religious order founded, probably in the 12th century, on Mount Carmel in the Crusader States, hence the name Carmelites. However, historical records about its origin remain very uncertain. Berthold of Calabria has traditionally been associated with the founding of the order, but few clear records of early Carmelite history have survived.


On 22 April 1920 he was appointed as the Bishop of Volterra and he received his episcopal consecration a month later from Cardinal Gaetano de Lai with Archbishop Rinaldo Rousset and Bishop Pio Bagnoli serving as the co-consecrators. It was celebrated in the church of Santa Teresa al Corso d'Italia. He selected Saint Carlo Borromeo as his model for his episcopate.

Padre Pio investigation

In 1921 he received a letter from Rome that commissioned him to conduct an investigation into the Franciscan friar Padre Pio and his stigmata. Rossi did not wish this task and sent a letter to Cardinal del Val asking to be relieved from such a serious investigation but was required to accept the position in response. [2] Rossi travelled to Rome from his diocese to examine the documents on the friar while assessing the accusations and praise before leaving for the Franciscan convent at San Giovanni Rotondo that June with a degree of initial scepticism. He met with Padre Pio to discuss the allegations and reported that the friar seemed "simple and even nice" while being allowed to view the stigmata for himself. He observed Pio's routine and noted his activities while later speaking with the other friars to learn that Pio converted people from Judaism and Protestantism and converted hardened hearts from all across Europe. [2] Rossi's investigation was positive and concluded that Pio was a "practiced practitioner of virtue" and noted that the friar did not practice deceit or fraud while noting that Pio did not inflict the wounds upon himself nor did an external source cause it. Rossi noted that "there are stigmata. We have before us a fact" and included that in his report to the pope while also stating that "Padre Pio was a saint who performed miracles" according to the people who came across him.

Episcopate and cardinalate

The pope named him as an Assistant at the Pontifical Throne on 11 March 1930. [1] Before being promoted as the Titular Archbishop of Thessalonica on 20 December 1923 he was named as an assessor of the Sacred Consistorial Congregation. Pope Pius XI created him as the Cardinal-Priest of Santa Prassede on 30 June 1930 in advance of Rossi's appointment as the head of the Sacred Consistorial Congregation a month after. He received his red hat and title in the week following his elevation. [2] In his position Rossi was the head of that congregation as the pope held the title of Prefect in its traditional sense. He was also one of the cardinal electors who participated in the 1939 papal conclave that selected Pope Pius XII. Rossi attempted to eschew much of the trappings of the cardinalate and attempted also to keep the ascetic life of a Discalced Carmelites and was held in high esteem by both his colleagues and the pope himself. Rossi later became the Superior General for the Scalabrini Fathers and became quite close to them in his work with them.


His health began to decline at the start of 1947 and the papal doctor advised total rest. [2]

Rossi died in Crespano del Grappa during the night on 17 September 1948 and was buried at the Santa Teresa al Corso d'Italia church. He was discovered dead in his bed (a slight smile on his face) with three books at his side: one was the Bible and another was The Imitation of Christ . He had moved to Crespano del Grappa the month prior due to failing health and resided with the Scalabrini Fathers. [2] Pope Pius XII said that Rossi's contribution to the Church was great and would be recognized in the future. The pope also referred to Rossi as "almost their second father" in relation to the Scalabrini Fathers due to his great closeness and extensive work with them. [1]

Beatification process

His cause of sainthood commenced on 23 April 1976 under Pope Paul VI and he was titled as a Servant of God. The diocesan process for the investigation was held in Rome and closed in 1979 before the Congregation for the Causes of Saints confirmed on 29 March 1985 that the process was valid. The Positio was submitted to the C.C.S. in 1989 for further evaluation and underwent theological approval on 23 February 1996.

One alleged miracle attributed to him was investigated in the Lucca diocese (it came from Capannori) from 1983 to 1984 and the process received C.C.S. validation on 6 May 1988.

Related Research Articles

Franciscans group of religious orders within the Catholic Church

The Franciscans are a group of related mendicant religious orders within the Catholic Church, founded in 1209 by Saint Francis of Assisi. These orders include the Order of Friars Minor, the Order of Saint Clare, and the Third Order of Saint Francis. They adhere to the teachings and spiritual disciplines of the founder and of his main associates and followers, such as Clare of Assisi, Anthony of Padua, and Elizabeth of Hungary, among many others.

Friar member of a mendicant religious order in Catholic Christianity

A friar is a brother member of one of the mendicant orders founded in the twelfth or thirteenth century; the term distinguishes the mendicants' itinerant apostolic character, exercised broadly under the jurisdiction of a superior general, from the older monastic orders' allegiance to a single monastery formalized by their vow of stability. The most significant orders of friars are the Dominicans, Franciscans, Augustinians and Carmelites.

Adeodato Giovanni Piazza Discalced Carmelite friar and cardinal

Adeodato Giovanni Piazza, O.C.D. was an Italian friar of the Discalced Carmelite Order, who became a cardinal of the Roman Catholic Church, and Patriarch of Venice, as well as a member of the Roman Curia in Vatican City.

Carlo Confalonieri Italian Cardinal of the Roman Catholic Church

Carlo Confalonieri was an Italian Cardinal of the Roman Catholic Church. He served as Prefect of the Congregation for Bishops from 1967 to 1973, and Dean of the College of Cardinals from 1977 until his death. Confalonieri was elevated to the cardinalate in 1958.

Girolamo Maria Gotti, O.C.D., sometimes erroneously called Giuseppe Gotti, was a friar of the Discalced Carmelite Order, who served in various offices of the Holy See as a cardinal of the Roman Catholic Church.

Santa Teresa, Rome church building in Rome, Italy

Santa Teresa d'Avila is a church on the Corso d'Italia in Rome, Italy. It is dedicated to Teresa of Avila.

Marcello Mimmi Catholic cardinal

Marcello Mimmi was an Italian Cardinal of the Roman Catholic Church. He served as Archbishop of Naples from 1952 to 1957, and Secretary of the Sacred Consistorial Congregation from 1957 until his death. Mimmi was elevated to the cardinalate in 1953 by Pope Pius XII.

Giulio Serafini, J.U.D. was a Cardinal of the Roman Catholic Church who served as President of the Pontifical Commission for the Authentic Interpretation of Code of Canon Law and Prefect of the Congregation of the Council.

Carlo Perosi was an Italian Cardinal of the Roman Catholic Church who served as Secretary of the Sacred Consistorial Congregation from 1928 until his death, and was elevated to the cardinalate in 1926.

Raffaele Scapinelli di Leguigno Catholic cardinal

Raffaele Scapinelli di Leguigno was an Italian Cardinal of the Roman Catholic Church. He served as Prefect of the Congregation of the Affairs of Religious from 1918 to 1920, and was elevated to the cardinalate in 1915.

Giovanni Battista Nasalli Rocca di Corneliano was an Italian Cardinal of the Catholic Church. He served as archbishop of Bologna from 1921 until his death, and was elevated to the cardinalate in 1923.

Diomede Falconio Catholic cardinal

Diomede Angelo Raffaele Gennaro Falconio, OFM was an Italian Cardinal of the Catholic Church. He served as Prefect of the Congregation for Religious from 1916 until his death, and was elevated to the cardinalate in 1911. He was Apostolic Delegate to the United States from 1902 to 1911.

Filippo Giustini was an Italian Cardinal of the Roman Catholic Church. He served as Prefect of the Congregation for the Discipline of the Sacraments from 1914 until his death, and was elevated to the cardinalate in 1914.

Ernesto Civardi Catholic cardinal

Ernesto Civardi was an Italian Cardinal of the Roman Catholic Church who served as Secretary of the Sacred Congregation for Bishops from 1967 to 1979, and was elevated to the cardinalate in 1979.

Carlo Nocella was an Italian cardinal. He was Secretary of the Sacred Consistorial Congregation (1892–1899), Latin Patriarch of Antioch (1899–1901), and Latin Patriarch of Constantinople (1901–1903).

Giovanni Antonio Guadagni Italian priest

Giovanni Antonio Guadagni - in religious Giovanni Antonio di San Bernardo - was an Italian cardinal and a professed member from the Discalced Carmelites. His rise in the ranks became rapid after his maternal uncle became Pope Clement XII and he was soon after made a cardinal who served in various positions within the Roman Curia.

<i>Padre Pio: Miracle Man</i> 2000 Italian television miniseries directed by Carlo Carlei

Padre Pio: Miracle Man is a 2000 Italian television movie directed by Carlo Carlei. The film is based on the book Padre Pio: Man of Hope by Renzo Allegri and it depicts real life events of Roman Catholic friar and later Saint Pio of Pietrelcina.


  1. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 Salvador Miranda. "Consistory of June 30, 1930 (XIII)". The Cardinals of the Holy Roman Church. Retrieved 27 October 2017.
  2. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 "Servo di Dio Raffaele Carlo Rossi". Santi e Beati. Retrieved 27 October 2017.
Catholic Church titles
Preceded by
Emanuele Mignone
Bishop of Volterra
22 April 1920 – 1 June 1923
Succeeded by
Dante Munerati
Preceded by
Achille Locatelli
Titular Archbishop of Thessalonica
20 December 1923 – 30 June 1930
Succeeded by
Giuseppe Rossino
Preceded by
Rafael Merry del Val
Cardinal-Priest of Santa Prassede
3 July 1930 – 17 September 1948
Succeeded by
Pietro Ciriaci
Preceded by
Carlo Perosi
Secretary of the Sacred Consistorial Congregation
4 July 1930 – 17 September 1948
Succeeded by
Adeodato Giovanni Piazza