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Francesco Satolli

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Satolli,, FRANCESCO, theologian, cardinal, first Apostolic delegate to the United States, b. July 21, 1839, at Marsciano near Perugia; d. January 8, 1910, at Rome. He was educated at the seminary of Perugia, ordained in 1862, and, after receiving the doctorate at the Sapienza, was appointed (1864) professor in the seminary of Perugia. In 1870 he became pastor at Marsciano and in 1872 went to Montecassino, where he remained two years. Called to Rome by Leo XIII in 1880, he was appointed professor of dogmatic theology in the Propaganda and (1882) in the Roman Seminary, rector of the Greek College (1884), president of the Accademia dei Nobili Ecclesiastici (1886), and Archbishop of Lepanto (1888). As professor he had an important share in the neo-Scholastic movement inaugurated by Leo XIII. His lectures, always fluent and often eloquent, aroused the enthusiasm of his students for the study of St. Thomas, while his writings opened the way for an extended literature in Thomistic philosophy and theology.

Satolli came to the United States in 1889, was present at the centenary of the hierarchy celebrated in Baltimore, and delivered an address at the inauguration of the Catholic University of America in November. On his second visit, he attended (November 16, 1892) a meeting of the archbishops held in New York City, and formulated in fourteen propositions the solution of certain school problems which had been for some time under discussion. He then took up his residence at the Catholic University of America, where he gave a course of lectures on the philosophy of St. Thomas. On January 24, 1893, the Apostolic Delegation in the United States was established at Washington, and Satolli was appointed first delegate. He was created cardinal-priest on November 29, 1895, with the title of Sta. Maria in Ara Coeli. Returning to Rome in October, 1896, he was appointed prefect of the Congregation of Studies and archpriest of the Lateran Basilica. He became Cardinal Bishop of Frascati June 22, 1903. His last visit to the United States was on the occasion of the St. Louis Exposition, 1904.

Satolli’s works include: “Enchiridion Philosophiae” (Rome, 1884); Commentaries on the Summa Theol. of St. Thomas (5 vols., Rome, 1884-88); “Prima principia juris publici eccles. de concordatis” (Rome, 1888); “Loyalty to Church and State” (Baltimore, 1895).


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