Birth. October 15, 1864, Rome, Papal States.
Education. Studied at the Pontifical Roman Seminary, Rome.
Priesthood. Ordained, June 4, 1887, Rome. Faculty member of the Pontifical Roman Seminary and the Pontifical Urbanian Athenaeum "De Propaganda Fide," 1887-1910. Official of the Vicariate of Rome, 1895-1910. Canon of the chapter of the basilica of S. Lorenzo in Damaso, 1901. Substitute of the regent of the Sacred Apostolic Penitentiary, February 5, 1910. Domestic prelate of His Holiness, April 5, 1910.
Episcopate. Elected titular archbishop of Efeso and appointed internuncio in Perú, January 5, 1917. Consecrated, January 21, 1917, chapel of the Pontifical Pio Latin American College, Rome, by Cardinal Donato Sbarretti, assisted by Vincenzo Sardi di Rivisondoli, titular archbishop of Cesarea di Palestina, assessor of the S.C. Consistorial, and by Americo Bevilacqua, titular bishop of Retimo, consultor of the S.C. Consistorial. Nuncio in Perú at establishment of full diplomatic relations, July 20, 1917. Nuncio in Poland, May 25, 1921.
Cardinalate. Created cardinal priest in the consistory of December 20, 1926; received the red hat and the title of S. Pancrazio, June 23, 1927. Grand penitentiary, July 31, 1927. Papal legate to the International Eucharistic Congress, Dublin, Ireland, May 26, 1932. Camerlengo of the Sacred College of Cardinals, June 15, 1936 to December 13, 1937. Protector of the Pontifical North American College, Rome, 1937-1941. Participated in the conclave of 1939, which elected Pope Pius XII. Camerlengo of the Holy Roman Church, December 11, 1939. He was member of the SS.CC. of the Holy Office, Consistorial Sacraments, Council, Ecclesiastical Affairs and Seminaries and Universities of Study.
Death. October 8, 1941, Rome. Buried, Campo Verano cemetery, Rome.
Link. His portrait and arms, Araldica Vaticana.
Birth. April 25, 1857, borgata San Giulio, S. Damiano d'Asti, diocese of Asti, Piedmont. From a family of modest sharecroppers. Son of Pietro Gamba, who died when Giuseppe was seven years old, and Lucia Aschiero, who supported the family alternating between working in the field and as a laundrywoman. He had two younger sisters.
Education. His mother could not afford his seminary studies when young Giuseppe decided to become a priest. It was thanks to Don Giovanni Bosco, founder of the Salesians and future saint, who after learning of his desire during a visit to San Damiano, arranged for him to enter the "Apostolo dei Giovani", at Valdocco, where he studies from 1870 to 1871; and then, the following year, he entered the Seminary of Asti; later, he studied at the Pontifical Roman Seminary "S. Apollinare", Rome, where he obtained a doctorate in theology in 1897.
Priesthood. Ordained, September 18, 1880, at the cathedral of Asti, Bishop Carlo Savio of Asti. He served as vice parish priest of the cathedral of Asti between November 1, 1881 and November 7, 1884, when he was appointed its parish priest; pastor of Villafranca; later, he became canon of the cathedral chapter; and was vicar general from 1883 to 1901.
Episcopate. Elected bishop of Biella, Italy, December 16, 1901. Consecrated, February 23, 1902, in Asti, by Giacinto Arcangeli, bishop of Asti, assisted by Giuseppe Francesco Re, bishop of Alba, and by Luigi Spandre, titular bishop of Tiberias and auxiliary of Turin. His episcopal motto was Dirige in conspecto tuo viam mea. Transferred to the see of Novara, August 13, 1906. Twice he visited the entire territory of the diocese. He promoted the organiztion of Catholic movements. Assistant at the Pontifical Throne, July 10, 1917. Promoted to the metropolitan see of Turin, December 20, 1923.
Cardinalate. Created cardinal priest in the consistory of December 20, 1926; received the red hat and the title of S. Maria sopra Minerva, December 23, 1926. Papal legate to the Regional Council of Piedmont, Turin, October 1927. He was member of the SS.CC. for Sacraments, Council and Religious. He was known as "il Cardinale dei Giovani" due to his great initiatives towards the youth in Turin; Pier Giorgio Frassati was among his favorite friends from this sector. The cardinal became a promotor of his life after his early death, authoring the first biography of the now beatified Frassati. The cardinal was taken ill after celebrating the traditional midnight Christmas mass in 1929 and died the day after.
Death. December 26, 1929, at 7 am, of a heart attack, in Turin, while he was preparing an archdiocesan synod. Buried in the metropolitan cathedral of Turin.
Link. Biography by Bartolo Gariglio, in Italian, Dizionario Biografico degli Italiani - Volume 51 (1998), Treccani; biographical entry, in Italian, Wikipedia; his photograph, portrait and arms, Araldica Vaticana; catalog of the bishops of Novara, Novaria; biographical entries of the bishops of Novara, Novaria; portraits of the bishops of Novara, in alphabetical order, Novaria; and arms of the bishops of Novara, Novaria.
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