The Cardinals of the Holy Roman Church

Biographical Dictionary
Pope Leo XIII (1878-1903)
Consistory of December 30, 1889 (XIV)

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(66) 1. VANNUTELLI, Vincenzo
(1836-1930)

Birth. December 5, 1836, Genazzano, diocese of Palestrina. Brother of Cardinal Serafino Vannutelli (1887).

Education. Studied at the Pontifical Gregorian University, Rome; and at the Pontifical Athenaeum of S. Apollinare, Rome.

Priesthood. Ordained, December 23, 1860. Professor of theology at the Vatican Seminary, Vatican; beneficiary of the patriarchal Vatican basilica. Domestic prelate of His Holiness. Entered the diplomatic service of the Holy See and was named auditor of the internunciature in Holland in 1863. Auditor of the nunciature in Belgium, 1866; later, chargé d'affaires. Pro-substitute of the Secretariat of State and pro-secretary of the Cipher, September 29, 1875; substitute and secretary, December 29, 1876. Protonotary apostolic, 1875. Auditor of the Sacred Roman Rota, May 11, 1878.

Episcopate. Elected titular archbishop of Sardes and named apostolic delegate in Constantinople and vicar apostolic of the Latin patriarchate of Constantinople, January 23, 1880. Consecrated, February 2, 1880, Rome, by Cardinal Giovanni Simeoni, assisted by Giulio Lenti, titular archbishop of Side, vice-gerent of Rome, and by Antonio Maria Grasselli, titular archbishop of Colosso, secretary of the S.C. of the Apostolic Visitation. His main charge was to solve the question of the Armenian schism. Internuncio in Brazil, December 22, 1882, but never occupied the post because on his return from Russia where he represented the pope at the coronation of Czar Alexander III, he was transferred to Portugal. Nuncio in Portugal, October 4, 1883; he negotiated a concordat to regulate the relations between the state and the church in the Portuguese possession in the Indies.

Cardinalate. Created cardinal priest and reserved in pectore in the consistory of December 30, 1889, with dispensation for having a brother in the Sacred College of Cardinals; published in the consistory of June 23, 1890; received the red hat and the title of S. Silvestro in Capite, June 4, 1891 (1). Prefect of the Economy of the S.C. of Propaganda Fide, 1892. President of the General Administration of the Chamber of Despoilments, June 25, 1894. Archpriest of the patriarchal Liberian basilica of S. Maria Maggiore, Rome, December 16, 1896. Papal legate to the 11th International Eucharistic Congress, Brussels, Belgium, July 13 to 17, 1898. Legate a latere for the opening of the holy door at the Liberian basilica at the beginning of the Holy Year of 1900, December 14, 1899. Opted for the order of cardinal bishops and the suburbicarian see of Palestrina, April 19, 1900; he kept in commendam the title of S. Silvestro in Capite until December 7, 1916. Legate a latere for the closing of the holy door at the Liberian basilica at the end of the Holy Year of 1900, December 17, 1900. Prefect of the S.C. of the Council and of the special congregation for the revision of the provincial councils, July 28, 1902 until October 20, 1908. Prefect of the S.C. for Ecclesiastical Immunity, 1902. Participated in the conclave of 1903, which elected Pope Pius X. Member of the commission for the codification of canon law, April 4, 1904 until 1917. Papal Legate to the consecration of St Patrick's cathedral, Armagh, Ireland, celebrated on 24 July 1904. Papal legate to the 17th International Eucharistic Congress, Tournai, Belgium, August 15 to 19, 1906. Papal legate to the 18th International Eucharistic Congress, Metz, August 6 to 11, 1907. Papal legate to the 19th International Eucharistic Congress, London, England, September 8 to 13, 1908. Prefect of the Supreme Tribunal of the Apostolic Signature, October 20, 1908. Papal legate to the 20th International Eucharistic Congress, Cologne, Germany, August 4 to 8, 1909. Papal legate to the 21st International Eucharistic Congress, Montréal, Canada, September 7 to 11, 1910. Papal legate to the centennial celebration of Frédéric Ozanam, Paris, France, April 25 to 28, 1913. Participated in the conclave of 1914, which elected Pope Benedict XV. Datary of His Holiness, December 15, 1914 until his death. Decorated with the grand cross of the Austrian Order of Sankt Stefan, 1914. Dean of the Sacred College of Cardinals and bishop of the suburbicarian see of Ostia, retaining the suburbicarian see of Palestrina, December 6, 1915; he succeeded his brother Cardinal Serafino in the deanship of the college. Prefect of the S.C. Ceremonial, December 6, 1915. Papal legate to the celebrations of the centennial of Giovanni Pierlugi, Palestrina, October 2 to 16, 1921. Participated in the conclave of 1922, which elected Pope Pius XI. Legate a latere for the opening of the holy door at the Liberian basilica at the beginning of the Holy Year of 1925, December 18, 1924. Legate a latere for the closing of the holy door at the Liberian basilica at the end of the Holy Year of 1925, December 14, 1925.

Death. July 9, 1930, of an acute attack of nephritis, from which he had been suffering for some days, complicated by heart failure, in his apartment at the Palace of the Datary, in Rome. Exposed in the throne room of that same palace. The funeral took place on July 12, 1930, in the church of S. Ignazio, Rome. Buried next to his brother in the crypt of the chapel of the S.C. of Propaganda Fide in Campo Verano cemetery, Rome, until the completion of the new cathedral of the see of Ostia. At his death, he was the oldest member of the Sacred College of Cardinals.

Bibliography. LeBlanc, Jean. Dictionnaire biographique des évêques catholiques du Canada. Les diocèses catholiques canadiens des Églises latine et orientales et leurs évêques; repères chronologiques et biographiques, 1658-2002. Ottawa : Wilson & Lafleur, 2002. (Gratianus. Série instruments de recherche), pp. 245-247; FitzGerald, Desmond. "The Visit of Cardinal Vannutelli, Papal Legate, to Ireland, 1904", Seanchas Ard Mhaca- Journal of the Armagh Diocesan Historical Society, XXI, no 1, (2006), p. 205-243; "Liste des cardinaux par order alphabétique." Annuaire Pontifical Catholique de 1930. Paris : Maison de la Bonne Presse, 1930, p. 130; "Liste des cardinaux par order alphabétique." Annuaire Pontifical Catholique de 1931. Paris : Maison de la Bonne Presse, 1931, p. 921; Re, Niccolò del. "I cardinali prefetti della Sacra Congregazione del Concilio dalle origini ad oggi (1564-1964)." Apollinaris, XXXVII (1964), pp. 141-1142; 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. 34-35, 44, 45, 53 and 501.

Links. Biography, in English; drawing of the cardinal in his deathbed by Scipione (Gino Bonichi); his photograph, sitting in the middle of the group; and his portrait by Scipione (Gino Bonichi).

(1) This is according to Ritzler, Hierarchia Catholica Medii et Recentioris Aevi, VIII, 35; "Liste des cardinaux par order alphabétique." Annuaire Pontifical Catholique de 1930, p. 130, says that he received the title on June 5, 1891.

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