This section is devoted to the biographical entries of the 640 cardinals who have been created between 1903 and 2005. Also included are the biographical entries of the quasi-cardinals of this century. The biographies are arranged in alphabetical order. In a very concise manner, each entry sets forth the most salient events in the lives of these prelates. To facilitate the reader's task, each biography is broken down into the following headings: birth, education, priesthood, episcopate, cardinalate, death/burial, bibliography and links, World Wide Web addresses to sites containing information about the cardinal. The section concerning the cardinalate presents mainly their activities as papal electors, advisors and representatives (legates or special representatives), the three major functions of the office of cardinal.
The section starts in 1903 because this year marks the beginning of the pontificate of St. Pius X, the first pope of the 20th century. Leo XIII, Pius' predecessor, had reigned since 1878, therefore, his pontificate falls almost entirely in the 19th century. Extensive biographical information for the cardinals created between 1198 and 1922 is contained in the 9 volumes of the monumental work Hierarchia Catholica Medii et Recentioris Aevi. The importance of this biographical section resides on the fact that, as far as I have been able to ascertain, the information it presents concerning each one of the 640 cardinals created between 1903 and 2005 cannot be found elsewhere. Other works on the subject treat only of those cardinals living at the time the particular work was published, and then not in as comprehensive a manner as the present study.
The sources used for the biographies of the cardinals were first and foremost the Vatican publications La Gerarchia Cattolica, Annuario Pontificio, Acta Sanctae Sedis, Acta Apostolicae Sedis, L'Attivitá della Santa Sede, and the newspaper L'Osservatore Romano. The Annuaire Pontifical Catholique, published in Paris by Albert Battandier from 1898 until 1939, with a final edition in 1948, furnished useful information about the cardinals of that period. Also consulted were the Italian Jesuit journal La Civiltà Cattolica, the French Documentation Catholique, and the Spanish Ecclesia, each of which published a biographical account of the cardinals at the time of their nomination and death. Of special value for the biographies of the American cardinals and of those cardinals with special ties to the United States was Joseph Bernard Code's Dictionary of the American Hierarchy (1789-1964). For the cardinals from England in the early part of the century George C.Heseltine's The English Cardinals supplied the necessary information and Mark T. Elvins' Cardinals and heraldry completed the coverage of the English prelates until 1988. Cipriano Calderon's Vaticano, mitad de siglo provided valuable information about the history of papal elections, the 1939 conclave as well as biographical information about all the cardinals of mid-twentieth century. The most recent work (1996) offering coverage of the then existing cardinals is Grzegorz Galazka's Cardinali del terzo millennio, which contains magnificent color photographs and brief biographies of all those prelates; followed by its sequel, John Paul II and his cardinals (2001). In the cases of cardinals who have been members of the pontifical diplomatic corps, Giuseppe de Marchi's Le Nunziature Apostoliche dal 1800 al 1956 was an excellent source of information. If a monograph on the life of a cardinal was used, it is listed at the end of his biography, with all the bibliographical information provided. Finally, the main source used to maintain the site up to date is the Daily Bulletin of the Holy See Press Office on the Web.
©1998-2014 Salvador Miranda.