The Cardinals of the Holy Roman Church

Biographical Dictionary
Pope Pius XI (1922-1939)
Consistory of July 15, 1929 (XI)


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(32) 1. SCHUSTER, O.S.B., Alfredo Ildefonso
(1880-1954)

Birth. January 18, 1880, at Ospedale Santissimo Salvatore, Rome, Italy. Son of Giovanni Schuster and Maria Ana Tutzer. The father, twice a widower, was from Bavaria and thirty years older than the mother. He had a sister, Giulia, who entered the Order of Sisters of Charity of S. Vincenzo di Paul; and three half siblings from his father's second marriage. He was baptized two days after his birth with the name Alfredo Ludovico. He was kidnapped when he was a small child and returned quickly; the kidnapper was immediately arrested. As a boy, he served mass at the church of Teutonic Cemetery, next to St. Peter's basilica.

Education. Initial studies, ginnasiali and liceali at S. Paolo fuori le mura, November 1891; joined the order of St. Benedict at the novitiate of the monastery of S. Paolo fuori le mura, Rome, and took the name Ildefonso, November 13, 1898; professed, November 13, 1900; Pontifical Academy of S. Anselmo, Rome obtained a doctorate in philosophy, June 14, 1903; and shortly after, a doctorate in theology).

Priesthood. Ordained, March 19, 1904, patriarchal Lateran basilica, Rome, by Cardinal Pietro Respighi, archpriest of that basilica and vicar general of Rome. Community member of S. Paolo fuori le mura, 1904-1908; master of novices, 1908-1916; prior, 1916-1918. Procurator general of the Congregation of Monte Cassino, 1914-1929. Elected abbot-ordinary of the abbey nullius of S. Paolo fuori le Mura, Rome, April 6, 1918; received the abbatial blessing from Cardinal Basilio Pompilj, bishop of Velletri, vicar general of Rome, April 14, 1918, S. Paolo fuori le Mura. President of the Pontifical Oriental Institute, October 7, 1919 to July 4, 1922. Apostolic visitor to the seminaries of Lombardy Campania and Calabria, 1924-1928; recommended to Pope Pius XI the foundation of a major seminary for the archdiocese of Milan in Venegono. Between the end of November and beginning of December 1926, Abbot Schuster preached the spiritual exercises to Archbishop Angelo Giuseppe Roncalli, future cardinal, pope and blessed, at S. Paolo fuori le mura.

Episcopate. Elected archbishop of Milan, June 26, 1929. On July 13, 1929, he took the oath of loyalty to the Italian State before King Vittorio Emmanuele III, according to the new concordat between Italy and the Holy See; he was the first Italian bishop to take the oath.

Cardinalate. Created cardinal priest in the consistory of July 15, 1929; received the red hat and the title of Ss. Silvestro e Martino ai Monti, July 18, 1929. Consecrated, July 21, 1929, Sistine chapel, at the Vatican, by Pope Pius XI, assisted by Carlo Cremonesi, titular archbishop of Nicomedia, privy almoner of His Holiness, and by Agostino Zampini, O.S.A., titular bishop of Porfireone, sacristan of His Holiness. Papal legate to the centennial celebration of Our Lady of Caravaggio, August 15, 1932; to the 10th centennial celebration of Einsiedeln Abbey, Switzerland, March 21, 1934; to the inauguration of the new facade of Desio's cathedral, September 15, 1937. He was invested as a bailiff grand cross of honor and devotion of the Sovereign Order of Malta in 1933. Participated in the conclave of 1939, which elected Pope Pius XII. Papal legate to the National Eucharistic Congress, Assisi, Italy, August 2, 1951. Cardinal protopriest, June 12, 1952.

Death. Monday August 30, 1954, at 4:15 a.m., of heart ailment, Archiepiscopal Seminary Pio XI, Venegono Inferiore, near Milan. The funeral was celebrated by Cardinal Angelo Giuseppe Roncalli, patriarch of Venice, future Pope John XXIII and blessed. Buried on September 2, 1954 in the metropolitan cathedral of Milan, next to his two immediate predecessors, Cardinals Andrea Carlo Ferrari and Eugenio Tosi, O.SS.C.A.

Beatification. The diocesan process was opened, August 30, 1957, by Giovanni Battista Montini, archbishop of Milan, future Pope Paul VI; it was concluded on October 31, 1963. When his tomb was opened for the recognition of the body, on January 28, 1985, it was found to be intact. He was beatified on May 12, 1996 by Pope John Paul II.

Bibliography. Basadonna, Giorgio. Cardinal Schuster. Un monaco vescovo nella dinamica Milano. Milan: Edizione Paoline, 1996; Belski Lagazzi, Ines. Il Cardinale Schuster. Torino Edizioni Paoline 1965; Il Cardinale Alfredo Ildefonso Schuster : avvio allo studio. Milano : Nuove edizioni Duomo, 1979. (Archivio ambrosiano; 38.); Il Cardinale Ildefonso Schuster, cenni biografici. Milano: Abbazia di Viboldone 1954; Cavaterra, Emilio. Salvate Milano : la mediazione del cardinale Schuster nel 1945. Milan : Mursia, 1995. (Testimonianze fra cronaca e storia ; 223); Cazzani, Eugenio. Vescovi e arcivescovi di Milano. Nuova ed./ a cura di Angelo Majo, 2. ed. Milano : Massimo : NED, 1996. Note: Originally published 1955, now enlarged and updated, p. 289-292; Crippa, Luigi. Il servo di Dio A. Ildefonso Card. Schuster O.S.B. nel quarantesimo della morte, 1954-1994. Roma : Benedictina Editrice, 1994. (Sezione monastica ; 8). Contents: Alfredo Ildefonso Card. Schuster O.S.B saggio bibliografico / Luigi Crippa -- In margine alla biografia schusteriana: l'Abate Ildefonso Schuster nei ricordi di D. Anselmo Lentini monaco di Montecassino, novizio a S. Paolo fuori le mura (1919-20) / Mariano Dell'Omo -- Schuster-Lazzati: un esemplare rapporto spirituale / Armando Oberti -- Ritratto monastico di Ildefonso Schuster allo specchio delle sue "Lettere dell'amicizia" / Giuseppe Anelli -- Uso e ruolo della S. Scrittura nel pensiero del Card. Schuster / Agostino Rznzato -- La prima e la seconda dedicazione dellas Chiesa monastica delle Benedettine del SS. Sacramento di Milano nell'esperienza spirituale del Card. A. Ildefonso Schuster / Annamaria Valli -- Vita monastica, studio e lavoro nel pensiero del Card. Schuster / Massimo Lapponi -- L'opera del Cardinale Schuster nella storiografia monastica del novecento / Gregorio Penco -- Ildefonso Schuster storico di Farfa e della Sabina / Tersilio Leggio -- Il Card. Ildefonso Schuster: Santa Vittoria e Farfensi nel Piceno / Giuseppe Crocetti; Crivelli, Luigi. Schuster : un monaco prestato a Milano. Prefazione di Indro Montanelli. Cinisello Balsamo, Milan : San Paolo, 1996. (Tempi e figure ; 25); Garzonio, Marco. Schuster. Casale Monferrato : Piemme, 1996; Judica Cordiglia, Giovanni. Il mio cardinale. Milan: Istituto de Propaganda Libraria, 1955; Leccisotti, Tommaso. Il Cardinale Schuster. 2 vols. Milan: Scuola Tipografica S. Benedetto, 1969; Majo, Angelo. Storia della chiesa ambrosiana. 5 vols. 2nd ed. Milano : NED, 1983-1986, V, 19-24, 23, 37, 38, 45-48, 50-52, 54-69, 71-73, 76, 77, 80, 84, 88, 89, 91-93. 95, 98, 105 and 140; Nobili, Elena. "Lazione pastorale del Card. Schuster dalla guerra dEtiopia alle leggi razziali".Terra ambrosiana, n. 5, 2005; Nobili, Elena. La parabola di un'illusione. Il cardinal Schuster dalla guerra d'Etiopia alle leggi razziali. Milano: NED, 2005; Nobili, Elena. "Vescovi lombardi e consenso alla guerra: il cardinal Schuster", in LImpero fascista. Italia ed Etiopia (1935-1941). A cura di Riccardo Bottoni. Bologna : Il Mulino, 2008. Convegno internazionale di studio su "L'Italia e l'Etiopia 1935-1941, a settant'anni dall'impero fascista" (2006 : Milan, Italy). Note: Proceedings of the conference held in Milan, Italy, Oct. 5-7, 2006; Quattrocchi, Paul B. Al di sopra dei Gagliardetti : l'Arcivescovo Schuster : un asceta benedettino nella Milano dell'"èra fascista". Casale Monferrato, AL : Marietti, 1985; Rumi, Giorgio and Majo, Angelo. Il cardinal Schuster e il suo tempo. Introduzione di Virginio Rognoni. Milan : Massimo, 1979. (Collana Problemi del nostro tempo ; n. 44).

Links. Photographs and biography, in English; photographs amd biography, in Italian, Wikipedia; photographs and biography, in Spanish, Wikipedia; photograph and biography, in Italian, Institut f|r Grenzgebiete der Wissenschaft; his photograph and arms, Araldica Vaticana; Serie cronologica dei vescovi di Milano (III-XXI secolo), in Italian, archdiocese of Milan; Schuster, un monaco per Milano , Avvenire, 21 agosto 2014.

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