Birth. Sorbano del Vescovo, archdiocese of Lucca, January 1, 1836.
Education. Studied at the Seminary of S. Michele, Lucca, from 1846 to August 14, 1851 (science and literature). Entered the Order of Preachers, 1853. Dominican Novitiate of Anagni; studied under Fr. Tommaso Zigliara, O.P. future cardinal; solemn profession, January 9, 1857; Collegio S. Tommaso d'Aquino, Rome (philosophy and theology); Dominican College of Perugia (philosophy and theology; doctorate and lector in theology, July 1860).
Priesthood. Ordained (no information found). Lector of theology, Viterbo, for five years. Professor of theology and master of novices of Collegio S. Tomasso d'Aquino, Rome; regent of studies, 1870-1873. Pastor of the Dominican church S. Maria sopra Minerva, Rome, 1873-1887. Master of the Sacred Palace, June 25, 1887.
Cardinalate. Created cardinal deacon in the consistory of November 30, 1896; received red hat and deaconry of Ss. Cosma e Damiano, December 3, 1896. Participated in the conclave of 1903, which elected Pope Pius X.
Death. September 7, 1905, Rome. Exposed in the church of S. Maria sopra Minerva, Rome, where the funeral mass was celebrated; and buried in the chapel of the Order of Preachers, Campo Verano cemetery, Rome.
Bibliography. Daniel, Charles; Paul-Marie Baumgarten; Antoine de Waal. Rome; le chef suprême l'organisation et l'administration centrale de l'église. Paris : Plon, 1900, pp. 165-166; LeBlanc, Jean. Dictionnaire biographique des cardinaux du XIXe siècle : contribution à l'histoire du Sacré Collège sous les pontificats de Pie VII, Léon XII, Pie VIII, Grégoire XVI, Pie IX et Léon XIII, 1800-1903. Montréal : Wilson & Lafleur, 2007. (Collection Gratianus. Série instruments de recherche), p. 752; Ritzler, Remigium, and Pirminum Sefrin. Hierarchia Catholica Medii et Recientoris Aevi. Volumen VIII (1846-1903). Patavii : Typis et Sumptibus Domus Editorialis "Il Messaggero di S. Antonio" apud Basilicam S. Antonii, 1979, pp. 39 and 54.
Birth. September 8, 1833, Boscotrecase, small village at the feet of the Vesuvius, archdiocese of Naples, Kingdom of Naples (later Italy). Son of Ludovico Prisco and Colomba Federico. His baptismal name was Giuseppe Antonio Ermenegildo.
Education. Studied at the Archiepiscopal Seminary of Naples.
Priesthood. Ordained, September 20, 1856, with an indult because he had not yet reached the canoncial age. Named professor of philosophy at the University of Npales, he lost his post in 1860 for refusing to take the oath of loyalty to the government. He became professor of philosophy and ethics at the Archiepiscopal Seminary of Naples; and also taught philosophy in a private school that he had founded, Later, he was professor of rational law at Ospizio Ecclesiastico di Maria in Naples. In 1879, he occupied the chair of moral philosophy at the interdiocesan college of Tarsia. Canon of the cathedral chapter of Naples, 1886. Member of Accademia S. Tommaso, Rome; and associate of Accademia della Religione, Rome. Prefect of studies at the Archiepiscopal Seminary of Naples in July 1886. Examiner of the clergy. Ecclesiastical superior of Conservatorio di S. Monica, Naples. Ecclesiastical delegate for the work of the Catholic Congresses and of the Circle of Catholic Interests. Representative of Guglielmo Sanfelice D'Acquavilla, O.S.B.Cas., archbishop of Naples, before the Società Cattoliche Operaie.
Cardinalate. Created cardinal deacon in the consistory of November 30, 1896; received red hat and deaconry of S. Cesareo in Palatio, December 3, 1896. He established himself in Rome. On December 3, 1896, he was named member of the SS. CC. of Rites, Seminaries and Universities of Study, Loreto; and the Index.
Episcopate. Elected archbishop of Naples, March 24, 1898; he was granted the pallium on the same day. Opted for the order of cardinal priests and title of S. Sisto, March 24, 1898. Consecrated, May 29, 1898, Sistine Chapel, Vatican, by Pope Leo XIII, assisted by Giuseppe Maria Costantini, titular archbishop of Patras, private almoner of His Holiness, and by Guglielmo Pifferi, O.S.A, titular bishop of Porfireone, sacristan of His Holiness. He founded the Accademia di Scienze e Lettere in 1899; the Accademia di S. Pietro in Vincoli in 1912; and his was the intiative of the publication of the Atti dellAccademia Scientifico-Letteraria S. Pietro in Vicoli in 1914. Named vicar of His Holiness for the Shrine of Our Lady of Pompeii on April 6, 1900; entered the shrine on the following April 29; occupied the post until February 20, 1906. Participated in the conclave of 1903, which elected Pope Pius X. Did not participate in the conclave of 1914, which elected Pope Benedict XV, because of poor health. Did not participate in the conclave of 1922, which elected Pope Pius XI, because of poor health. He wrote and published numerous works (1).
Death. Sunday February 4, 1923, at 7:15 p.m., of a pulmonary disease, Naples. Exposed in the archiepiscopal palace of Naples. The funeral, celebrated by Msgr. Sersale, canon primicerius of the cathedral chapter, took place on February 8, 1923, at 11: a.m., in the metropolitan cathedral of Naples; after the triple absolution, the body was buried in the crypt below sacristy in that same cathedral. At his death, he was the oldest member of the Sacred College of Cardinals.
Bibliography. "Em. Prisco (Giuseppe)" in "Liste des cardinaux par order alphabétique." Annuaire Pontifical Catholique de 1922. Paris : Maison de la Bonne Presse, 1921, p. 98; LeBlanc, Jean. Dictionnaire biographique des cardinaux du XIXe siècle : contribution à l'histoire du Sacré Collège sous les pontificats de Pie VII, Léon XII, Pie VIII, Grégoire XVI, Pie IX et Léon XIII, 1800-1903. Montréal : Wilson & Lafleur, 2007. (Collection Gratianus. Série instruments de recherche), p. 766-767; L'Osservatore Romano [electronic resource]. Città del Vaticano : L'Osservatore Romano, XXXVII, n. 121, (May 30-31, 1898), p. 3; LXIII, n. 29 (February 5-6, 1923), p. 3; LXII, n. 31 (February 8, 1923), p. 3; and LXIII, n. 33 (February 10, 1923), p. 2; Parente, Ulderico. ""Omnia et omnibus Christus". Per uno studio delle lettere pastorali del Card. Giuseppe Prisco, arcivescovo di Napoli (1898-1923) ", in Sicut flumen pax tua. Studi in onore del cardinale Michele Giordano. A cura di Antonio Ascione, Mario Gioia. Napoli : M. D'Auria, 1997. (Collectanea ; 14; Pontificia Facoltà teologica dell'Italia meridionale ; 3). Note: Collected essays, p. 729-758.
Webgraphy. Biography, in Italian, Wikipedia; photograph and biography, in Italian, Istituto A. Aveta", Suore Domenicane di Pompei; photographs and arms, Araldica Vaticana.
(1) Among his works are Saggio di filosofia (Napoli, 1855); S. Anselmo e l'ontologismo (Napoli, 1857); S. Anselmo e il panteismo (Napoli, 1860); Della decadenza delle scienze morali nei tempi presenti (Napoli, 1864); La geometria e la morale (Napoli, 1865); Metafisica della morale (Napoli, 1865); Considerazioni storico-critiche sulla filosofia scolastica (Napoli, 1866); Lo hegelianismo considerato nel suo svolgimento storico e nel suo rapporto con la scienza (Napoli, 1868); Considerazioni generali sull'essere dello Stato (Napoli, 1870); Principii di filosofia del diritto sulle basi dell'etica (Napoli, 1872); Elementi di filosofia speculativa (Napoli, 1879, 2 v.); Sul naturalismo religioso del Mamiani (Roma, 1880); La metafisica di S. Tommaso d'Aquino (Roma, 1887); Filosofia elementare (Napoli, 1892).
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