Birth. November 19, 1817, Rome. His father was a rich merchant.
Education. Studied at the Roman Seminary of "S. Apollinare".
Priesthood. Ordained, (no information found). Protonotary apostolic ad instar participantium. Chargé d'affaires of nunciature in Switzerland, 1864-1868.
Episcopate. Elected titular archbishop of Mira, October 10, 1874. Consecrated, November 1, 1874, church of S. Maria in Vallicella, Rome, by Cardinal Giuseppe Berardi, assisted by Salvatore Nobili Vitelleschi, titular archbishop of Seleucia in Isauria, secretary of the S.C. of Bishops and Regulars, and by François Marinelli, O.S.A., titular bishop of Porfireone, sacristan of the Apostolic Palaces. Named nuncio in Bavaria, November 13, 1874. Secretary of the S. C. of Bishops and Regulars, June 8, 1877. Nuncio in Spain, September 30, 1879; arrived on the following October 29.
Cardinalate. Created cardinal priest in the consistory of September 25, 1882; received red hat and title of S. Prassede in the consistory of March 15, 1883. Member of the Council for the Administration of the Wealth of the Apostolic See, April 25, 1885.Prefect of the S.C. of Rites, November 15, 1887. Pro-datary of His Holiness, March 14, 1889 until his death. Transferred to the suburbicarian see of Palestrina while retaining in commendam the title of S. Prassede, May 24, 1889. Administrator of the abbey nullius of Subiaco, September 23, 1889.
Death. January 22, 1897, Rome. Exposed in the parish church of Ss. Vincenzo ed Anastasio in Trevi, Rome, where the funeral took place; and buried in his family's tomb, in Campo Verano cemetery, Rome.
Birth. April 16, 1834, Poryck, diocese of Luck (now Lutsk), Poland, Austria-Hungary. Son of Wiktor Kazimierz Czacki and Pelagia Sapieha. He had three brothers, Władysław, Feliks and Tadeusz; and two sisters, Maria and Olga. He had the title of earl. Relative of Cardinal Adam Stefan Sapieha (1946). He went to Rome in 1851.
Education. Lyceum Krzemieckiego, Warsaw; Pontifical Roman Athenaeum of S. Apollinare, Rome; Pontifical Polish College, Rome. Received the subdiaconate, November 11, 1867; and later, before November 30, 1867, the diaconate.
Priesthood. Ordained, November 30, 1867, chapel of Odescalchi palace, Rome, by Alessandro Franchi, titular archbishop of Tessalonica, secretary of the S.C. of Bishops and Regulars. Secretary to Pope Pius IX. Privy chamberlain of His Holiness, 1868. Secretary of the S.C. of Studies. Consultor, First Vatican Council, 1869-1870. Domestic prelate of His Holiness, 1871. Secretary of the S.C. of Extraordinary Ecclesiastical Affairs, March 15, 1877. Domestic prelate of His Holiness, February 20, 1878. Worked in the completion of the policies dealing with the Kulturkampf in 1878. Decorated Order of Carlos III, ca. 1879. Admitted to the Sovereign Order of Malta, as bailiff grand cross of magistral grace, March 31, 1879.
Episcopate. Elected titular archbishop of Salamina, August 12, 1879. Consecrated, August 17, 1879, Rome, by Cardinal Flavio Chigi, assisted by Angelo Bianchi, titular archbishop of Mira, secretary of the S.C. of Bishops and Regulars, and by Placido Petacci, titular bishop of Troade, suffragan of Sabina. Named nuncio in France on September 19, 1879; prevented the rupture of the Concordat between the Holy See and the French government; and avoided the liquidation of certain religious orders.
Cardinalate. Created cardinal priest in the consistory of September 25, 1882; received red hat and title of S. Pudenziana in the consistory of March 15, 1883. Among his works are Polsce i Państwie Kościelnym (1860); Les catoliques et l'Église de Pologne (1863); Rome et la Pologne (1864), Kościół i postępowość (1868); as well as articles defending the authority of the pope and his infallibility, and several volumes of poetry.
Death. March 8, 1888, Rome (1). Exposed in the church of Ss. XII Apostoli, where the funeral took place at 10 a.m. on March 10, 1888, celebrated by Elia Bianchi, titular archbishop of Nicosia; the final absolution was imparted by Cardinal Carlo Sacconi, bishop of Ostia e Velletri, dean of the Sacred College of Cardinals; nineteen cardinals were in attendance. His body, placed in a simple oak coffin, was temporarily buried in the Odescalchi family tomb in the cemetery of Campo Verano, next to the basilica of S. Lorenzo fuori le Mura. In the years 1888-1891, his friends had constructed, according to the design of Pius Welofiskiego, a multicolored marble monument with the figure of the late cardinal cast in bronze, which is set in the right aisle of his titular church of S. Pudenziana. His remains were lost and thanks to the investigations conducted by Msgr. Władysław Kosinski, former rector of the Marian Shrine della Mentorella, his tomb was found. After Pope John Paul II authorized the transfer of his remians in 1981, they were taken to his titular church, where a ceremony presided by Cardinal Agostino Casaroli, secretary of State, took place on March 25, 1982. Concelebrating the eucharist with the cardinal were Julian Grobłcki, auxiliary bishop of Kraków; Msgr. Janusz Bołonek, of the Council for the Public Affairs of the Church; Msgr. Józef Michalik, rector of the Pontifical Collegio Polacco; Msgr. Kosinski, who delivered the homily; and several other priests and religious. The inscription in the monument briefly relates the cardinal's personality and says, among other things, Vir totus virtutibus factus. The casket was placed in the crypt of the Caetani family.
Bibliography. "Cardinali defunti." La Gerarchia Cattolica e la Famiglia Pontificia per l'anno 1903, Città del Vaticano : Tipografia poliglotta vaticana, 1903, p. 185; Czacki, Wlodzimierz. Rzym i Polska. Kraków : Wydawn. Arkana, 2002; De Marchi, Giuseppe. Le nunziature apostoliche dal 1800 al 1956. Pref. di Antonio Samoré. Roma : Edizioni di Storia e letteratura, 1957, pp. 23 and 128; L'Osservatore Romano [electronic resource]. Città del Vaticano : L'Osservatore Romano, XXVIII, n. 61 (March 10, 1888), p. 3; XXVIII, n. 62 (March 11, 1888), p. 3; and XXVIII, n. 64 (March 14, 1888), p. 2; Prokop, Krzysztof Rafał. Polscy kardynałowie. Kraków : Wydawnictwo WAM, 2001, pp. 183-193; Ritzler, Remigium, and Pirminum Sefrin. Hierarchia Catholica Medii et Recentioris Aevi. Volumen VIII (1846-1903). Patavii : Typis et Sumptibus Domus Editorialis "Il Messaggero di S. Antonio" apud Basilicam S. Antonii, 1979, pp. 30, 52 and 491; Soderini, Édoardo. Le cardinal Wladimir Czacki. Paris : J. Gervais, 1888.
Links. Biographical data, in Polish, Blog Roku, Grupa Onet.pl; and his arms and genealogy, Genealogia dynastyczna.
(1) According to L'Osservatore Romano, XXVIII, n. 61 (March 10, 1888), p. 3, he had been suffering of bad health and winter accelerated his sudden demise; although he felt indisposed the night before his death, he still rose up at the usual time and celebrated mass and went to work; around 2 p.m. he said that he felt tired and retired to his cabinet; after four hours, his staff worried because it was a rest longer than customary and not receiving an answer, they entered the cabinet and found him sitting on a sofa without signs of life; the doctor was called urgently and he established that the cardinal had died about three hours earlier.
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