The Cardinals of the Holy Roman Church

Biographical Dictionary
Pope Pius XI (1922-1939)
Consistory of December 14, 1925 (VI)


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(17) 1. CERRETTI, Bonaventura
(1872-1933)

Birth. June 17, 1872, Comune de Bardono, diocese of Orvieto, Italy. Son of Faustino Cerretti and Maria Custodi. He had a sister, Elvira.

Education. Studied at the Seminary of Spoleto; at the Pontifical Gregorian University, Rome; and at the Royal University, Rome.

Priesthood. Ordained, March 31, 1895, Rome, by Tancredo Fausti, titular archbishop of Seleucia Pieria. Pastoral ministry in the diocese of Orvieto, 1895-1899. Staff member in the Secretariat of State, 1899-1904. Privy chamberlain of His Holiness, January 13, 1904. Secretary to apostolic delegate in México, 1904-1906. Auditor in the apostolic delegation in the United States of America, 1906-1914.

Episcopate. Elected titular archbishop of Filippopoli di Tracia, April 15, 1914. Transferred to the titular see of Corinto, May 10, 1914. Consecrated, July 19, 1914, Rome, by Cardinal Rafael Merry del Val, secretary of State, assisted by Giulio Serafini, titular archbishop of Lepanto, and by Salvatore Fratocchi, bishop of Orvieto. His episcopal motto was Robur in fide. Apostolic delegate in Australia and New Zealand, October 5, 1914. Secretary of the S C. for Extraordinary Ecclesiastical Affairs, May 6, 1917. In special mission to the peace conference, Paris, May to June, 1919. Nuncio in France, May 20, 1921.

Cardinalate. Created cardinal priest in the consistory of December 14, 1925; received the red hat and the title of S. Cecilia, June 24, 1926. Papal legate to the 29th International Eucharistic Congress, Sydney, Australia, June 14, 1928. Archpriest of the patriarchal Liberian basilica, July 16, 1930. Prefect of the Supreme Tribunal of the Apostolic Signature, October 12, 1931. Opted for the order of cardinal bishops and the suburbicarian see of Velletri, March 13, 1933. Camerlengo of the Sacred College of Cardinals, March 13, 1933 until his death.

Death. May 8, 1933, of pneumonia, in Rome. Buried in the basilica of S. Maria in Trastevere, Rome. The Cardinal Cerretti Memorial Chapel adjacent to St. Patrick's College in Sydney, Australia, was named after him upon its opening in 1935.

Bibliography. Code, Bernard. Dictionary of the American Hierarchy (1789-1964). New York : Joseph F. Wagner, 1964, pp. 435-436; Cerretti, Elvira. Il Cardinale Bonaventura Cerretti. Rome : Istituto grafico Tiberino, 1939; De Luca, Giuseppe. Il cardinale Bonaventura Cerretti. 2. ed. Roma : Edizioni di storia e letteratura, 1971. Note: "Ristampa invariata de [Il Cardinale Bonaventura Cerretti], quale usci ... nel 1939. Apparso anonimo, a cura della sorella del cardinale, Elvira"; De Marco, Vittorio. Un diplomatico vaticano all'Eliseo : il cardinale Bonaventura Cerretti (1872-1933). Rome : Edizioni di storia e letteratura, 1984. (Edizioni di storia e letteratura, 52; Politica e storia, 52).

Links. Biography by Francesco Margiotta Broglio, in Italian, Dizionario Biografico degli Italiani - Volume 24 (1980), Treccani; his photograph, portrait and arms, Araldica Vaticana.


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(18) 2. GASPARRI, Enrico
(1871-1946)

Birth. July 25, 1871, Ussita, diocese of Norcia, Italy. Nephew of Cardinal Pietro Gasparri (1907).

Education. Studied at the Seminary of Nepi; and at the Pontifical Roman Seminary, where he earned doctorates in theology and utroque iure, both canon and civil law.

Priesthood. Ordained, August 10, 1894, Rome. Pastoral ministry in Rome, 1894-1898. Secretary to his uncle, the apostolic delegate in Perú, Ecuador, and Bolivia, 1898-1901. Honorary chamberlain of His Holiness, March 12, 1904. Secretary of the nunciature in Portugal, August 14, 1906; of the nunciature in Belgium, January 24, 1908. Auditor of the nunciature in Brazil, November 28, 1912. Privy chamberlain of His Holiness, May 29, 1913; reappointed, December 25, 1914.

Episcopate. Elected titular archbishop of Sebaste, December 9, 1915. Consecrated, December 12, 1915, Rome, by Victor Amedeo Ranuzzi de' Bianchi, titular archbishop of Tiro, majordome of His Holiness, assisted by Donato Sbarretti, titular archbishop of Efeso, assessor of the Supreme S.C. of Holy Office, and by Luigi Ermini, bishops of Caiazzo. Appointed apostolic delegate and extraordinary envoy in Colombia, November 14, 1915. Internuncio in Colombia, May 8, 1916, when the delegation was elevated to that rank. Nuncio in Colombia, July 20, 1917, when the internunciature was elevated to nunciature, second class. Nuncio in Brazil, September 1, 1920.

Cardinalate. Created cardinal priest in the consistory of December 14, 1925; received the red hat and the title of S. Bartolomeo all'Isola, December 17, 1925. His creation was an exception made to canon 232, 3, that forbade anyone having an uncle in the Sacred College of Cardinals to be a cardinal. His uncle, Pietro, had been created in 1907 and was still alive. Papal legate to the Eucharistic Congress of Sardinia, May, 1931; to the Regional Eucharistic Congress, Sulmona, Italy, August 15, 1932. Prefect of the Supreme Tribunal of the Apostolic Signature, May 18, 1933. Opted for the order of cardinal bishops and the suburbicarian see of Velletri, October 16, 1933. Participated in the conclave of 1939, which elected Pope Pius XII. Vice-dean of the Sacred College of Cardinals, February 26, 1942.

Death. May 20, 1946, of heart ailment in his residence in Rome. Buried in Sacrofano.

Bibliography. Restrepo Posada, José. "Galería de representantes de la Santa Sede en Colombia." Revista de la Academia Colombiana de Historia Eclesiástica, V (January-June, 1970), 225-233.

Link. His photograph and arms, Araldica Vaticana.


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(19) 3. O'DONNELL, Patrick
(1856-1927)

Birth. November 28, 1856, Kilraine, near Glenties, parish of Inniskeel, county Donegal, diocese of Raphoe, Ireland. He was the son of Dan O'Donnell, a small farmer, and Mary Breslin, from Gortlosk. The family had four boys (among them, Patrick, John, a medical doctor; Daniel, a barrister); and five girls ( among them, Rose, a Loreto nun, who died in 1959 at 104; Kate, also a Loreto nun). They were brought up as native Gaelic speakers.

Education. Primary education at the National School, Lower Kilkraine, together with his brothers and sister; later, he studied at the High School of Letterkenny (classical studies); the Catholic University, Dublin (1873-1875); St. Patrick's College, Maynooth, (theology), 1875-1879; Dunboyne Establishment (to obtain qualifications for the duties of parish priests, or to be professors in the college), 1879-1880. Pope Leo XIII conferred on him the degree of doctor of divinity on May 29, 1885.

Priesthood. Ordained, June 29, 1880, Maynooth, by Cardinal Edward McCabe, archbishop of Dublin. Professor of dogmatic and moral theology, St. Patrick's Seminary, Maynooth, 1880-1884. Prefect of the Dunboyne Establishment, 1884-1888; the institute provided post graduate courses in theology and canon law. During this time, he was a prolific author on moral theology and canon law, some of them published in "The Irish Ecclesiastical Record" and in his native parish of Inniskeel.

Episcopate. Elected bishop of Raphoe, February 26, 1888; at the time, he was the youngest bishop in the world. Consecrated, April 3, 1888, pro-cathedral of Raphoe, Letterkenny, by Michael Logue, archbishop of Armagh, assisted by Francis Kelly, bishop of Derry, and by Patrick McAllister, bishop of Down and Connor; the sermon was preached by Bartolomew Woodlock, bishop of Ardagh and Clonmacnoise. He played an important role in the struggle between landlords and tenants in Donegal during the Plan of Campaign, trying to alleviate the suffering of evicted tenants of his own diocese. He was the longest serving member of the Congested District Board, which tried to improve the social conditions of the people living in those districts. Avidly interested in Home Rule, he participated in its movement and played a prominent role in the politics of the Irish Parliamentary Party, whose philosophy was that of Home Rule for Ireland. From 1914 until 1925, he had an active participation in Irish life during the First World War; the 1916 Easter Rising; as member of the Irish Convention, July 25, 1917 to April 5, 1918; the War of Independence; the 1920 Government of Ireland Act; the Treaty of 1921; the Civil War; and the Boundary Commission, November 1924. Promoted to the titular archbishop of Attalia and appointed coadjutor of Armagh, with right of succession, January 14, 1922. Apostolic administrator of Raphoe, 1922-1923. Succeeded to the metropolitan see of Armagh, and primate of All Ireland, November 19, 1924.

Cardinalate. Created cardinal priest in the consistory of December 14, 1925; received the red hat and the title of S. Maria della Pace, December 17, 1925. Papal legate to the Irish Plenary Council, Maynooth, June 27, 1927.

Death. October 22, 1927, of pneumonia and double pleurisy, shortly before noon, Carlingford, County Louth, archdiocese of Armagh. Buried, St. Patrick's cemetery, Armagh (1). The St. Connell's Museum in Glenties has a display about his life. There is a monument in his memory outside St. Eunan's cathedral, Letterkenny.

Bibliography. Ó Baoighill, Pádraig S. Cardinal Patrick O'Donnell 1856-1927. Baile na Finne, Condae Dhún na nGall, Éire: Foilseacháin Chró na mBothán, 2008; Pięta, Zenonem. Hierarchia Catholica Medii et Recientoris Aevi. Volumen IX (1903-1922). Patavii : Typis et Sumptibus Domus Editorialis "Il Messaggero di S. Antonio" apud Basilicam S. Antonii, 2002, p. 316; 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, p. 476.

Links. Photograph and biography, in English, fourth on the page; photograph and biography, in English; his portrait and photography, Araldica Vaticana; the O'Donnell family and arms.

(1) This is the text of the inscription on his tombstone, taken from Ó Baoighill, Pádraig S. Cardinal Patrick O'Donnell 1856-1927, p. 285, photograph n. 24:

PATRICIUS SUB TITULO S. MARIAE DE PACE S.R.E. PRESBYTER
CARDINALIS O'DONNELL ARCHIEPISCOPUS ARMACANUS TOTIUS
HIBERNIAE PRIMAE
NATUS APUD CLENTIES 1855
ORDINATUS SACERDOS 1880
CONSECRATUS EPISCOPUS RAPOTENSIS 1888
COADJUTOR ARCHIEPISCOPI ARMACANI 1922
ARCHIEPISCOPUS ARMACANUS ET TITIUS HIBERNIAE PRIMAS 1925
CREATUS CARDINALIS 1925.

INDOLEMITE GENEROSAQUE INGENIO AMORENO ANIMO MISERCORDIAE
ET HUMANITATIS PLENO SUAE PATRIAE MORUM
LINGUAQUE AMANTISSIMUS HOMO HOSPITALISSIMUS DOCTRINA SAPIENTIA
PRUDENTIA HUMILITATE SANCTITATE AUCTUS ECCLESIAE PRAESIDIUM ET
DECUS PIISSIME DIE 22 OCT. 1927 IN DOMINO OBIIT.

R . I . P .


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(20) 4. VERDE, Alessandro
(1865-1958)

Birth. March 27, 1865, Sant'Antimo, diocese of Aversa, Italy.

Education. Studied at the Seminary of Aversa; and later, at the Pontifical Roman Seminary "S. Apollinare", Rome, where he obtained doctorates in theology in 1890; and utroque iure, both canon and civil law in 1893.

Priesthood. Ordained, March 31, 1888, Aversa. Further studies, Rome. Aiutante di studio of the sub-promoter of the Faith of the S.C. of Rites, 1894. Pastoral ministry in the diocese of Rome. Professor of civil law at the Pontifical Roman Athenaeum "S. Apollinare", 1896-1897. Privy chamberlain of His Holiness, March 24, 1897. Assessor of the S.C. of Propaganda Fide, June 1, 1897. Promoter of the faith in S.C. of Propaganda Fide, January 11, 1902. Lawyer in the S.C. Consistorial, January 13, 1902. Domestic prelate of His Holiness, January 16, 1902. Protonotary apostolic and canon of the patriarchal Lateran basilica, December 14, 1905. Secretary of the S.C. of Rites, June 26, 1915. Canon of the patriarchal Vatican basilica, March 19, 1916.

Cardinalate. Created cardinal deacon in the consistory of December 14, 1925; received the red hat and the deaconry of S. Maria in Cosmedin, December 17, 1925. Opted for the order of cardinal priests and his deaconry was elevated pro illa vice to title, December 16, 1935. Participated in the conclave of 1939, which elected Pope Pius XII. Archpriest of the patriarchal Liberian basilica, October 11, 1939. Cardinal protopriest, April 8, 1957.

Death. March 29, 1958, serenely, in Villa San Francisco, headquarters of the German Franciscan Order of the Holy Cross, located in the heart of Rome's Parioli Quarters, shortly after receiving the last sacraments and a special blessing from the pope. The funeral mass was celebrated at the church of S. Eugenio in Rome. Buried in his family's tomb in Sant'Antimo. At his death, two days after his ninety third birthday, he was the oldest and most senior member of the Sacred College of Cardinals.

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, p. 682; "Liste des cardinaux par ordre alphabétique." Annuaire Pontifical Catholique de 1936, Paris : Maison de la Bonne Presse, 1937, p. 111; Molari, Carlo. "Card. Alessandro Verde." La Pontificia Università lateranense : profilo della sua storia, dei suoi maestri, e dei suoi discepoli. Roma : Libreria editrice della Pontificia Università lateranense, 1963, p. 234.

Link. His photograph and arms, Araldica Vaticana.

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