The Cardinals of the Holy Roman Church

Biographical Dictionary
Pope Gregory XVI (1831-1846)
Consistory of February 1, 1836 (VIII)


(32) 1. LEFEBVRE DE CHEVERUS, Jean-Louis-Anne-Magdalen

Birth. January 28, 1768, Mayenne, diocese of Le Mans, France. Son of Jean-Vincent Lefebvre de Cheverus and Anne Lemarchand de Noyers. He is also listed as Cheverus, John-Louis Anne Magdalen Lefebvre de; and his last name is also listed as Le Febvre.

Education. Studied at Collége de Louis-le-Grand, Paris; at the Seminary of St. Magloire, Paris; and at La Sorbonne University, Paris.

Priesthood. Ordained, December 18, 1790, Paris by Antoine-Eléanore-Léon LeClerc de Juigné, archbishop of Paris. Pastoral work in the diocese of Le Mans, of which he was vicar general from January, 1792; canon of the cathedral chapter of Mayenne, until, refusing to support the Civil Constitution of the Clergy, he was imprisoned in Laval, in the convent of the Cordeliers in June, 1792. Escaped from prison, arriving in England, September 11, 1792, he was engaged in teaching and ministered there to French refugees, 1792-1796. Travelled to the United States and arrived in Boston on October 3, 1796; missionary work among the Penobscot Indians and other faithful in Maine and Massachusetts, 1796-1808.

Episcopate. Elected first bishop of Boston, April 8, 1808. Consecrated, November 1, 1810, pro-cathedral of St. Peter, Baltimore, by John Carroll, archbishop of Baltimore, assisted by Leonard Neale, titular archbishop of Gortina and coadjutor of Baltimore, and by Michael Francis Egan, O.F.M., bishop of Philadelphia; the papal bulls of nomination did not arrive until then. Apostolic administrator of New York, 1810-1815. Transferred to the see of Montauban, France, May 3, 1823. Promoted to the metropolitan see of Bordeaux, October 2, 1826. Peer of the French Kingdom, 1826. Declined the position of minister of Ecclesiastical Affairs offered by King Charles X of France in 1826. Counselor of State, 1828. Commander of the Order of Saint-Esprit, 1830.

Cardinalate. Created cardinal priest in the consistory of February 1, 1836; died before receiving the red hat and the title.

Death. July 19, 1836, four days after suffering an apoplexy and paralysis, in Bordeaux. Exposed and buried in the metropolitan cathedral of Bordeaux.

Bibliography. Chandavoine, Henri. Jean Lefebvre de Cheverus : 1768-1836. Laval : H. Chandavoine, 1994; Chapeau, O.S.B. André and Fernand Combaluzier, C.M. Épiscopologe français des temps modernes, 1592-1973. Paris : Letouzey et Ané, 1974, p. 381-382; Code, Joseph Bernard. Dictionary of the American Hierarchy (1789-1964). New York : Joseph F. Wagner, 1964, pp. 41-42; Hamon, André-Jean-Marie. Life of the Cardinal De Cheverus, archbishop of Bordeaux. Translated by Robert M. Walsh. Philadelphia : Hooker & Cloxton, 1839; "Jean Lefebvre de Cheverus, First Catholic Bishop of Boston," Proceedings of the Massachusetts Historical Society, LXV (1940), 64-79; Melville, Annabelle M . Jean Lefebvre de Cheverus, 1768-1836.Milwaukee : Bruce Pub. Co., 1958; 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. 28, 115-116, 121 and 269.

Webgraphy. Biography by Joseph Vincent Tracy, in English, The Catholic Encyclopedia; his portrait by Gilbert Stuart, Museum of Fine Arts, Boston; and his statue in his tomb, cathedral of Bordeaux, France, The Australian National University.



Birth. December 4, 1801, Assisi. Son of Count Filippo della Genga, of the branch of the family that in 1793 transferred itself to Assisi. Nephew of Pope Leo XII.

Education. Studied at the Jesuit College of Orvieto. Later, he obtained a doctorate in utroque iuris, both civil and canon law.

Priesthood. Ordained, September 26, 1830. Domestic prelate of His Holiness. Relator of the S. Consulta. Canon of the patriarchal Lateran basilica.

Episcopate. Elected titular archbishop of Berito, June 29, 1833. Consecrated, September 15, 1833, in the church of S. Ambrogio Maggiore, Rome, by Cardinal Bartolomeo Pacca assisted by Domenico Genovesi, titular archbishop of Mitilene, and by Eugène-Charles-Joseph de Mazenod, O.M.I., titular bishop of Icosio. Assistant at the Pontifical Throne, June 13, 1834. Promoted to the archiepiscopal see of Ferrara, June 23, 1834.

Cardinalate. Created cardinal priest in the consistory of February 1, 1836; received the red hat, February 4, 1836; and the title of S. Girolamo degli Schiavoni, November 21, 1836. Resigned pastoral government of the archbishopric, January 13, 1843. Apostolic legate in the provinces of Urbino and Pisa, January 19, 1843. Participated in the conclave of 1846, which elected Pope Pius IX. Head of the group of three cardinals that governed Rome duing the pope's absence in Gaeta, July 1849 to April 1850; the other two cardinals were Luigi Vannicelli Casoni and Lodovico Altieri. Prefect of the S.C. of Bishops and Religious, April 14, 1852. Prefect of the S.C. of Religious Discipline, March 12, 1856. Camerlengo of the Sacred College of Cardinals, March 15, 1858 until 1859. Secretary of Apostolic Briefs, October 13, 1860. Grand chancellor of the Pontifical Equestrian Orders.

Death. February 10, 1861, Rome. Exposed and buried, according to his will, in the church of S. Lorenzo in Lucina, Rome; Pope Pius IX attended his funeral.

Bibliography. 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. 28, 41 and 110.

Webgraphy. Biography by C.M. Fiorentino, in Italian, Dizionario Biografico degli Italiani, Treccani; brief biography, in Italian, Centro Audiovisivo-multimediale Distrettuale Network; his engraving and arms, Araldica Vaticana.

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